The thing is, I'm not huge on the Fourth of July for a couple of reasons. One, for women and minorities "land of the free" is starting to feel a lot like false advertising. And two, I am a bit uncomfortable celebrating the revolution of a country whose government has dedicated itself to sabotaging and/or reversing democratic revolutions around the world basically ever since it entered the world of international relations. It feels a bit insulting to me and I'm just not particularly comfortable with any of it. However, I do love me some fireworks. How can you not, right? And you gotta admit, what is more American than hundreds, sometimes thousands of people all gathering together to watch colorful explosions? Not much.
This was my first year spending Fourth of July in Grand Rapids, so I didn't really know what to expect. Somehow it had not occurred to me just how many people would be downtown for the show. The fireworks back home draw a decent crowd, but it is nothing compared to the crowd gathered in the middle of downtown Grand Rapids Saturday night. It was pretty awesome. And the fireworks themselves were great. We couldn't see some of the lower ones because there was a perfectly positioned tree blocking our view, but there were only a few of those. All in all, it was really awesome.
Small side note: it occurred to me Saturday how strange it is that I love fireworks. Because my anxiety is often triggered by loud sounds- people talking too loud, someone dropping a bowl while doing the dishes, that horrible noise that buses make when they start moving- but for some reason fireworks don't bother me. I don't really have an explanation other than they just don't. Kinda weird, right?
The only other really "exciting" thing that happened this weekend was our power being knocked out for a few hours Saturday afternoon. In a way we were lucky that it happened and was fixed before it got dark, because I have no idea if we even own a flashlight, but it was also really unfortunate because I was right in the middle of defrosting chicken to bake for lunch. So instead I ate half a box of cheezits. Super nutritional, I know, but we didn't have much food that didn't require being cooked.
We got our power back just in time to watch the Netherlands v. Costa Rica World Cup match go into extra time. It was intense and terrifying and beautiful all wrapped up in a tense 40 minutes. The game got pushed into penalties, which is always terrifying. It was close, but thankfully Netherlands won and will move to the next round! Netherlands is really the last team that I care about left, so I was extremely excited to see them win. I really want the finals to be Germany v. Netherlands because I think that would be an amazing game to watch regardless of who wins- but, or course, I'm really hoping for the Netherlands.
I hope everyone had a great weekend, whether you celebrate Fourth of July or not! Did you do anything fun? And if you're following the World Cup, who are you rooting for?