This week the Pettengill family celebrated American Independence Day on U.S. soil for only the second time in the past eleven years. Our last three Independence Days were celebrated in Belgium, Equatorial Guinea, and Honduras. We are a patriotic family and Independence Day has always been special to us.
This year it was just the four of us: Mike, Erin, Maddy, and Josh (the future son-in-law) together. The four of us have all served as missionaries and so, while patriotism is not lost on us, the American 4th of July celebration is not a “normal” part of our lives. We kind of struggled to figure out how to celebrate and finally decided to cook veggie burgers and hang out together. Our county doesn’t allow personal fireworks (fire danger) and big public displays were way too crowded. We kinda really didn’t know what to do, because our recent experience of Independence Day in the U.S. is limited.
It’s not a really sad thing (although it kind of is). It is just another one of those weird, un-talked about side effects of dedicating a decade of your life to serving the Lord in another culture.