Independence Day

This past weeks’ trip to Devine was uneventful as far as the trip was concerned, thank goodness. We had several things planned, including a trip to Kerrville meet up with my granddaughter to pick up her girls for a little time with grandparents. We had a great time, visiting, eating out and shopping! These young ladies really enjoy shopping at thrift stores, so Friday found us at the Hospice Store in Devine where they each found several things. Back at the house, I started getting stuff together to head back home, and again my trip was uneventful, except for quite a bit of traffic, including lots of motor homes and travel trailers.

Independence Day, or July 4th, as we most usually call it, is one of the few holidays that is actually celebrated on the day upon which it falls. It is not celebrated on the nearest Monday to make for a long weekend. This year it is on a Wednesday, so that means the people who have off that day, will have only that day off. It is nice when it falls on Friday or Monday so folks have that long weekend, isn’t it?
Independence Day is probably the most important secular holiday celebrated here in the United States, commemorating, as it does, the adoption by the Continental Congress of the Declaration of Independence, which announced the breaking of ties between the 13 American Colonies and England.
America celebrates July 4 as Independence Day, because it was on July 4, 1776, that members of the Second Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, adopted the final draft of the Declaration of Independence.
Thomas Jefferson wrote the first draft of the Declaration of Independence in two and one half weeks. The Declaration begins with one of the most famous sentences in the entire world.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
The original signers of the Declaration of Independence held various occupations. Twenty-four were lawyers, fourteen were farmers, nine were merchants, 4 were physicians, one was a gospel minister and last but not least, one was a manufacturer, (of what I do not know). John Hancock, who was the president of the Second continental congress, signed his name the biggest and boldest of all the signers. In fact, the term “John Hancock” has become synonymous with “signature”. How many times have you heard the term, “Just put your John Hancock, right on this line”? It is a very old term, and isn’t used as much as it was in earlier times. Congress in 1941 declared July 4th a federal legal holiday.
If you are planning a trip over the holiday, always remember to be careful of “the driver of the car, in the car behind the car in front of you!” In other words, pay attention to what you are doing at all times. Keep your mind on your driving, keep your hands on the wheel, and keep your eyes watching your surroundings, don’t talk on your cell phone and most of all don’t be texting while you are driving. It is difficult to talk or text and drive with your full attention at the same time. Be aware of what is going on in front of you, behind you (that’s what rear-view and side mirrors are for), and beside you on each side.
Wherever you celebrate this holiday, keep as cool as possible, drink plenty of liquids (other than alcoholic), to replace body fluids lost through perspiration, and take care not to get overheated. Do not forget to protect yourself with sunscreen. A bad sunburn is one of the most miserable and uncomfortable things there is. The best cure, of course is prevention, but if you do happen to get sunburned, milk of magnesia, kept in the fridge and gently patted on, is a great antidote. Also, cooled, brewed tea patted on, or even just cloths repeatedly wrung out in cold water will help ease the burning. Vinegar is also supposed to work, but I have never tried it so can’t say for sure if it works or not. There are many excellent commercial products on the market, but these are all old timers, that work.
If you are planning on a picnic or a family get-together, don’t forget to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Use a separate ice chest for cold drinks so that other foods you are trying to keep cold don’t get too warm. Do not leave any food office for a period longer than two hours. In fact if you have a large, flat container you can fill with ice, this will allow you to keep salads and such out for a longer period of time. An ice chest will also work to keep foods warm. Place a large container of hot water in the chest to warm it up and then remove the water, place a layer of towels or newspapers on the bottom and place your casseroles or whatever into the chest. This keeps them warm for quite a while.
Here’s a favorite picnic food that has been around for many years and almost everyone loves them.
Deviled Eggs
8 to 12 eggs
2 to 3 tablespoons very finely chopped celery*
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish*
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
Mayonnaise to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Place eggs in saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil, lower heat and cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, shake around in pan to crack the eggs and cover with cold water. Allow to stand for a few minutes. Drain eggs, remove peelings and cut in half lengthwise placing yolks in a bowl. Thoroughly mash the egg yolks, add the celery and pickle relish and mix together. Add the mustard and enough mayonnaise to hold mixture together, add salt and pepper as desired and mix well. Place by spoonfuls into the egg halves. *This can be made without using the celery and pickles. Lots of people prefer theirs plain, this just gives the eggs a little crunch!
Here’s a recipe for an appetizer type of snack that I was served at a bunco recently. You will need a bag of the small, sweet bell peppers and a carton of ready to use pimiento cheese. Cut the stems off the peppers, then cut them in half, rinse to remove the seeds, pat dry and fill the halves with a small spoonful of the pimento cheese, they went over well with all of us who attended and I served them at a neighborhood get-together and almost everyone loved them. Have a great July 4th, be careful in whatever you do. Prayers and sympathy to the Clawson family.