The fireflies in Ohio

My grandfather's birthday is on the 4th of July. That means that when I was a kid we spent many Independence day trips in southwestern Ohio. As I recall (I'm sure that my memories are somewhat romanticized...) the entire side of my dad's family would gather to celebrate Grandpa and our nation's independence on the family farm. The trip would be filled with lazy afternoons in the "crik", fishing in Grandpa's pond, eating Grandma's chocolate crinkle cookies, sleeping on blankets on Grandma's living room floor with some of my other cousins ~ giggling as we stayed up way too late ~ and running through the cow pasture avoiding the bulls.

All that was great, but the highlight of the trip was Grandpa's birthday itself! The day was spent playing games of volleyball (it got really competitive, but we kids usually got to play too), swimming in the pool, and eating in the summerhouse. When I close my eyes I can almost hear the voices... And then there was the evening. We'd have sparklers at Grandma and Grandpa's house and after they all burned out, each of us grandkids would set out to catch the most fireflies. In my memory there were thousands in the summer sky.

This year Grandpa turned 90! A birthday of that magnitude was deemed worthy of a big celebration, so 8 of Grandpa's 9 grandchildren, 8 of his 12 great-grandchildren (and of course his children and their spouses) gathered back at the farm from across the eastern seaboard to celebrate. We've been to Ohio so many times over the years, but this was my first time back for the 4th since grade school. At the tail end of a LONG car ride up on the 2nd, my heart almost skipped a beat as we came to Grandpa's road ~ I looked out across the corn field and saw thousands of fireflies dancing. Frustratingly enough I can't figure out how to capture it on film, but the image is burned in my mind! And after Grandpa's party we ran across the front lawn of my aunt's home helping Kylie catch her first firefly...


Our Journey said...

Oh my gosh -- these memories sound so familiar -- I remember my cousins & I keeping a jar of them by our beds @ my Grandmas & my aunts would sneak in during the night & let them all go so they would stay alive .. it was a joy of childhood!! Sadly, we have not seen too many here this year! I can't wait to catch one for Anne Marie!!

Anonymous said...

Your memories seem a lot like mine... wonderful fond memories!
Love Aunt Cici