July Fourth is the day we celebrate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence from the tyranny of Great Britain, now our strongest ally.

We associate the day with fireworks, parades, barbecues, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, excessive drinking — pretty much everything except what we have designated the day to celebrate.

As we watch world events unfold before our eyes each day, we should appreciate even more the freedom we have to do as we please, have an opportunity to work and earn a living and receive assistance when we need help.

But today, I am thinking a different kind of independence. The kind of independence we lose as we face our later years in life. I have watched my mother go from a very independent, hard-working registered nurse to a 92-year-old near-invalid relegated to a life of sitting in front of a television all day, every day.

She recently was hospitalized for various minor afflictions and is coming back home to stay as long as it’s possible. She is fortunate to be able to secure around-the-clock care, albeit at great expense.

So, while you have the ability to move about and do things such as drive a car, go to the store, visit folks out of town and call your own shots, I urge you to enjoy these days, before you have to trade some of your independence to age, poor health or an unfortunate circumstance.

Don’t feel sorry for my mother, she has lived longer than most. I write this to encourage you to fully appreciate your freedom, no matter what form it might take.

Appreciate your freedom. Happy Independence Day.

Jump up!

Took a drive to visit the new Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park located near Scholastic Books in the industrial sector. It is located at 400 Sharkey Drive, but if you don’t know where you’re going, you might want to GPS it. It is very cool looking and the grandbuddies are eager to give it a try. Not sure why they call it Sky Zone Little Rock. Look for discounts from Groupon and on Facebook.

Arkansas lakes are special

I’m sure everyone in Arkansas has a favorite lake. There are so many nice ones, including the ones I’ve actually played on: Ouachita, DeGray, Hamilton and Catherine. Of all the lakes I’ve visited, the most beautiful is Lake Ouachita, just outside of Hot Springs. It has been protected — unlike Lake Hamilton — from shore-to-shore condos, houses and various marinas and restaurants.

I keep a boat at Lake Ouachita that I send a check to every month. It’s kind of like an amicable divorce. I vow this year to use it or sell it. That’s why I always tell people to never buy a new boat because there’s always a bargain especially in the winter.

Maumelle tidbits

• It seems they are going to be able to completely repave Maumelle Boulevard in a fraction of the time it took to complete the "trail from nowhere to nowhere." I assume they are working at night because I’ve not seen any work going on during the day.

• I noticed that the Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the first cardboard boat races on Lake Willastein as part of the Fourth of July festivities. That should be a hoot to watch. It follows the annual parade. Hope we get some pictures from you guys.

• I stopped by the Farmer’s Market located at the Lutheran Church (behind Kroger) and picked up several items, including some terrific Arkansas blackberries. The selection was very good but it appeared that it’s really just a Farmer Market on the day I dropped by. He tells me he’s there every Saturday from around 8 until late afternoon. He also has a store in the Marche area.

My readers call me out

One reader said I was wrong (again) in my report on the reasons for BJ’s closing recently. As I told him, I reported what the owner told one of their patrons. But the point is, if you ever feel I am wrong, misinformed or if you just want to disagree with me, shoot me an email. I’ll either admit I’m wrong, tell you that you are wrong or we’ll just agree to disagree. I will oftentimes run your notes as a letter to the editor, with your permission, of course.

The main objective of this column now that I’ve been writing for over a year and a half is to report goings on in Maumelle, share my opinion on whatever’s on my mind and have a little fun.

The most fun I have is when I know that I have stirred things up a bit, caused discussion on an issue we need to think about and finally to put a smile on my reader’s face.

See you on the Boulevard.

Neal Moore owns a PR, advertising and marketing consultancy. If you have a community concern or if you’re just irritated about something contact him at neal.moore@sbcglobal.net. Follow him on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter, @kneelmore.