Tomorrow we celebrate Independence Day and although July 4th wasn't declared an official federal holiday until 1870, the American people have been celebrating this event since the signing of the Declaration of Independence. That's right, we didn't wait for congress to decree it a holiday - we already knew it was!
In 1776, after the Continental Congress voted to adopt the resolution for independence, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that the day "will be celebrated, by succeeding generations, as the great anniversary festival" and the celebration should include "pomp and parade, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of the continent to the other."
In 1778, even though the revolution was still being fought and that declaration was still not much more than a piece of paper giving us a purpose to fight for, George Washington gave his men double rations on July 4th to commemorate the event.
In 1781 Massachusetts was the first state to officially observe July 4th as a state holiday.
And we've been celebrating this important event in our history for the last 236 years. Americans have put aside the 4th as a day to set off fireworks, enjoy picnics and parades with our families, friends and neighbors. And believe it or not, I look forward to the fireworks on this one day even more than I covet the chocolate desserts that are always found on my holiday tables! (It's NOT a day for shopping, even though the retailers try to entice us with all the sales!)
Along with memories of fireworks, I also have quite a few memories that involve first kisses while those overhead explosions are filling the sky with lights - fireworks in the sky, explosions of fire in your stomach - oh yeah, some good holiday memories!
In the spirit of first kiss fireworks, here's a brief except from my work-in-progress, "One Night In Prosperity."
Aidan Caldwell's finger still under her chin, his thumb rubbed along the side of her mouth, pulling her thoughts back to him. “Lilly, I need more than a nod. Say it and maybe I’ll believe you this time.”
His deep voice and dark eyes demanded an answer.
Again, all she could do was nod.
Waves of golden brown hair spilled from under the brim of his hat. Warmth filled his gaze and she sucked in a ragged breath at the realization he was going to kiss her. His arm encircled her waist and he pulled her to his chest while his lips captured hers. Light and sweet, those warm lips danced along hers. Passion simmered just below the surface, she was sure of it.
Unable to stop herself, she let the tips of her fingers run along the muscles of his arms, across his wide shoulders to the edge of his neck. Rugged and sinewy, just as she expected.
His fingers threaded through the hair at the base of her neck, hot goose bumps peppered her skin everywhere he touched. His lips left her mouth to glide along her jaw on the way to her ear.
"I can't do this without you," he whispered.
By the time he released her with a heavy sigh, her legs wobbled beneath her.
I hope you have a wonderful and safe holiday, filled with fireworks overhead and a memorable kiss of your own! Do you set off fireworks or does your town put on a display?