July 04, 2008

July 4, 2008, celebrating in Tel Aviv

Hebrew sign:
The lemonade of Li and Nadav
buy it for four shekels [about $1.50]

Friends, I am feeling the heat and humidity. On Tel Aviv's Rothschild Boulevard, the children are selling relief (fast and temporary) from their lemonade park bench stand. While I am (seasonally) scantily clad, the sweat pours over my face, my neck — everywhere.

Yet neither heat nor wet air can spoil this day. It is the Fourth of July, the 232nd birthday of the United States of America. Independence Day: celebrating a passion for liberty and freedom.

I am filled with a profound sense of pride today for America, just as I felt for Israel on its 60th Independence Day two months ago. For I am a grateful citizen of both democracies, where I live (one country at a time).

It's the first time in a few years that I am not in the USA celebrating Independence Day... yet. That is, until my plane from Tel Aviv lands there this evening, ending a five-month adventure here.

It's a special day of another kind, too. I am celebrating two years of blogging since my very first blog post, July 4, 2006, at Atlanta's Open Door picnic, in which I described the scene at the Community shady backyard, where more than 500 hungry guests from Atlanta's streets enjoyed a delicious traditional holiday picnic.

Between my first blog post, July 4, 2006, and today, much has changed — in this blog, in me, in you, in that country and in this country, and in this world.

Thank you, framers of the Declaration of Independence. Thank you, champions of independence everywhere.

Sold out: bottled water from a rolling stand
in Jerusalem's Old City last week