Another Independence Day celebration has come and gone. In our opinion it was too hot here for us to participate in the town’s activities. We just stayed home and cooked ribs for the first time in our lives, thinking patriotic thoughts.

We got the idea for ribs from talking to daughter Valerie, who is a very good cook. She said she just puts the ribs on a large cookie sheet with sides and tents them with foil to keep them moist. Then she bakes them for 3 hours at 275 degrees. Lastly, she puts the now tender, cooked ribs on the grill for a few minutes on each side to crisp them up. That is when she brushes on the barbecue sauce.

So we tried that method. It all worked fine right up until the grill part. Our faulty grill is still not working correctly after the Memorial Day burger debacle. The Man of the House solved the problem this time by using his blow torch on the ribs until they were the right consistency. I think he may be on to something for future grilling. Or we could invest in a new grill.

I was thinking back over past Fourth of July celebrations. When I was a girl we used to drive from the farm near Nashville to Loudonville to watch the fireworks at the park. Then there were the years in Orrville when my kids were small. We went to Orr Park a couple times to watch fireworks. It was not a happy time with fearful, crying children.

On July 4, 1969 there was the huge flood in Wayne and Holmes counties that killed a bunch of people, swept away in the night by flash flooding. We got only a couple inches of water in our basement on Park Street and that quickly drained out.

The worst part for us was being without electricity for about a week and not being able to do laundry. It was hot and humid and nothing dried very easily. We were fortunate to have a little two-burner gas cooktop in the basement so we could heat up canned food.

We moved to Oak Street later that summer which was on higher ground. After that there was no need to venture out to Orr Park to watch the fireworks display. We were able to sit in our front lawn and watch them each year as they rose above St. Agnes Church across the street. I remember one year it was so cold we had to wear winter coats while we watched with our next door neighbors, the Aubles.

When we lived in Winesburg we just celebrated with cookouts with the Strong family. If we had fireworks it was of their doing.

One of the worst times for fireworks was after we moved to South Carolina. We learned it was customary for folks in that part of the country to set off fireworks for many occasions — Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, or just random times, and especially the week of July 4. It made our dear dog Shiloh very nervous.

It was two years ago on July 3 that Shiloh crossed the Rainbow Bridge. He probably just could not face another Independence Day fireworks display.

This year our town set off its fireworks in a field very near our house. If it had not been for the tall grove of trees behind our house we could have seen it from the back porch. As it was, we heard it very plainly. Shiloh would have hated it.