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Celebrating summer anew

Celebrating summer anew

For most of us, celebrating our nation’s birthday on July 4th is among the highlights of summer. This year, this event—and all of summer, for that matter—has taken on new meaning. After more than a year of COVID-19 restrictions, we can gather once again. We’re on the move once more and renewing ties with loved ones with more backyard barbecues, cross-country family reunions, and so much more.

We asked some of our employees to share how they’ll be celebrating this July 4th and their thoughts on a summer like no other.

John Ling, chief executive officer
July 4th has now become my favorite holiday. In addition to celebrating the birth of our nation, it is the one week each year that my wife and I welcome every one of our children, and now their children and dogs, to our lake house in Michigan. For a week, we actively celebrate the love of our family, our home, the outdoors, togetherness, and share the experiences and stories of our lives. We strengthen bonds, our love for one another, and weave the memories that are the fabric of our lifetimes.

Tish Gibson, lead ceramic painter
I’m looking forward to spending time with my husband, kids, and grandkids on July 4th. We didn’t get together last year because of COVID, so it will be special this year. We’ll gather at camp, join the July 4th golf cart parade, enjoy the fantastic fireworks that the campground puts on, swim in the pool, play, eat, and just have fun!

Rebecca Proctor, chief brand officer and creative director
Growing up, the 4th always meant big celebrations, lots of homemade cake, and the sweetest strawberries picked from my grandmother’s sunny strawberry patch. My larger-than-life grandfather Sam was born on the 4th of July, so our family always gathered for a sparkler-lit, paper-party-hat kind of backyard picnic bash. Some of those traditions we still carry on today. And somewhere along the way on the 4th, my southern Auntie Ann nicknamed me “my little firecracker,” which some of my dearest friends still kid me about today. This year is a special one for us, as our son has just graduated from college and will be forging out into the wider world. It’s exciting, joyous, and bittersweet all at the same time. We’re feeling it especially keenly because we’ve been together at home this past year, so we will savor every single moment.

Bill Mekeel, pottery production manager
I’ll spend time with family and friends, as I do on most holidays. With consideration to the past year, time spent with family and friends is of course much more appreciated and less taken for granted. Recent history has caused me to be more thoughtful and reflective regarding the freedoms that we have in the United States.

Carol Ryerson, customer service manager
I plan to spend July 4th relaxing on Cayuga Lake on our boat. I love watching fireworks from the water, especially if we get a clear sky evening. The weekend of July 4th is always a time for us to gather with family and friends, and this year will be no exception. We’ll be able to enjoy lots of family BBQs, cornhole games, and drinks by the fire pit. I’m so grateful that our families and friends can host gatherings where we can all be together.


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