Home is Where Your Heart Is
If home truly is where your heart is, then Blossom Music Center was home for me and my family on July 4th. For years and years, my family spent the 4th at this natural amphitheater in the heart of the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area (now the Cuyahoga Valley National Park) south of Cleveland, Ohio with a picnic dinner, the Blossom Festival Band, Tchaikovsky’s 1812, Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever, and fireworks. Then we’d head home, exhausted, but happy, to watch the various national network July 4th television shows.
As the years passed, my parents sold their house and took to the road as permanent travelers and my sister moved to Boston. For a few years, I continued the Blossom tradition with my husband, his parents, and eventually, my oldest daughter. But in 2000, we went out to visit my sister in Boston and our July 4th world was turned upside down.
After having watched the Boston Pops from the Esplanade on television as a little girl, I was determined to see them in person myself. And if I was going to be there, I wanted to be in the front row and get on TV! To make a very long story short, we did end up in the front row AND on television, but most importantly, we met some of the nicest, most patriotic, and most enthusiastic July 4th lovers you’ll find anywhere! And of course, the Boston Pops put on a performance second to none!
In 2001, our second daughter was days from being born, so we couldn’t go out to Boston, but when we returned in 2002, our July 4th “family” welcomed us with open arms like long lost prodigal children. Again, we sat in the front, were on TV, and watched an incredible show by America’s orchestra – with America’s patriots all around us.
And somehow it happened: Boston became our new July 4th home. But this year, for a variety of reasons, we aren’t there. Even though we went to Blossom last night – and the music was fantastic – it’s not the same as being in Boston because our adopted July 4th “family” wasn’t with us. We’ve talked to many of them on the phone, we watched footage of them on TV via the internet, and we even heard the Boston Pops do Stars and Stripes at the July 3rd practice concert (again, via the internet), but it’s not the same as being there. So we’re looking at our photo albums from past years, watching old concerts on VHS, and flying over the miles to be with them in spirit.
So today’s picture and post is about what America means to me: freedom to chose, freedom to travel, freedom of the press, freedom of speech. The coming together of people from a vast nation with vast differences of opinion, but the same indomitable spirit. It is it the ancestors of these people who created what America has become, we who preserve the ideal of America today, and our progeny who will form the America of tomorrow.
“Oh say, does that star spangled banner yet wave o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?”