July 4 Memories

Not the real Ginger of this story, but as close as I could get!

Looking back, July 4th was always a fun family day with an evening cookout, homemade ice cream, watermelon, and fireworks!

Before the sun set, Dad would dole out the snakes, smoke bombs and parachutes, since none of these were any fun in the dark. It kept us busy for a while while he set up the bigger fireworks display. They were illegal where we lived, so he would drive to a neighboring state to buy them. His job was to light them while we kept an eye out for the cops! Bottle rockets, roman candles, fountains, pinwheels, firecrackers – he always bought a variety of cool stuff for our private show.

After the main event, he handed out the sparklers and we enjoyed trying to write our names in the air with them (you have to move really fast!). I recall some years we also created floating lanterns made out of newspaper and straight pins. We had a lot of fun every year, and I don’t recall anyone ever getting hurt. Except for Ginger….

Ginger was the mutt my Dad adopted as the house dog – as opposed to Sam, the yard dog. About to be put down at the animal shelter, my father came along to rescue her, and after being treated for distemper and spayed, came home to live with us. From the beginning she showed signs of a nervous condition, most obvious during thunder storms and – you guessed it – fireworks displays.

At the first spark of noise she would start shaking and lose control of her bladder. Often, she would creep upstairs (a big no-no) and shiver in the hallway outside our bedrooms until someone noticed her. More than once I stepped in cold puddles of dog pee on my way to bathroom, or spot her glowing eyes in the dark and almost peed my own pants!

Dad’s solution on the 4th of July was to tranquilize the poor dog and lock her in the laundry room for the duration. We couldn’t trust her anywhere else in the house or let her outside. Ginger had other virtues we valued such as running away to raid the neighborhood garbage cans, farts that could clear a room, shedding 365 days a year, eating ONLY buttered pieces of popcorn, and chasing squirrels. She actually caught one once and seemed so surprised by success that it got away!

July 4th always brings back good memories for me, including those of a weird little canine companion who deserves to be remembered.


So, what have I been doing during my blogging absence? Writing my next book, of course. I removed as many non-essentials as possible in order to get the MS done faster, and am happy to report it’s working! I have only a couple chapters left to write, then edit, send to my beta readers, re-edit, and launch! The book cover is in hand and is beautiful! Check out the Abundant Moon tab above. I expect to release it later this month or early August.

On a more personal level I am working and healthy, as are my kids and extended family. So very much to be thankful for as the country winds up for another blast of the virus. Like everyone else, I am weary of the restrictions and wish we could get through this and out the other side. Meanwhile, my writing keeps me busy and grounded. My hope is that all of you are faring well these days and taking all the necessary precautions. Be safe, my friends!



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6 responses to “July 4 Memories”

  1. H.R.R. Gorman Avatar

    My favorite part was the ONLY buttered popcorn! That’s an interesting trait!

    1. Alexander Elliott Avatar
      Alexander Elliott

      Ha! I think that was my mother’s fault. She used to give Ginger the paper wrappers from sticks of margarine to lick clean. Whenever we ate popcorn, Ginger would sit nearby waiting for pieces to fall on the floor. She’d sniff every single one and only eat the buttered ones!

      1. H.R.R. Gorman Avatar

        I think my dog would eat the whole margarine wrapper instead. And still, that’s really cute of Ginger!

      2. Alexander Elliott Avatar
        Alexander Elliott

        She had her moments!

  2. Theresa Avatar

    I’m SO excited about “Abundant Moon”! I’m going to re-read the other two, just so I’ll be ready when it comes out. Thanks for the story about Ginger. She must have been a cutie, and her many “virtues” sound very familiar to anyone who owns a dog! Nice to hear from you & hopefully I’ll be reading “Abundant Moon” soon! Oh yeah, very nice cover!

    1. Alexander Elliott Avatar
      Alexander Elliott

      I’m excited too!! And I LOVE the cover art. It fits very will with the story line and the other series covers. Ginger was a strange dog, but she was part of the family and I have lots of memories of her. Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words.

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