The first 4th of July we had here at the lake was several years before we built the house–maybe 18 or 19 years ago now. Valerie was in town and I made an old-fashioned picnic to bring down to the property so we could properly celebrate the holiday. We brought down the new canoe as well as the old badminton set we’d had in the side yard of our house in Colorado. It was so wet and windy that we couldn’t even get a campfire going. We huddled at the shoreline and watched a capsized boat, only the pointed bow visible, as it bobbed up and down in the high waves, moving north to the bay. Val wore a wool hat and mittens, and, at some point, announced that we simply must abort, and we returned to our home in town. I remember how disappointed–devastated even–that this first holiday at the lake failed to meet my expectations in such a colossal way.
Now, all the past 4th of Julys just blur together into a collage with families and grandkids here, swimming in the freezing cold water, watching fireworks by the campfire, as well as recent years, when we’ve sat with friends at the end of the dock well past sunset. Last year’s weather was memorable because there was a fire ban, due to the early intense heat, and both campfires and fireworks were outlawed. As for what the skies were like all those other years, I simply can’t recall. I like to think I’ve let go of expectations for the weather–and holidays–but, given my angst over wildfires, I’ve got a ways to go.
But, this year, the skies are clear. It’s quite breezy, but that bodes well for lovely sailboats out on the ruffled water. We are alone, between guests–a rarity for the 4th of July. We’ve been invited to join friends and their family on the other side of the lake, and I’m very much looking forward to being a guest, not a hostess, for a change. There’s only been one time in our twenty years of living in Montana in which we’ve watched fireworks from the west side of the lake instead of our eastern shores. It kinda feels like I am flying in new territory, riding the thermals of change.