I hope everyone enjoyed their Fourth of July holiday last week. Growing up we always looked forward to the summer holiday. We attended a family reunion at my great-grandfather's home at Walnut Ridge and later years in Keiser, enjoyed fireworks, played with cousins and ate homemade ice cream.
I will share a memory of the Fourth of July 1984. We were on vacation visiting my brother and his family in Maryland. We decided to spend the Fourth of July in Washington, D.C. We watched the National Independence Day Parade. It was a wonderful parade.
The Beach Boys were having an outside concert on the National Mall near the Washington Monument. It was estimated 530,000 people were there. I am convinced the estimated number may have been on the low side. I know it was the largest crowd I had ever been around. People had camped out on the lawn waiting on the concert. Truthfully, I can't say we saw the Beach Boys in person. We were there and we could hear the music but we never got close enough to actually see them. We would have needed some strong binoculars to actually see them. We were content to observe from a distance. We had small children and I did not want to lose them in such a crowd.
I read where the Beach Boys, along with a lot of other performers, performed this year, also.
We have visited Washington, D.C., a few times since that first visit and I have to say it is a great place to visit but I would not want to live there.
I like to go places and see new things but at the end of the visit, I like to come home to rural Arkansas where we do not have traffic jams, long lines or 530,000 people all in one spot.
I read 2017 was a record year for Fourth of July travelers with 44.2 million people traveling 50 miles or more.
Our son and his family came from Yorktown, Vir., over the Fourth weekend and he said the traffic was really heavy on Saturday. They should know well when the traffic is bad because they fight it every day. Every time I go visit them, I am sure I would give up driving if I had to fight that traffic every day. I could be found sitting at the bus stops in cold and hot weather trying to get around.
Like the old saying, you can take the girl out of the country but you can't take the country out of the girl. I learned to drive on gravel roads at a safe speed limit. I never mastered parallel parking. I love the tv commercial where the man is having such a good time with the car parallel parking itself. I need to look for that feature in the next vehicle I purchase. Through the years I have really tried to learn the art of parallel parking but to no avail. My husband makes it look so easy.
I must not be the only driver who has problems if car manufacturers see the need to make parallel parking automatic.
As a rule, I can drive around long enough to find a nice parking place I can pull into. In addition to not having to parallel park, I can always use the block or so walk for exercise.
With the Fourth over there are only a few weeks left to get ready for back to school. The Arkansas Sales Tax Holiday will be Aug. 5 and 6 this year.
The 2017 tax holiday will begin on Saturday, Aug. 5, at 12:01 a.m. and will continue through Sunday, Aug. 6, at 11:59 p.m. State and local sales tax will not be collected during this time on clothing and footwear if the sales price if less than $100 per item; clothing accessories and equipment if the sales price is less than $50 per item; school supplies, school art supplies, and school instructional materials.
Every penny parents can save is helpful. It can be expensive getting kids ready to go back to school.