It’s almost time for two of our favorite family traditions—patriotic music and home grown tomato pie. 
Tomato PieWant to share in our traditions? Well, I promised you the secret tomato pie recipe back on Mother’s Day weekend when I planted our garden. Click here to access the formula.
As for the music, our family has always been the patriotic type. After 9/11 when flying flags and sporting flag jewelry was in vogue, we were at the forefront, but then we had always been there. We were, as they say, patriotic when patriotic wasn’t cool.
Happy Fourth of JulyOur love affair with patriotic songs began when we lived in Birmingham, Alabama in the 70s. We watched the 4th of July PBS special featuring Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops, and a new family tradition was born. Watching this special became an annual event. After a couple of years, though, we realized the music was too special to enjoy for just one hour once a year, and we bought records and cassette tapes and made our own patriotic mix. Wow! We were leading edge for the time! Our options were limited, but we loved Arthur Fiedler, Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the U.S. Air Force Band.
And the tradition continued when we moved back to St. Louis in the 80s and our otherwise normal-in-every-way teenagers drove our 1986 Mustang convertible top down on Independence Day with John Phillips Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever blaring from the speakers.
Today, the technology has changed. We have a playlist on our IPod and another playlist on the Rhapsody music download site. Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the USA, Elvis Presley’s American Trilogy, Mannheim Steamroller’s Star Spangled Banner, Ray Charles’ America the Beautiful—and even Kate Smith’s God Bless America are part of the mix.
To find the right music for your celebration, stop by your local public library and check out a few patriotic CDs found in the Holiday Music section. Or grab a $15 iTunes gift card at your local supermarket and download a dozen stirring patriotic tunes. If you subscribe to a music download site and haven’t thought about a patriotic playlist, this might just be the year.
On 4th of July, when others are shooting off fireworks, eating watermelon and grilling hot dogs, we’ll be under the pergola on our patio enjoying family time, savoring tomato pie and loving our country. 
Hope you will join us in spirit!