There's a heart wave in these here parts and I'm thinking 107 is just plain too high. As someone said on twitter, "I don't mind sweating in certain circumstances. But just standing around is not one of them."
Yup. That sounds about right.
Anyway, we had a great time camping and saw lots of great little buildings like this.
But you know, heat stroke doesn't really mean much when you get memories like this.
To be honest, I wasn't even here for this moment. My sister and her husband, Jim, and my husband took the kids to Olive Lake for a fishing trip. The adults were kept busy untangling lines and putting on bait and handling poles... And the kids caught a lot of fish. Me? I was at home in the quiet cabin in the middle of the forest, writing. How awesome is that??)
They came back happy, exhausted and sunburned. My sister then organized dinner over the fire, ending with s'mores. (No, you can't have her. She's mine.)
Anyway, as I mentioned, it's hideously hot here. Fourth of July is coming and I wanted to make a cake WITHOUT raising the temperature in my kitchen. I may just not survive that. Not even with the promise of cake. So, one store-bought cake. It's flat. Vanilla, I think.
One tub of Cool Whip, on packet of blueberries and one of strawberries. My kids thought that was a tub of Mayo. They'd never seen Cool Whip. I know, I'm a terrible mother. Don't call CPS, they're all introduced now and are big fans of... whatever it's made out of.
Slice the cake in half, lengthwise, with a long, serrated knife.
Fill with a layer of Cool Whip, lay on the top. Have dainty-handed child place blueberries along the seam. Scold said child for eating lots of berries. Sneak a few of your own.
Cover the top with the white stuff. It helps if you start with a frozen tub, since it's 107F outside and 140F in the house.
Artfully lay on blueberries and strawberries. I would say like the American flag, but hey, we're not picky. Whatever floats your boat.
Fourth of July is a special day for this family because we have a naturalized citizen. A long time ago, a teenage boy came to a country where he didn't speak the language and had no official papers. All he knew, was that he could pick fruit for more than a teacher was paid in his country. For a family that didn't get enough to eat on a daily basis, it sounded like heaven.
He was the second oldest of eleven and although he didn't get the chance to go to school, he desperately wanted his little brothers and sisters to have that chance. He also had a sister who was very sick and the medicine was more than they could possibly borrow. He and his brother talked it over, and he volunteered to leave his home. His mother cried for weeks.
He traveled through California, then Oregon, then Washington. He sent his mother almost every penny he earned picking apples, trimming grape vines, harvesting onions. It was a hard and lonely life. He wanted to go home. He felt lost. One day a friend invited him to church and he went, because he was tired of being one young man in a group of young men.
The service was in his language, the music was familiar, the people welcomed him. For the first time in years, this young man felt like he was home.
His new friends encouraged him to study. He told them he had never gone to school, but they said here in America, it was never too late. Here you could get permission to sit in the back of the night classes at the community college. You didn't get credit, but it was free. So, he took classes. English first, then science, then history, and all the other classes he'd missed when he'd been working to help the family.
He started working at the church as the youth group leader, along with his farm jobs. The director told him about the naturalization process, how he could apply for legal status. It was a scary thought. he would have to walk into a government office and admit that he was here without permission. He decided he loved this country enough to take the risk. And he was approved to apply for citizenship.
So, I made a special dish for hubby and called him out of the garden where he was moving sprinklers. He wasn't happy about getting his picture taken when he was covered in water and dirty, but we're all friends here at the Yankee Belle Café. And I wanted you to celebrate this Fourth of July with us, natural born citizens and naturalized citizens alike.
Have a wonderful Fourth!!
P.S. Remember you can download my new book 'Leaving Liberty' for FREE this week!