We were living in China, Maine. My older siblings had gone to the fireworks in a town 20 minutes away (by car) and I really wanted to go. As a kid, I had a bad habit of complaining to my parents so that they would make one of my older siblings take me with them. I remember getting to places with them and their friends on numerous occasions, but this wasn't one them. They told me I couldn't go with Flossie (my sister) and her friends to the fireworks. I was pretty mad so I decided that I could ride my bike the 15 or 20 miles into the next town and see the fireworks myself.
Clearly, as a 10 year old, I had not thought this through. But in true Dalia stubbornness I had to see the fireworks so I was going. I wrote a note and left it in my room. I must add my room was shared with my little sister Hannah and we were not clean children, so leaving the note in the middle of a pile of books probably wasn't the best idea. I left it anyway, hopped on my bike, and headed for the fireworks. I remember riding my bike along that main rode like it was yesterday. I was so scared. I had seen plenty of shows in my young of kids getting kidnapped. I really don't know how I made it all the way there. It kept getting darker and darker the longer I rode. I remember riding into town and realizing that this wasn't such a good idea. I had no idea where my sister was and I had no way to find her. There were huge crowds of people everywhere. I remember standing across the street from the McDonald's with my bike and crying because i had no idea what I was going to do. Then and i felt someone grab me and ask me what the heck I was doing there. It was my sister Flossie. I told her I had come to see the fireworks. She grabbed me and pulled me with her. I don't remember if I actually got to see the fireworks. I think I ruined it for myself and Flossie. I just remember one of her friends taking us home with my bike in the back.
We got to our house and there was my Mom crying. Now this was the time before cell phones so my parents had NO idea where i was and had NOT seen my note, so they had been very scared. My mom hugged me and told me she loved me and then she told me never to do that again and that I was grounded. ( you can always count on moms to give you the good news before the punishment) It turns out they had gone looking around the neighborhood and the local lake for me and were just about to call the police when they found out where I was.
That was by far my most eventful 4th of July. As I was remembering it yesterday morning I realized how lucky I was that day. There is no denying God was looking out for me. It was nothing short of a miracle that right as my 10 year old self rode into town on a bike my sister was right there to find me.
This week in Doctrine and Covenants class we talked about our country, what a great land it is, and how it is a miracle given to us by God. We are so blessed to live in a land of freedom, where we can worship and raise our families. As I have lived in other countries, I always come home with a greater appreciation for the USA. While I have loved living abroad and experiencing other cultures, I always come home with a longing for America. So, this fourth of July I am grateful for our country and the miracles that God gives us. I am grateful to the people who fight and have fought to keep us free.