Fourth of July on the St. Croix River!

We spent the 4th in Stillwater, MN this year with our high school students. We always have the afternoon and evening off from Family Camp activities on the 4th, and the students love to hang out in Stillwater. We took them to movies in the afternoon, Transformers and Evan Almighty, and then we went into Stillwater. There are thousands of people out, with live music and food vendors, sitting along the river (some on the river in their boats) waiting for the fireworks. We love going there just as much as the kids. It's a beautiful town with lots of fun shops and the most charming Starbucks I've ever been to...I know, seems like an oxymoron to call a huge commercial chain like Starbucks charming, but this one is in an old historic building loaded with character. I should know, I was there 4 days in a row! There's not much to do if you don't want to shop...

We totally enjoyed being with our kids all week. They are a funny, quirky group that we've grown to love. For example, while we waited a few hours for fireworks, our students played round after round of some game called "Egyptian rat slap" and "UNO"...who knew cards could provide so much entertainment for high schoolers?? We staked out a big spot on the edge of the river and we had several people comment on the behavior of our kids. It throws people to see such a large group of kids who aren't smoking or swearing constantly...a compliment, but it's sad how much they stick out just for being "good" and "appropriate." Anyway, it was a good time and the second year in a row we were in Stillwater. One of my favorite parts of the fireworks show is when they play the song "Proud to be an American"...even though it's slightly corny, it always makes me realize, I really am proud to be an American...and I like that everyone cheers when the line about Minnesota is sung "...From the lakes of Minnesota to the hills of Tennessee..." That's a great small-town-America moment! I really like the 4th of July. I don't remember making such a big deal about it when I was growing up, but maybe in light of our world and the chaos all around us, I'm cherishing the freedoms in America while they last? I wish I thought that my kids will someday grow up in the same America that I have, but sadly, I don't think that will be the case. Have we ever needed revival more??

1 comment:

sheltonfamily said...

You all definetly look like the All-American couple. Family Camp sounds fun and exhausting I'm sure. I thought of you today cause we are trying to pick out colors for flooring etc... I might call you soon! Yeah, Kim and John are moving to AR for John' job. They are moving exactly where I grew up. Small World. I'm seeing all these rivers and lakes in MN in all your pics. I am beginning to be terrified of the ocean out here... to many sea creatures. We went to falls lake the other day. I loved it! I got to ski again but I thought of you being afraid of things in the lake. I saw signs for Franklinton today.. I thought of you!