Relishing my freedom on the Fourth of July

Fireworks 4th of July

For me, one of the blessings of being officially retired is the freedom to follow my bliss, as Joseph Campbell recommends. Today I’ll be following it away from my computer and out into my garden. The sky is brighter and bluer than it’s been in many a day. Across the lake, I hear the joyous shouts of children at the beach. Snyder’s Lake is fed by springs, and it’s probably still unseasonably cold, but I’ll check it out if it suits my fancy. Then in a few hours my husband and I will head over to Albany’s Empire State Plaza with our folding chairs, enjoy some greasy carnival food – funnel cake if I’m lucky – and some free entertainment topped off by the great jazz singer Al Jarreau. (His song “Morning” from a couple of decades ago is one of the most transcendently beautiful pop anthems, right up there with Brian Wilson’s “God Only Knows.” And then the fireworks – deafening and spectacular, synchronized to patriotic music, probably including Lee Greenwood’s “Proud to be an American.”

On this Independence Day, I’m grateful to live in a country that enables me to enjoy my freedom in so many ways, thanks in part to the largess of the Social Security system.

Is anyone out here reading this today? If so, stop. Turn off your computer, pour a libation of your choice, and drink a toast to your own freedom, and the liberty to follow your bliss.

13 thoughts on “Relishing my freedom on the Fourth of July

  1. Julie,

    I envy your lovely day and do hope you enjoy the heck out of it. Here in Illinois, it’s rainy and gloomy. We had a family picnic planned, but we are fair-weather picnicers. Instead, we exercised our freedom to choose and chose to stay home. The family is now gathered in a smallish apartment and talking about favorite picnic and festival foods. We may end up eating stuff-on-a-stick in the living room.


    • Thanks, Charlotte. I’m originally from Wisconsin and I was out there last week at this time. The weather there was gorgeous throughout our trip – sunny skies, no rain. I imagine you enjoyed the same.

      All things considered, I’d rather live where the weather changes – like the Midwest and the Northeast. Constant sun would bore me to tears.

  2. Working hard at the computer on some projects for one more hour. Then hubby and I are going to this fun restaurant that has tapas and wine flights (where you get to sample three different (small) glasses of wine instead of ordering one bigger glass). We’ll toast America and freedom and the hope that our children enjoy both long after we’re gone.

    • Sounds like a great evening, Patricia. I hope the same for my daughter and her two daughters – it’s so frightening to think about the future they’ll have to face that I try not to dwell on it. On the other hand, remember how our generation had air raid drills where we had to hide under our desks for fear of an atom bomb? Somehow we managed to live longer than I’d ever have imagined back in the day.

      Have a happy. and taste some wine for me. (Right now I’m drinking Franzia chardonnay from a box – in general, I like it just as well as fancier wines.)

  3. Wonderful fireworks picture, Julie! It certainly sounds like you have a great Fourth in store.

    Me, I’m just hanging out with my wife, doing a whole lot of nothing much.

    • Thanks, Bob. I “borrowed” the photo from a site about how much dogs hate fireworks because their ears are so sensitive.

      The fireworks were great, the crowd overpowering, but all in all a good night.

    • Hi Helen,
      Yes, the fireworks were spectacular in Albany – they lasted for half an hour. They’re sponsored by Price Chopper, a regional supermarket chain; they must have spent a small fortune on them.

      The mob experience was a bit much – next year we’ll probably stay close to home and watch the neighbors’ more modest fireworks over the lake.

  4. Don’t worry… I was outside on the 4th and just read this today, Monday! Glad you had fun.

    Yes, you can republish my post on writer’s block. Feel free!


    • Thanks, Alexis! I’ll use it next Tuesday the 14th if that’s OK with you. Feeling a bit swamped right now. Would you e-mail it to me as a Word document with a photo, or how would this work?

      I’d be honored to have you as my first guest! This way you’ll have time to tweet about it. You can e-mail me at

      Other authors reading this comment, I’d love to hear from you too! My virtual door remains open.

    • Yes, it was a festive night, though a bit deafening. I see you have a new blog name – I’ll check it out right now before I turn my office over to the cats for the night (it doubles as their bedroom).

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