1. Take off early, use Mom’s sedan, and head out of town. Stop at the first fireworks stand that looks clear of the peering eyes of local law enforcement. Buy the big, deluxe package of fireworks for the big kids (you and your buds), and a couple of dozen sparklers for the little kids. Stow the loot in the trunk of Mom’s car and take a circuitous route back into town in case you are being followed.
2. Stop at the first Home Depot or Lowes you come across and buy an American flag kit. Make sure and read the instructions and get the one that says “Easy to install.” Also stop by the garden department and buy heavy-duty yard spray – something that will kill all biting insects within a 200-yard radius.
3. Next drive to a Wal-Mart and buy charcoal, lighter fluid, a Bic lighter, and (again) an easy to install yard game (horse shoes, a volleyball kit, water guns).
4. Drive home. Unload loot. Mow the lawn. Install flag and yard game equipment.
5. Wait until the cover of dark (if you are under drought restrictions) to water the yard well. You don’t want “the kids” to start an accidental fire when they play with the sparklers (or the Black Cats).
Mom, you’re In charge of The Healthy, Nutritious Menu and The Overall Ambiance.
6. First decide on the dessert(s). Will it be the tri-color fruit, cookie pizza or the ever-popular American flag cake (you know the one – the red velvet sheet cake covered in white frosting, blueberries and strawberries creating the realistic flag design)?
7. Dad overcooks everything, so go easy on everyone’s digestive tract and load up on hot dogs and hamburgers. Go for the healthy, whole wheat route or go processed all the way. Your choice.
8. One can NEVER go wrong with a side of cold watermelon or Blue Bell.
9. Don’t forget to stop by the mall and take advantage of the summer sales on shorts, tops, and cute sandals to match. Dad could probably use a new shirt.
Oh yeah –
10. Somewhere among all these “to do’s,” let us all try and remember the real reason we’re enjoying this holiday: Our American freedom – not once in the last 236 years has it ever, truly been “free” – thousands and thousands of American patriots (and their families) paid for it with their lives and continue to do so while we enjoy our picnics.