Sunday, July 04, 2010

A recipe for holiday tradition: Family and Love

Memories of childhood sometimes come forth as if they were another lifetime. It was so long ago. My brain cannot comprehend that I am indeed the same vulnerable little girl sitting on the dried wood of an empty wire spool needing a loving hand of guidance, support, stability to help me.

Other times those memories seem just to have happened. So vivid and clear are they that they pour out of every cell of my being. Flowing from those places they come, welling up a tear and turning mouth edges upward. They lay in wait to be called out by a smell, a feeling, a holiday or a photo.

In years past the Fourth of July meant family, homemade ice cream, fun and fireworks. A day to hover with excitement, (driving my mom crazy no doubt) while ice cream was created in the kitchen. An afternoon with my grandparents, ice and rock salts waiting longing for the year I'd be strong enough to turn the crank all by myself.

In such a hurry we start this life to become independent. I see this trait in my two year old especially, this desire to do things all on her own. Shoving away a helping hand with determination to do it all by herself.

I feel myself doing this at times with God just as I did with my own parents. Shoving away His gentle guidance, his steadying hands and insisting that I can do it on my own. I might succeed, I might even think I did it, it was all me. Deep down I know. If I’m honest, I know it is thanks to the one who created me; He alone does any good that pours from me.
His love was demonstrated during these times. This fellowship of family and love demonstrated (however imperfectly) the love of our Creator and the relationship he wants to have with us.

The years have blended together in my memory, as if each year's movie reel is played atop the previous. In some I have only a little sister, the rest of the reels a little brother too, later on Grandma is gone but the love passes on through the generations. It stays.
I do recall a yummy mint chocolate chip (my favorite) one year and a peach ice cream another. Mostly those details are long gone the lingering feeling of embrace remains. Embraced. Loved.

Grandma with her sweater draping her shoulders, often chilled even on the warmest of days.  She'd sit, content to observe the rhythms of us kids and the men and girls turning the sweet creamy goodness.

My Bobo holding the bucket still, adding leverage for the turning body. I wonder now, if we'd used that ice cream maker more often surely he'd have invented something to hold it down. Clamped it on or done something only his brain could jimmy rig figure out.  For the holiday fun he was happy to hold it for seemingly hours while we waited for that first soft, thick, melty bite.

The conversation for several of the years was over my head but I longed to understand. Usually patriotic music was playing in the house building up in each one of us a pride for our country. The evening ended with a BBQ meal and fireworks and lightning bugs and smells of bug spray. And I can't imagine it any other way.
... ... ... ... ... ... ...

Helping make the ice cream!

Presently, the Fourth of July is about family, fun, fireworks and homemade ice cream. Celebrating the reason settlers first braved the ocean and hardships to begin colonizing here....

Mayflower Compact
In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, etc.
Having undertaken, for the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith and Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the First Colony in the Northern Parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one of another, Covenant and Combine ourselves together into a Civil Body Politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute and frame such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the Colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape Cod, the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France and Ireland the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini 1620.
(The 'dread sovereign' referred to in the document used the archaic definition of dread—meaning awe and reverence (for the King), not fear.)
Waiting for fireworks!

...And a century and a half later declaring our independence with toddler like determination, thank God for John Adams and the others!  We have a country because of them.

Happy Independence Day America!

What is your recipe for a holiday tradition? I'd love to know.


Lisa @ Heaven Sent said...

What a beautiful, beautiful post, Heidi. The images and words really capture a sense of family.

I too remember years of home-made ice cream. And way too many years of "all by myself." Just recently I have learned to accept help from my family and most importantly, from my heavenly Father. I know now more than ever, I certainly can't do this alone.

Thanks for sharing your memories!

Stephanie said...

Love this Heidi! Happy Fourth to you!

Mom said...

Awesome memories of past 4th's and current! I remember waiting for my turn then feeling my father's strong hand covering mine to help me turn the crank!

Connie Arnold said...

Thanks for sharing this, it's great. Hope you had a wonderful Independence Day celebration with your family!

Sherri said...

I love those old pictures!! My daughter and I were looking at some old family photos a few weeks ago....we enjoyed it so much.

Wendy said...

Loved this!!