The fireworks are done, the parade is finished, and we have rolled over to the hot side of summer. Here at Zion Ponderosa, although the dryness prevented us from having fireworks, we celebrated well. Throughout the day we added several activities to our normal array of recreation. Our Facebook page will have videos and pictures by the end of the week. Check it out!
Most popular by far was the slip-and-slide. Rigged up with plastic sheeting on the front lawn of our lodge, guests of all ages joined us in the fun. From a little, two-year-old girl in a pink and white bathing suit to a grandfather who impersonated Elvis, all who came to slide were happily entertained and thoroughly soaked.
Two contests also kept active minds – and mouths – entertained. Our watermelon eating contest, with staff and guests both competing, resulted in many sticky faces. Each contestant was asked to eat a quarter of a large watermelon as quickly as possible. No pink was to be left on the rind at the completion of the contest. For the young man who proved he could really put it away waited the reward of a gift card to the Blue Belly Grill. The race for first was extraordinarily close. Our winner, Aaron, barely beat out his brother. Both boys were able to polish off their watermelon quarters in under five minutes.
The patriotic poetry contest ended our day with fitting remembrance of the purpose of Independence Day. John, a young guest in one of our homes, entered the winning poem. Especially considering that he only wrote it that day, the poem is beautifully crafted and deeply meaningful. It isn’t long, but the poignancy of feeling is honest and heartfelt.
The Price of Freedom
The smell of franks fills the air
As they get ready to go to the fireworks fair.
As they sit down to dinner
Their family bond is not thinner
there is one empty seat, Ryan’s tall and strong.
Why couldn’t his life be long?
There is one question I ask myself
And so does everyone else,
Why couldn’t he be there?
John’s poem points out with succinct clarity the reason we can celebrate our country. The reason any man can celebrate his country. Every country in the world has dedicated citizens who are willing in times of need and danger to defend their countrymen. This week we celebrated the freedoms, safeties, and opportunities that we as Americans are blessed with. Our country has a long history with many times of strength and many times of sorrow. But every moment of our country’s life was paid for by the blood of men and women who fight to defend us.
Whatever your political stance, whatever your country of origin, remember those who have fought for your life. Many of them never came home, but many others did. Take time to thank someone who risked all they had to protect you and your lifestyle. Take time to thank a soldier.