The 4th of July is on a Sunday, as you well know. In our community, Sundays are sacred as well they should be. This year, our community struggled with whether or not to have fireworks tomorrow or on Monday. We were supposed to split our celebrations over three days, now it is over two. Our community fireworks were supposed to be on Monday, July 5th; but due to overwhelming community support, they will be tomorrow. The small town that hosts the biggest, and maybe the only parade in our area had their parade today.
We were facing the prospect of going to the parade alone. Hannah graduated this year and is out of town. We were facing the prospect of having no kids to watch the parade. Thanks to our son Jake, his wife Becky and our grandson Jackson, we had one of our children (out of five) and one of our grandchildren (out of four; well, two if you count Jackson's sister who is due in October) with us.
The weather this year is so different from previous years. We had to wear sweaters and cover up with blankets. It was pretty chilly this morning. That being said, we have burned crispy in previous years, sometimes before the parade even started (it starts at 10:30). This is the second year in a row there was no military fly-over. Hello? We have been going to this parade for 20 years. 18 years of fly-overs and then no fly-overs for the last two? Sucks!
The parade was nice. We loved the color guard carrying the flag, the civil air patrol youngsters carring the flag, the old cars, the tractors and the floats that threw candy (for the kids)! We loved the 59 buick, we loved the pretty girls (aka rodeo royalty), we loved the wagon pulled by 4 draft horses, we loved the miniature horses pulling the buggies, we loved the Shriners riding the little cars and the little motor cycles. I loved the green tractors (John Deere), while Becky, Jackson and my friend Terri loved the red tractors. Becky's dad and Terri's dad both drive the red tractors (International/Case). Every year there is a guy that rides his John Deere while standing up and spins it in circles, always my favorite. I always stress out that he will turn too sharp and have an accident, every year. A couple of years ago he wasn't there and we were all sad.
We didn't like the black powder rifle association firing their loud, stinky guns, they are always in the parade. They have never been our favorite.
Like I said before, only one of our 5 were home for the parade. Only two of our 5 will be home for the fireworks. Christy and her husband, Brent and our grandkids, Isaak and Sophie, live in Phoenix, Arizona. Cassie and her fiance, Chris, live in Anchorage, Alaska and are camping this weekend. Jake, Becky and Jackson are here with us. Brady and his wife, Kylie, are in Boise, our state capital, where they live. Brady is training for a 1/2 marathon this month and a Reno, Nevada to Sacramento, California bike race in August. They will be spending the holiday with friends. Hannah has spent the weekend with her best friend, Amy's family, in Pocatello and will hopefully be home tonight or tomorrow morning.
Our local college hosts the fireworks. They always start around 10 P.M. It is our tradition to get there around 2 P.M. and stake out a spot. We always bring our grill, plenty of blankets, food, drinks, and games. We always keep the grill going long enough to make s'mores for anyone who wants one! We always are just beyond the bounderies of where the fireworks are let off. We always feel the fireworks in the ground and in our chests. We always have between 30 and 60 people in our spot by the time the fireworks start! We have been doing this for 20 years. We have our family, their extended families, our friends and their extended families. In a couple of our cases, we have our grandchildren. This is my birthday and anniversary presents rolled into one holiday!
Even though I am sad that I won't see all of my kids tomorrow, I am grateful that our children are in good health, our grandchildren are in good health, our friends and their families will be with us tomorrow. I am also grateful that my mother-in-law is in good hands and recovering well. I am happy that my dad made it through hip replacement surgery yesterday.
Hope everyone has as much fun as we will tomorrow and that everyone is safe!