Growing up on a subsistence farm, my Dad never took a day off. He couldn't, because so much work always remained to be done. On the 4th of July, he occasionally took a few hours off. Rarely, we went somewhere in the car, all seven, and then eight, of us jammed in like sardines and had a picnic. One sad year, I was sent out to the car with the watermelon, a once a year treat. I dropped the melon and it splattered black seeds and red pulp all over the hard roadway by the car. I have never forgotten the moral of that story: never, never drop a watermelon if you want to eat it. When nothing else was planned, we kids promoted the idea of having a picnic on the front lawn of our grandparents' home, just across the alfalfa field to the south. When we could afford a few firecrackers and other fireworks, our favorite pastime was setting tin cans on the top of fenceposts and seeing how far we could blow them up. In recent years, we watched fireworks displays in various places where we currently were living. Now it's the 4th of July, July 4 2011. Even the childish and irresponsible Congressional wrangling can't diminish the feelings we have for this day. The wrangling, after all, is a manifestation of the freedoms we have to express alternative points of view. Somehow, things seem to balance out over time when people get tired, shut up, and keep the country going. The temperature in St. George UT will be about 105 degrees today, having hit a thus-far season high of 109 a couple of days ago. We have to head over to Dixie Regional Medical Center for a battery of blood tests for my wife, and then we will vegetate the rest of the day. The lawn crews are busy trimming and mowing the grass today since the grass does not celebrate the 4th of July but just keeps growing. We try to define and describe our feelings for this day, but mostly we know it is a special day that we honor as we live in this special country. And the flag is the symbol of the love we have for the land we are blessed to live in.