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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 26, 2013/ 18 Tammuz, 5773

My favorite Fourth is coming right up

By Sharon Randall




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I shouldn't admit this. I might regret it later. But I have to tell you: The Fourth of July has never been my favorite holiday.

There are several reasons, not one of which has anything to do with patriotism or the lack of it.

Growing up in the '50s, in the rural South, children were taught that we were blessed to be born in the greatest nation on Earth, and we should never take that gift for granted.

I never took it for granted. I swear. I loved my country with my whole heart and wished it the happiest of birthdays, with many happy returns.

But here's the thing. I flat-out hated having to go to the annual Hatch Mill company picnic, a Fourth of July "Happy Birthday, G0D Bless America," fried chicken and fireworks extravaganza.

At least, I think that's what it was called. Words to that effect.

My stepfather worked for the mill. He was a weaver, and proud of it. The weavers ran the looms. When the looms broke down, the fixers fixed them. Then the weavers went back to weaving. It was a symbiotic arrangement, mostly amiable, except on the Fourth of July.

On that date, the mill would host a picnic and the mill hands would gather with their families to eat fried chicken and cheer for the fireworks and pull with all their hearts for one side or the other, weavers or fixers, in a do-or-die, no-holds-barred, last-man-standing tug-of-war.

That was fine. But it was hot, as my granddad would say, "Hotter than the devil's toenails, or a firecracker in a feather bed on the Fourth of July."

And I didn't know any of the other kids, so I had nobody to play with, except my brothers. I already had to play with them too much at home.

So I'd keep to myself, swinging on the swings, watching the big boys throw chicken bones and firecrackers at each other. That was mildly entertaining, until they'd get bored and start throwing them at me.

I put up with it year after year for two reasons: One, I felt it was my patriotic duty; and two, my mother made me go.

That changed the summer I was 10, when my stepfather, a big man in size and stature, lost his footing in the tug-of-war and twisted his ankle so badly he was on crutches for six months.

They gave his job to one of the fixers. That Christmas, Santa didn't make it to our house. But at least we never had to go to that company picnic again.

My children grew up on the fogbound coast of Northern California. Every Fourth of July, we'd bundle up against the cold, build a bonfire on the beach, do a picnic and watch fireworks with other shivering families.

I'd spend most of the evening trying to keep the kids from catching on fire or getting washed out to sea. I liked it better than the Hatch Mill picnic, but it was still not my favorite holiday.

Now my children are grown and we live miles apart. Like many families, it's hard for us all to get together for holidays.

Last summer, my youngest and his wife and their 2-year-old came to Las Vegas to spend the Fourth with my husband and me. We barbecued and watched fireworks from our backyard. Then, while his mom and dad and Papa Mark swam in the pool, Randy buried his face in my neck and fell asleep. That was my favorite Fourth so far.

This year, on the Fourth of July, my husband's oldest boy is getting married in California. We are taking the week off and renting a big house where our children and grandchildren will join us. We'll sleep under the same roof, eat at the same table, celebrate the wedding of two beautiful people, and watch fireworks under the same sky.

It will be absolutely my favorite holiday. And I might not even have to dodge chicken bones or firecrackers.

Just when you think the best is past, life will tap you on the shoulder and say, "Watch this!"

Here's wishing you and yours a happy Fourth of July. It really is a great country, isn't it?

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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Previously:


Keep following the sun

A time of laughter --- but then a call for help, and panic

Meaningful conversations between strangers

Thank Goodness for little things

Lucky for all sorts of reasons

I promised myself he'd never have a stepdad

Did I hear it?

Other People's Stuff

Imprinted geography: Home is wherever the mountain is

Long-overdue thank-yous

My sister's big news

Finding peace wherever I can; at the moment and in memory

I wish someone had told me this before it took years off my life

The best part of being a grandparent

Feasting on scraps: The reality behind a life habit

The only tradition to keep absolutely

The class hears from the teacher's mom

We live in different towns, but share the same home

The value of one true friend

With Sandy raging, a 'which' kind of day

The connections that truly matter

Children don't need much --- but need to know they matter

Cancer is everyone's story

When does 'happily ever after' begin?

Is there ever a good way to say goodbye?

The being and the finding

When fishing, she lands companionship

Trophy sunsets

Helping a friend find the way

A home abloom with family and sunflowers

Healing is our highest calling

Needing help can really make you feel so, well . . . helpless

The bedspread from hell

A phone call to treasure

It was close to the best gift my father had ever received

It was the right time --- not a moment too late or too soon

25 tips for staying married

Some people water your soul --- a storm worth waiting for

Driving country roads helps restore hope

Confessions of a bad-weather magnet

The new star of my husband's harem

Shared family moments are precious, irreplaceable

What I'll remember from serving on the jury in a murder case

When someone walks into your life and never lets you go

Look for beauty

We can't always 'be there' when we're needed

Picture-perfect memories

To love someone is to want to hear all their stories

With age should come at least some wisdom

A story for my grandson

Regretting she didn't help out a woman in need

Post-holiday-visit blues

For 2012, tuck some hope into your wallet

The measure of a time well spent is not where you went or what you did. It's the way you smile remembering it

Treating people we love like the Jello salad at Thanksgiving dinner

We all need something or someone to pull for

Hold on to treasured words, don't trust memory

A storybook princess

Love reaches forward, never back

How to Watch a Sunset

Waiting often comes with gifts

An exceptional book club

There is no guilt in moving forward

Celebrations full of love and buttercream

It takes a whole village of shoes to raise a child

The best stories always tell us who we are

Stop, look back . . . and listen

The great outdoors, if one's lucky, a rock-solid companion

An iChat with my grandson

Lightening bugs and other things make us glow

Each and every Fourth of July a cause for celebration



© 2012, SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE

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