Our neighbor has a beautiful farm with an old farmhouse, out buildings and a spanking new barn for his beloved horse. And every year he and his wife throw a large party on the Saturday before the Fourth of July. Normally we are in Virginia at our cabin during the fourth weekend, but this year we were able to be at home and in attendance for this festival.

And boy have we missing the fun!

At least seventy-five people – maybe more – gathered around tables indoors and out and even inside the barn. Children played with water balloons, water pistols, sparklers, volleyball, and badminton.

Some even played with the flags that were decorating the yard.

Food was plentiful. The doc – he’s a veterinarian – had cooked all day. There was pork loin, hamburgers, hotdogs, chicken, baked beans, cole slaw, potato chips, cookies, brownies and watermelon. And it was all delicious.

We not only mingled with other neighbors, but friends, relatives and employees of the doc and his family. Several of them were familiar faces from the animal hospital. They see us at our worst usually – either wrangling our pets for check-ups or having a real emergency with one of them. So it was nice to get to know them a little better in a stress free environment.

One of them even does postal history – who knew? He has a chart of 170 pre-existing post offices around our county. Small and often named after the postmaster, they were strategically located at specific distances from the river, train station, or horse delivery route. He even has old canceled envelopes from 100 of these old offices. How neat!

After we had eaten all we could hold, we settled in for the prearranged fireworks display. The doc’s mother sparkled in a necklace of twinkling flags. His wife and one of the employees handed out glow in the dark necklaces and bracelets to all of the children right before dark and then gave them sparklers to run around with. It was reminiscent of all of our childhoods, taking us back to the Fourth of July festivals of yesteryear.

The fireworks were gorgeous and I tried to capture them with my phone camera, which usually clicked the moment just past the colorful explosion. But I managed to get one or two pretty shots.
Going home for us just meant returning next door. Nice!

Then it was time for the space station to pass overhead. We searched the sky until suddenly – there it was – bright and moving quickly! Amazing indeed!

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