Word from the Range: Celebrating July

Celebrating July


July is my favorite month, and not just because it’s my birth month. I share that honor with a number of friends and family.  My daughter was born in July; so was my best friend from school days. My friend has lived in the Denver area for fifty odd years. We don’t get together as much these days, but are still in touch. I called on her birthday and we had a long visit. She doesn’t sound any older than when we were in second grade, and I’ve always loved that tinkling laugh.

My daughter and her family are here to celebrate with me this year, due to the wedding of a granddaughter later in that week. Last year we visited them in Cody Wyoming to celebrate a milestone birthday for my daughter. Nothing will make you feel old like realizing that all of your children are over fifty.

I wrote a long letter in the birthday card to my friend in North Carolina. We have hoped to go visit her and her husband ever since they moved there a couple of years ago, but it’s not looking favorable any time soon.

It’s always fun picking out a card for our young neighbor who turned seventeen on the day after I turned—well, I’ll tell you if you ask, but meanwhile, you can just guess.

Another friend has a birthday the same week as mine, and we have sometimes celebrated by attending a Playhouse performance at Fort Robinson, but that has been cancelled this year too. Maybe we’ll just get together and go have an ice cream cone.

The 4th of July has always been my favorite holiday. We just stayed home and worked this year, but what else can you do when every event you enjoy has been cancelled? I meditated on what it means to have freedom, gave thanks for it, and enjoyed recollections of the traditional celebrations we used to have in Mullen. There was always a rodeo, and we always went. Carried a picnic to enjoy there with friends, parked on the hill above the arena and visited. There’s a big blowout behind the concession area and I played there with my friends, as did my kids and grandkids. But the rodeo is no more, nor the street dance in the evening. Funny, how we believe things like that will never change, and how we miss them when they do.

July is the month of dragonflies, and we have an abundance of them this year, which has cut down on the mosquito population. That doesn’t change. Another thing to be thankful for.

Someone, probably Bruce’s mother, planted milkweed in the flowerbeds here, and the Monarch butterflies have been enjoying that while we enjoy them.

This is firefly season too, and I hope they come out while the great grandkids are here. Growing up in the mountains, I doubt they have ever seen them.

It’s always seemed to me that when the 4th of July comes, summer is half over, but I intend to maintain that the glass is half full and revel in the rest of the season. Even if you hate the heat, go stand in the sprinkler a while and be a kid again.