Traditions are important for so many reasons. My dad loves them. Fourth of July is always celebrated at the family beach house. We have a great view of the downtown fireworks from our pier. Last night the fireworks were canceled due to the hurricane that had passed through the previous night. We were far from disappointed, though. After staring at the weather channel for 48 hours anticipating the horrors of what was in store for us, finding the cottage and city damage free was all the celebration we needed. My parents, in true Keen form, decided to go early and ride out the storm. It’s always stressful knowing that your parents could be in harms way. Of course when I called again at ten pm when I saw the red directly over the city and listened as the meteorologists spoke about the 100 miles per hour squalls, my dad answered (clearly I woke him up) and said, we are fine. The worst had passed.” I breathed a sigh of relief and told him I would be there first thing in the morning. The hubs and I packed the generator and lots of tools in preparation of a power outage and lots of debris cleanup. We pulled out of our driveway at 6am. As hard as it was, I waited until seven am to call again. We were well on our way at that point and when I called, my dad answered with his jovial self shining through the phone. My heart smiled and I thanked God for keeping my family safe. My dad said they had no damage and it was beautiful.
The rest of the drive was much easier. The music got louder, as well as my singing, and the remainder of the drive flew by. When we arrived, my dad was sporting a sweatband, shirtless and mowing. I walked swiftly to him and hugged his sweaty self, again thanking God for his mercy.
It was weird, as if nothing was off. Mom was more worried that we heat up the chicken kabobs she had prepared than discuss the hurricane that had just passed through. Rather than harp on how scared they had made me by staying for the storm, I just went about my normal beach routine. We put the boat in the water, loaded the cooler and took off for a nice ride. My sister and family showed up a couple of hours later. We took them for a ride and then went back to the cottage and cooked the standard fourth food. We gorged ourselves on hamburgers and hotdogs and drank a few too many beers. As the sun was setting, my sister and I took the dogs for a walk. As we were returning, we heard loud fireworks. We couldn’t believe the city had decided to have the fireworks. We got the kiddos up and raced outside, only to find it was our neighbors shooting off amazing fireworks. They were incredible! The reflection of fireworks in the kiddos smiling eyes erased every stressful worry I had felt in the previous 48 hours. As I laid my head down that night and looked over at my sleeping dog and husband, I breathed a sigh of relief and smiled a happy smile of thanks for another 4th with the fam.