A new sunburn from a day at the lake aggravated my stinging, raw legs.
Allowing them the necessary air to breathe, my wardrobe required my American Flag themed short-shorts. Dressed like the standard hillbilly, I headed down the stairs to meet up with some friends going to the fireworks.
“Bet I’m gonna be the only one wearing this getup,” I laughed as I skipped down the stairs. Turns out, I wasn’t the only one who liked short-shorts.
Now the only question was who wore them best? Me or the boys?
I awake in my sweaty bed with my face planted in my pillow, I was tired and wanted to go right back to sleep. One of my roommates had an Alexa playing very American music in the living room. It had just finished the song “I want to be an American” and a sweet silence was in the air.
But then the next song played. It was Reveille aka First Call, it was loud and was about to repeat twice but thankful my roommate quickly yelled “Alexa, play next song”
But he wasn’t fast enough, from the bedroom across from mine can a grumbled shout.
“Who the heck is playing Reveille?!?”
That was a funny morning to say the least.
– Joseph Anderson
My roommate and I began the fourth by doing our favorite thing: nothing. After lounging well past noon, our stomachs motivate us to leave the house in search of food.
As the only customers in the restaurant, we eavesdrop shamelessly on the male workers who are detailing everything from NCMOs to Dungeons and Dragons. My roommate and I communicate silently through raised eyebrows, squints, and small nods or shakes of the head. We said little, but learned much.
– Talia Ramazetti
An American experience on the 4th of July. These words describe a day with my friend Maddy at her family’s barbecue. The normal items attended: macaroni, chips, and hamburgers, but the people made the event memorable. Maddy’s family had deep country accents. I admired her uncle’s beard with jealousy.
To top it all off, this uncle brought an old machine out of the garage. Adjust it for your height, slip your feet in, and then fall backwards. They call it Inversion Therapy, hanging upside down to help your back. To my surprise, the machine adjusted to my height of 6’3. I leaned back. My sunburnt face became a red apple as all my blood ran to my head. I hung completely vertical on my American 4th of July.
– Joseph Tyre
After my last class of the day, I was walking home on a path between the gym and the track fields. There were other students walking by. I noticed one girl walking on a path parallel to the one I was on. The path went slightly uphill and as it flattened out, she left the path and hugged a tree. As far as I could tell, she was alone and nobody dared her to do it. As much in my life as I’ve heard the term “tree hugger,” I’ve never seen a legitimate tree hugging. She seemed to hug the tree with a lot of passion and care. She was still hugging the tree as she passed out of my line of sight.
– Max Mason
After a long day of classes and work, my husband and I walked through our front door and flopped on the couch in our living room. After a moment of complete silence and an attempt to recoup ourselves from a long day, we both looked at each other and began trying to figure out what the other was thinking.
“Well, what do you want to do tonight?” he asked me.
“I have no idea,” I replied.
“We could….make dinner, watch a movie, play a game, invite our friends over, go out to eat, clean our house.”
I looked at him with no desire to do any of the things that he had just listed off. He then lit up with excitement and said, “Want to make a blanket fort?”
I sat up, looked at him with a straight face and replied, “Challenge accepted.”
– Morgan Webster
After hiking for 2 hours, we finally reached the gem we had been searching for in the midst of the Grand Tetons. Bradley Lake. The sun was shining and we were sweaty.
JD was the first one in.
“One.. two.. three!” we yelled as he leaped into the water.
Instantly he shot back up shrieking with a face of horror.
He swam as fast as he could back to the shore.
The water was bone chilling cold.
No one else was very eager to get in, but we all knew we had to do it for the experience.
One after one we dunked ourselves into the icy water with clenched teeth and big smiles.
– Brooke Munoz
The 4th of July was a dream. The summer day wasn’t too hot and the company that surrounded me was raucously happy. But of all the friends I got to see that day, my favorite was my sweet significant other.
We drove to watch the fireworks in Idaho Falls and under a shower of sparks, he said the most beautiful thing was the reflection of those artificial stars in my eyes.
Interrupting my dozing off amidst the pile of my sleepy friends, the quiet, delicate wisps of the front seat conversation drifted back. “In two weeks, it’s going to be all over,” and every single 4th of July firework exploded in my heart.
The weekend was defined by the 5 hours there, 5 days on boats and trampolines, being squished on a couch that was way too small, and 5 hours back. It was defined by beet-red sunburns and the smiley, sunshiny faces of some of the people I love the most in the world. But most of all it was defined by the clear and quaking truth that it was all a preface to the inevitable goodbyes.
I feel like such a weenie. On Friday we tried to go rock climbing, my sister is a total pro and climbs all the time. It was a big group of my nieces and nephew, my siblings, parents, and my husband and me. I watched every single one of them, ranging from four to 51 years old, scale the 40 foot wall. When it was my turn to get in the harness and be strapped in, I froze. I couldn’t even attach the carabiner I was so scared. Maybe next time. I was super impressed the agility they all demonstrated though.
You never realize how embarrassing your friends are until you bring them home.
“WHY IS YOUR COUCH SO MUCH BETTER THAN MINE?” My friend shouts, jumping up and down.
My boyfriend searches the fridge while serenading me in a very loud, obnoxious country voice.
“I think you just answered your own question” I responded, motioning to the messed-up cushions.
My roommates come out from the back, uncomfortably witness the situation, and quickly head back to their rooms.
“You guys are the worst,” I laughed.
They just smiled. “The worst people are always the best. I’m glad you found us.”
“Please tell me you’re lying!”
“No,” Alaina replies, “people who play soccer wear them.”
“But it’s not ok, ever!” I didn’t know how this was deemed socially appropriate. Wearing socks with sandals should be a crime.
Alaina chuckles and tries to explain her reasoning. She even pulls up a picture of the specific type of sandal she’s talking about, but it makes things so much worse. It looks like a flip flop! I tell her this, and Christine randomly pipes up from the corner,
“I wear socks and flip flops all the time in the winter!” I stare at her blankly before walking over to the open window, silent. A car had just pulled up outside it and the occupants were exiting.
“Hey, those are my parents!” Alaina cheerily says. As soon as she says this, I know what must be done. I lean out the window and shout,
“Your child thinks wearing socks and sandals is ok!”
The 4th of July had always reminded me of movies, parties and fireworks. But being from another country made it impossible for me to experience this holiday. Being here in America for my first 4th of July was a life changing opportunity.
The week was not what I had been expecting in general. But, the actual 4th redeemed itself. I went to my host family’s house where we had a lot of food, games and fireworks. My host dad brought around 200 different types of fireworks the store had to offer.
My host family and I got our seats, really far away from the fireworks. This was just to avoid possible problems, like getting killed by them.
The fireworks started to explode and make the night brighter. However, one of them decided to fall down, and explode in our direction. Everyone started to jump and run until the fireworks hit the house’s window and exploded inside of the house. Our attempt of being safe failed. But it was definitely a holiday to remember.
– Giuliana Silva
As my friends searched for the perfect spot to watch the fireworks, I had only one condition, “I need to sit by water! No exceptions!”
That morning, my grandma had called her favorite grandchild, yours truly, and gave me a cryptic warning before the fireworks display.
Thirty years ago, my Grandpa was hit solidly in the chest by a falling firework, which nearly hospitalized him. One would assume this was an isolated incident that just happened by dumb luck, but sadly my family has a bad history with fireworks.
Around three years later my grandpa was hit again, this time by a smaller colorful explosion of unbridled havok. Luckily he was fine both times, but I’d never want to chance it.
My friends began putting down blankets and making small handlebar mustaches with their cotton candy. All the while, I made a small plan of how I would escape if one of those tiny light monsters came after me. I figured I could let my friends fend for themselves while I dove into the nearest lake.
As the fireworks show started, my palms began to sweat. All I could think was “I just hope this curse doesn’t run in the family.”
– Seth Ratliff
I went to Idaho Falls with a couple of friends. It was an international gathering with friends from Nigeria, Ukraine, Belize, Brazil and the Dominican Republic. We took all our belongings out of the car and made our way to where we were going to view the fireworks.
I couldn’t help but notice a few things. I smelled hamburgers in the air and the American flag was held high everywhere. I saw friends and families gathered around telling stories. I saw thousands of people singing the Star-Spangled Banner.
I asked my Ukrainian friend what thoughts he had on what he could see, as it was his first time in America. He just looked at me and pointed at an unforgettable sight in a canal next to us: a woman sitting in the water wearing absolutely nothing from the waist up. Twas a sight to behold indeed.
– Justin Monroe
I dripped with sweat, frying under the sun’s heat waves which sped towards my body. Under the heat, floats, horses and cars passed by, decked out in red, white and blue to celebrate Independence Day.
My friend and I cheered and jumped, waving to get the attention of those in the parade and hoping they’d throw some merchandise our way. Standing in the back, we could only hope for someone with a good arm to notice our flailing hands and high-pitched calls.
Then a miracle occurred. A float came into view with angels holding glorious, four-foot long water guns. With the unrelenting heat still burning my vampire white skin, the water called to me. I jumped, screamed, and pointed, definitely scaring the grandparents sitting next to us by imitating something similar to a hangry Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Finally, I got someone’s attention. A blonde boy, no older than 13, made eye contact, a devious gleam filling his eye. He filled his gun, hopped off the float, and ran into the crowd right at me. I was shocked, unable to move. Stopping two yards away, he shot, unleashing all his ammo directly at me. The boy ran to catch up with his float and I stood, too stunned to do anything. With my body now soaked and dripping with water, I felt just a bit more than refreshed.