So, it’s July Fourth, my husband and I are in Scarborough on Dunn Estates Drive. We have brought our L.L. Bean chairs and we are sitting on the side of the road waiting for the neighborhood parade to begin. We are the only ones watching the parade because everyone else  from Dunn Estates is in the parade.

Dunn Estates has approximately 12 houses with young and old alike as residents.

It is slow to start and my husband is becoming impatient.

I laugh and say they must be organizing the marchers, as I had seen the previous year’s parade and he had not.

At last we hear the bagpipes, as Mr. Tom (sometimes known as Dr. O’Mara) begins to play. I love the sound of the bagpipes. The rest of the neighbors, including Morgan, Cole, Merry, Mitch, Grace and Riley, my grandchildren, and everyone else in the neighborhood follow.

Everyone is dressed in red, white and blue, some riding bikes, others in carriages. The ages run from 2 months and up, some of them older than me even. The rear is brought up by Jack’s dad, riding his lawnmower, all decorated in – you guessed it – red, white and blue. Faces are painted and funny hairstyles are in order.


Everyone in the parade waves to us and throws us candy, since we are the only ones watching. They are singing “God Bless America.”

As the parade ends everyone comes back to my son’s house for ice cream, and to see who wins the grand prize for the best-decorated mailbox contest.

You can vote twice … so I vote twice. Maybe it’s illegal because I am only a spectator and not a resident, but I cast my two votes anyway.

The McGarrys win the big prize – Yahoo! The kids are so excited, and Susan gets to open it. Twenty-four rolls of toilet paper. Everyone cheers and knows where to go this weekend if their family runs out.

So this is Maine, this is America at its finest, everyday people living in their own community, connected to a wider community of all Americans. Young and old. Brothers and sisters caring about each other. Happy the sun is shining today and happy to be American.

I love my country, I love my family, I love my God.

How lucky can you get?

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