I first offered this nine years ago. But, as someone from Hibbing, Minnesota, said nearly a lifetime ago, I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now (your mileage, on the other hand, may vary).
You already know it's the Fourth of July--the calendar told you that. And we Americans (how arrogant are we that we share this American continent with people from Canada and Mexico-not even mentioning the other American continent, but we are Americans and everyone else is, well, everyone else) can, I hope, find the time today to reflect on who we are and how we got here (the good parts. We beat one another up waaay too often the rest of the year on who has warts and where they are. Let's have a truce, okay?).
I consider myself a Jersey Guy--I wasn't born there, but we moved there when I was very small and I moved away (not realizing it was forever) back in 1975. Now, when I visit relatives--actually that's code for when I visit my brother, Adam (he went from being my 'baby' brother to 'youngest' brother until I finally realized birth order is now difference without distinction) and his wife. I'm aware 'this is not my Here' (because I've felt that everywhere I've been my whole life.).
Adam's much more a Renaissance Man than I in terms of interests and knowledge whereas I know what I like (in your wardrobe) and that's about it. Quite some time ago he came up with striking figure of speech, snowglobe, to describe his piece of earth and by definition, all of our claims here (Frodo Lives! Just not around here).
I think it's amazing and amusing, with the space of years and distance combined with the differences in growing up, how each of us came to be who we are, where we are and how similar the snowglobes we've made actually are. And, because if you've read me more than once, you know while you can take the boy out of Jersey, you can't take the Jersey out of the boy, you had to know I'd close quoting Joyce Kilmer.
'Sandy, that waitress I was seeing has lost her desire for me.
I spoke with her last night, she said she won't set herself on fire for me anymore.'
And, altogether now, whether you're from Jersey or not:
'Sandy, the fireworks are hailin' over Little Eden tonight,
Forcin' a light into all those stoned-out faces left stranded on this Fourth of July.'