This weekend is July 4th. I know several of us will enjoy times with family, lots of good food and fireworks. While celebrations may be downsized from what we are used to, may we never forget the reason for this day.

Did you know that the Continental Congress declared independence on July 2, 1776 but the final wording of the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776?

May we always try to show, in word and in actions, that the United States of America is still one nation under God. Though the times we are living in are unprecedented, we, the people, are strong and must stay united. Happy July 4th!

“May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right.” Peter Marshall

How many of you remember shooting bottle rockets when you were growing up? I think they’re banned now. I remember one July 4th, back in the 70’s, we had a bottle rocket war. Some of us were in a ditch on one side of the road, some on the other and we literally used bottles and even some old pipe to shoot the rockets out of. And, do you remember holding Black Cats in your hand, lighting them and then throwing them? It’s a wonder we still have all our fingers. Some of the things that we have told our children and now our grandchildren not to do- well, we speak those warnings from experience. I remember jumping off the bridge on Hwy. 43 (that goes over Big Cypress River that feeds into Caddo Lake) when I was a teenager. Several of us did and we swore each other to secrecy: “Do not tell my mom what we did!” I begged. What did one of my good friends, Conley Brown do? Tell my mom. The old saying “do as I say, not as I do” (or did) has taken on a whole new meaning through the years. (They were fun times, however, I must admit.)

Now that the hot, dry summer months are here, it’s important to make sure cattle stay hydrated. Stock tanks and ponds that have kept cattle watered through the winter and spring may be drying up as parts of the state battle drought or severe dry conditions. Access to clean, plentiful water sources will help keep cattle healthy and productive. A 1,000-pound heifer needs about 20 gallons of water a day to stay hydrated, according to the Texas A&M University Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL).

Lots of folks are still questioning whether school will start on time and if it will be in brick and mortar classrooms. Personally, I certainly hope so. I know that everyone in charge wants what’s best for our teachers and students. The virus has certainly changed the way we think about everything. Who would have thought we’d all be anxious and ready and excited for school to start?

Here’s wishing you and yours a Happy July 4th. We are a strong nation. Let us daily find ways to show it. Our nation is only as strong as we are as individuals.