Come Sunday, I’ll be proud to join Americans across the country — and those overseas — in celebrating Independence Day.
I love how the colors of the American flag show up everywhere around the holiday, whether it’s a bunch of red, white and blue helium-filled balloons reaching up to the sky or a strawberry shortcake topped with blueberries and sweet cream.
In Palm Beach and other communities on the waterfront, the Fourth of July often means beach time.
I'm sure that many will be building sand castles over the holiday weekend. And if that’s you, your children or your grandchildren, I hope you won’t forget to bring along a miniature American flag or two to plant on the tallest tower.
I recall spending childhood days in Lynn, Massachusetts, with a sand pail — I believe it was a blue metal one — and drip, drip, dripping sand mixed with water onto our creations. My sister, Vivian, and I worked diligently on the water’s edge, building just the right castles before the tide came in to wipe away our architectural wonders.
It was an apt beginning for me, for in the years to come I would be decorating a few castles around the world. In the 1970s, I had the good fortune to decorate Dromoland and Ashford castles in Ireland.
Here in Palm Beach, landowners are building their own castles of cement and stone along the shores of our great town. And recently I noticed stone “castles” of a different sort on the beach near Sloans Curve on South Ocean Boulevard.
An unknown-to-me someone has begun stacking stones into sculptures for drivers to enjoy just as the road begins to curve. The sculptures feature one stone stacked atop another, rising higher and higher. They’re stately and whimsical, all at once.
Stone is among earth’s treasures, and I have a deep respect for those who can manipulate it. I have always marveled at those cement-free walls made by intrepid builders who know which stone to place on top of the other. And they are sturdy! I also appreciate the gardeners who know how to fill the openings in those walls with colorful wildflowers, rich moss and other plants.
This July 4th, if the sun is shining and you are out at the beach with children around you, I’m sure you’ll see a sand castle or two. But beach or not, I hope you have a wonderful red-white-and-blue holiday.
And if you’re on the island, I hope you’ll take a drive along South Ocean Boulevard and enjoy the sculptures at the seaside.