Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, July 5, 1999

A great way to celebrate a great day


Well, boys and girls, did you have a good time on Independence Day, also known as the Fourth of July? I bet many of you spent the day at the lake, fishing or swimming. And in the evening, there were fireworks in town.

My family often goes to the lake on the Fourth and many of my relatives also come to to celebrate the holiday. The lake is usually full of swimmers, and it seems that we are always counting heads to make sure everyone is accounted for.

But one year, even with all that counting, all of a sudden somebody noticed that one of the kids was missing. We made everyone come out of the water and we figured out that it was Tommy that was missing.

No one knew where he had gone. We thought that he had been swimming with the others, but one of the kids said that the last time they had seen Tommy, he was playing with a big ball.

We decided that he must have gotten out of the water without telling anyone. This was not what he was supposed to do, as we have a rule that if you decide to get out of the lake you must be sure to tell someone.

The big kids and the adults split up and set out to look for Tommy. They saw some kids playing basketball who said they had seen him walking down the road. So we went to check at the house next door.

Sure enough, there was Tommy, watching television inside with the family. We picked him up and brought him home. Then we gathered all the kids around and talked about how important it is to follow the rules.

When you go swimming, you must be sure to swim with another person so that you can look out for each other. Always wear a life jacket in the water if you don't know how to swim very well.

If you decide to quit swimming, you must tell an adult that you have decided to get out of the water. And you must never go to someone's house without telling the others where you are going.

Tommy had to get dressed and he couldn't go swimming for the rest of that day so that he could think about these very important rules. We were so grateful that nothing had happened to him.

The rest of that holiday went much better. Some of the older kids went fishing on the big pontoon boat. And later, some of them went water skiing. After lunch, the younger children all took a nap.

There are always many swimmers, boats and water skiiers on the lake on the Fourth of July. It's a great way to celebrate Independence Day.

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