Friday, July 4, 2008

Honk! Ted is 60!

We celebrated my dad's birthday today, along with the birth of our nation. For that matter, it is also Dad's younger brother's birthday-- Happy Birthday, Uncle Mike!

Anyway, a low-key celebration... We hung out a sign, and got lots of well wishes from neighbors on the lake. Plenty cruised by, honking and cheering. A couple said, "Man, are you old, Ted!" But, as Dad likes to point out, "I could be a year older... or I could be dead."

Even apart from the birthday festivities, this just had to be the best Fourth of July. Everyone said so. We spent the day by-- and on-- the lake. The weather was beautiful. The food was plentiful, and good, if I do say so myself. After supper, we played cards while the kids wound down. Then, it was back outside to watch the fireworks and roast marshmallows over the fire. Paradise. This has to be what being an American is all about.

Of course, one of my favorite things about the day was reading the birthday card Amanda made for Grandpa. Excuse the Mushy Mommy Moment. Early in the morning, she was following me around with a crayon and paper, asking me how to spell certain words. I finally stopped cleaning long enough to ask, "What are you writing?" She showed me the card she had made. The message read, "On the outside you are funny, but I know that... You love." OK-- a six-year-old expression of sentiment, but I get it. And she's right, Dad. We all know, and feel, your love.

Happy Birthday, Dad. Happy Birthday, America. Thank you, today and every day, to the men and women serving in our armed forces, protecting my freedom and protecting my family. Special prayers go out, for Jesse Johnson, serving in Iraq, and for Damon Allen, who has recently returned from Iraq on leave. Stay safe.

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