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Independence Day Memories – Made in America

I grew up in a family where holidays are a big deal, especially the 4th of July. We had a small farm in the Texas Hill Country when I was young, and my dad would put on some serious firework shows. I’m not saying my dad got carried away, but there wasn’t a rocket big enough for his displays.

My whole family would go out into a large empty pasture, each of us armed with flashlights. I remember the way the beams bobbed up and down as we walked. We lugged along a big cassette-tape boom-box (do you remember those?) loaded up with a mix tape of patriotic music to set the mood.

4th of July Family Memories Made in America – Sponsored by Rayovac

Our three-year-old in her 4th of July finest

It’s funny, as a kid to me my dad always seemed bigger than life and invincible, but I remember seeing him tear up while the patriotic music played and he lit the sky on fire with brilliant displays of color. We lost my dad a while back, and it’s always at the holidays his absence is most keenly felt.

I’m honored this post was sponsored by Rayovac, but it’s also for my dad. In the U.S. military he flew jets off nuclear carriers; he was an international business man who took us, his family, around the world with him, and he was a Texas rancher. Most of all, though, he was my dad.

Tonight my wife, 3 year old daughter and I will head out with our flashlights, a picnic dinner, a patriotic playlist on my iPhone, and a portable speaker system (replacing our old cassette boom-box) to find a great place to watch fireworks. And I know my dad will be there, too… smiling.

4th of July Family Memories Made in America - Sponsored by Rayovac

My Family & Rayovac Batteries – Made in America!

It would just seem wrong if the batteries powering our fun on Independence Day weren’t made in America. I choose Rayovac Alkaline batteries on the 4th of July and every day, not just because they last as long as the other guys for less money (they do), but also because they are made in the U.S.A.!

On that note, I want to tell you about Rayovac’s Independence Day Sale:

Rayovac wants to help celebrate the Fourth of July by giving you their best savings on products made right here in America. Through July 8, save $10 on their alkaline battery bundle! Simply use promo code: INDEPENDENCE at checkout, plus free shipping on orders over $25.

Whether you are powering toys,  games, flashlights, or the things that keep your family safe like smoke alarms, Rayovac Alkaline batteries power the devices that you use each and every day. From Rayovac, and from my family to yours, we wish you a very safe and happy 4th of July!

What’s your favorite Independence Day tradition or memory?

Visit Rayovac’s website to learn more about and purchase their Made in America alkaline batteries. Please note: I was provided Rayovac alkaline batteries to review and compensation for my time, but the opinions provided are solely my own. You know me. If I don’t love something I won’t write about it.

12 comments

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  1. Shannon

    What a great memory of your dad! I love that he shared his love of America with you- and with all of us by serving in the US military. I’m sure he IS smiling down on you this 4th of July:)

    1. Michael Schmid

      Thank you for the sweet comment, Shannon. I miss him so much, but I know he is still close in our hearts and memories, and I’ve no doubt if he can see us, he’s smiling.

  2. Jessi

    Great memory, thanks for sharing it with us! Just wanted to let you know that I awarded you the Versatile Blogger award today! Check out the details here: http://practicallyfunctional.net/2012/07/more-blogger-awards/

    1. Michael Schmid

      Thank you so much, Jessi. So you’re still not ready to pack up and move back to the Bay Area? I’m kidding. Chicago is fine, but I must confess I’m partial to North CA. As for the award, I am so honored! Honestly I’m not really all that versatile, though. 😉 The thing I love most about this particular award is the fun facts bloggers share about themselves, like your crush, on Captain Tightpants. Thank you so much… for the award, not your crush on Nathan.

  3. Ivy

    What great memories of your dad! I was raised by my grandfather, a WWII vet. The 4th of July was a BIG deal at our house! We had a cookout, literally inviting everyone who walked by to “sit a spell” and “grab a [hot] dog.” We all wore red, white and blue, but NEVER, EVER wore the flag. I was taught the difference between displaying a flag on your clothing and wearing the flag as clothing. The latter was hugely offensive to my grandfather who put his life on the line in WWII.

    We partied from sun up to well after sun down, usually still lighting off fireworks after our town’s big display. We NEVER missed our town’s fireworks, because my grandfather and his fellow members of the local American Legion collected donations for about two months leading up to the 4th. They would take donations from the town’s big wigs and stand in front of the grocery store and banks collecting everything they could. Many of them also saved up throughout the year and dropped major dime to make each year’s display bigger than the previous one. I stood with him and helped collect money every year. I can’t remember a year that I didn’t help. It was one of my favorite things to do each year.

    He would have turned 96 on Monday, so the 4th and the days following are always bittersweet for me. I wish now that I could take my son to town to stand outside the bank with him. My son would have loved it almost as much as my grandfather would have. He was so proud to have fought for his country. And we made sure we always turned to him during the fireworks and say “thank you.”

    1. Michael Schmid

      Wow, what super memories you have of your grandmother. They certainly were the Greatest Generation in my book. My dad’s late father was a WWII vet as well. Loved your comment. Thanks for sharing a bit about that great man with us, Ivy!

  4. Adrianne

    I wouldn’t say it was my favorite 4th of July but it was certainly memorable. I was maybe 10 or so and my brother and sister and I were playing nerf baseball in the yard and our bat had a plastic cap on the end of it. I was at bat and my 5 yr. old sister was catcher. Well she got too close and I hit her in the forehead with the edge of the bat. It wasn’t so good. We headed to the hospital with my little sis wailing and me blubbering that I was so sorry. She got a staple or two in the head then we watched fireworks:-)

    1. Michael Schmid

      My little sis got a staple or two in the head then we watched fireworks 😉

      You’re right… while perhaps not your best 4th, it certainly sounds memorable!

  5. Anne

    Wow, tat’s what I’d call celebration! I bet you have had such a great time together! Happy birthday to the united states!

    1. Michael Schmid

      Are you still at university in Vienna. Did you know I went to school in Vienna (high school) for two years myself? Great city. I also went to school in Amsterdam as well. Another interesting city. I am American, born and bred, but lived in Europe a couple of times when I was younger. Thank you for the Happy Birthday United States wishes!

  6. Destin Philip

    What a great post of yours about thought of patriotic ! I like your thinking about your country. Also I like your post. Or at last I want to say your cute children photograph is so nice. Thanks.

    1. Michael Schmid

      I appreciate it, Destin. It’s probably cheating to post gratuitous photos of my cute daughter on my blog, but it sure does make it look nice? 😉

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