© photo credit: Mae Giganti
American flags lined the sidewalks, congregants wore their favorite red-white-and-blue themed outfits to church, and the air smelled of barbecue grills and sunscreen.
Welcome to 4th of July weekend in Ohio.
It was everything you'd imagine it to be. Very warm. Very festive.
Our weekend started with a concert at Mapleside Farms. This is the place with the restaurant called Melrose Grille that we helped inaugurate a couple of months ago. Every Friday night they host concerts on the hill overlooking a spectacular view of the apple orchard and countryside. On this particular Friday night, our lovely friend Rachel opened the event with an hour-long set, accompanied by my handsome hubby and a few other young men from our church, including her brother on electric guitar.
© photo credit: mapleside.com
Rachel and the boys rehearsed for several nights during the month of June, and seeing them perform together reminded me of all the past gigs my husband has played since we've been married. He's done the band thing before, but it's been awhile. Rachel channeled her inner-Sheryl Crow and welcomed the crowd with her natural talent. She started with a Brooke Fraser cover and ended with How Great Thou Art. Had I not been working at the entrance, I would have had a better view. Just knowing they were up there doing their thing, in front of an audience of a thousand, made me happy.
Saturday we enjoyed a lazy day and an evening dinner with our friends, the Chapmans. Sunday was far more active, as we spent the day with our church. We had our services in the morning and our annual tailgate party in the evening. The Cornerstone Chapel tailgate party goes beyond grilling burgers in the parking lot. We had bounce houses and slides, an exotic animal petting zoo (I wanted to take the snakes & lizard home with me), hand-spun cotton candy, face painting, the Statue of Liberty on a skateboard, bagpipes, fresh popcorn, and human hamster balls.
At dusk, we all gathered together on blankets and lawn chairs and an old leather couch, honored our veterans, and watched the City of Medina's fireworks display.
On Monday, we joined the Shumakers and Bilbreys at the Salsgiver's house for an old-fashioned BBQ and the bean bag tossing game called Cornhole. The food and company were delightful and the perfect appetizer for what came next: Spencer fireworks. We had our first experience with this impressive display last year, also with the Salsgivers. It is second-to-none, with the exception of maybe Disneyland. The difference in Spencer is that everyone sits in a wide open space *this* close to where the fuses are lit. It's an entire field away, really, but in your body it feels much closer.
The boom rattles you.
It made that giant bag of kettle corn we consumed and the colossal heap of potato chips smothered in nacho cheese sauce look like crumbs; though I'm sure our arteries disagree.
Yeah, it was pretty awesome.
When I look around town now, there are still a few flags displayed, but every other sign of the holiday is packed away. I was talking with a teller at my bank today about how neighborhood fireworks are legal where I come from (Boom City, anyone?), how the streets would be completely littered with debris after an evening of celebrating, and how the sounds of the holiday would go on all night.
Here in Medina, it's a far tidier operation.
God bless America.