226704 6053730308 8751 n Happy Independence Day!

A boy’s first ice cream cone on Independence Day.

While the calendar says July 4th, we know it truly is Independence Day. It’s a national holiday that oozes with patriotic pride and the taste of a backyard barbecue. We think of holidays at home being focused on Christmas or Thanksgiving, but for me July 4th is one of those holidays too.

The funny part is I haven’t been at home for a July 4th in years.

You may be able to relate to the fact that home is much more than just the place where you rest your head. It’s where you spend time with family and friends, where you enjoy some of life’s greatest moments and escape from the daily grind. My last few July 4th’s have been spent at a few different places: my parent’s home down the Jersey shore, my in-laws place in southern Illinois and with my brother-in-law & sister-in-law’s family outside of Detroit.

None of these homes are alike, but the times spent at each of them produces the same result: great memories. From golf outings with my wife’s family, to days on the beach in Wildwood Crest, to amazing meals and desserts, all these great memories were made because of the homes  they were created in. As I flipped through digital photo albums of the last few Independence Day vacations, I didn’t see a single landmark, tourist attraction or notable locale showcased in any of our family pics. Instead I saw moments in the backyard, kitchen and even the driveway.

The picture above is a vivid memory as it was the first time my oldest son Logan got to eat his own ice cream cone. No sharing. No bowl and spoon. He got to hold his own cone and savor every second of it. He was almost 3 years old in that picture and he’ll have no recollection of this moment in Cape May, NJ but it’s one I’ll never forget. Plus I have the moment captured on video (watch it here if you like) so I’ll be pulling this out for sure at the rehearsal dinner for his wedding.

I love telling people that this year I’m going to Detroit for 4th of July. The reaction is always the same…”Why?” My reply is consistent, “It’s where I have family.” And even though it’s not my house, it will still feel like home. 10 people, with 6 of them being small children under the age of 7, may not sound like home to you, but trust me, it is.

While we celebrate our independence in sunny locales and relaxing conditions, we have to stop and remember all those who provided this freedom that we so enjoy. Hundreds of thousands of American soldiers won’t be in their homes this July 4th celebrating with family and friends. Instead, they’ll be shoulder to shoulder in a foreign country with some of the greatest men & women our country has produced protecting our freedoms. Take a moment, not just today, but every day to be thankful for what our military does to make our enjoyment of home possible.

Regardless of where you find yourself on July 4, 2012 I hope that the feeling of home is with you and those that you choose to celebrate with.

Happy Independence Day from all of us at Coldwell Banker Real Estate.