Thursday, July 3, 2008

Summer in the City

<--Pennsylvania State Insect

It was after dusk when I walked down to get the mail and I was greeted by a Fourth of July weekend celebration of fireflies! Our lawn was aglow with them and I was instantly hurled backward in time to when I was a kid growing up in Queens, longing for lightning bugs (that's what we called them) to fly by our apartment window.

Never happened. Or if it did,I don't remember it. The truth is we had to drive over to my grandmother's house in North Arlington, New Jersey to get our fill of fireflies.

Funny how I grew up making fun of the Garden State only to end up living here and loving it. (Fate definitely has a wicked sense of humor.)

Not too many people would consider North Arlington to be "the country" but back in the 1950s it seemed it to a city kid like me. She lived on Eckhardt Terrace and had a big grassy backyard and apple trees.

And fireflies. And a township Fourth of July celebration that lit up the Jersey skies. I wouldn't have admitted I actually liked NJ for the world (I had my New Yorker pride to consider) but those summer days and nights west of the Hudson are some of my best summer memories.

Check out The Firefly Files. If I'd known they looked like that, I never would have let them sit in the palm of my hand!

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