As you might have already realized, the Fourth of July is kind of a big deal in our house. Our town used to have a big fireworks display at the high school every year, and so my parents and all their friends would tailgate there and then watch the fireworks. Once it was eventually cancelled, my parents took over hosting it, and so we've been enjoying Independence Day together with this group for 25 years.
It is, of course, bittersweet that our 25th Fourth of July in Mahopac is also likely the last. With their move to Florida impending, it's unlikely they'll be around to host next year, so saying goodbye to everyone on Monday night was especially hard. I don't see these people nearly as often as I'd like, but they were all formative in making me the person I am today, and I'll always love them and cherish the memories of our time together.
I suppose your 30s is that very sweet spot where it's possible to have four generations together in one room. It was really special to me to see family friends' grandparents at the same party as some of our other friends' baby. They aren't related, of course, but it still felt meaningful to me to have so many different generations together.
Elvie, in addition to being our very good family friend, was also my lunch monitor all through elementary school. When she left the barbecue, she said, "I think of you often, Kristin," and it touched me so much. I wrote last week about feeling connected, and this was exactly what I meant. I think of her often, too. It was really comforting to know it's reciprocal.
I had to miss my beloved Putnam County Classic race again this year, because I never got it together to train for it. I felt really sad about it, but putting on our patriotic finest and eating delicious barbecue was a pretty good consolation prize. I don't think my dad's famous ribs have ever been quite so delicious before.
I'm almost 100% sure that no one who was at the barbecue will read this, but in case anyone does, I just wanted to say thank you for all your years of love and support. I really do feel like we were raised by a village in many ways, and I am in large part who I am because of who each of you is.