Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy July 4th!

We have had such a nice July 4th weekend - hope you have too.

I remember when I lived Down Under and our ministry team would celebrate America's birthday. The Aussies thought we were a bit over the top - they were right, of course. Still, our displays in the Burches yard were nothing compared to the overwhelming displays of Americana I have been exposed to in the past 36 hours! (Including right now as "[bottle] rockets red glare and [fireworks] bombs bursting in air" right outside my window give proof through the night that the celebrating is still there!

Our festivities began on Saturday morning. We drove to a sweet little part of town to watch a parade with our dear friend, Shelley. I had NO idea what we were about to see. Shelley's house backs up to the street where the parade passes by, so we parked at her place and walked around the block to grab a seat. Walking through her neighborhood on sidewalks under massive trees was one of my favorite parts of the experience!

I walked the kids through everything - this was their first parade. I told Bubba that there would be fire trucks and more opportunities for loud noises; if at any time he needed to walk away, he only needed to let us know. He was a bit nervous about the sound but quickly found this to be effective:

The first fire engine rolled by just a bit after 10:00 AM and the last "paraders" left our site at 11:30AM - not bad, eh? Veterans followed the sirens of the fire truck and carried Old Glory to lead the parade:
Now you need to understand this parade. Most of the homes in this area are 100+ years old and beautiful. The community is very close knit. This parade is an unusually big deal. The houses along the parade route list that in their descriptions if ever up for sale and they have a higher value because of the parade. There were hundreds of people around all dressed in red, white, and blue. Little red wagons carried small children and coolers of beer (yes, it was before noon but remember where we live - see next photo). I don't think Country Living could have asked for more in a photo opportunity for their July issue. I kept expecting George Bailey to run by yelling, "Happy 4th Everybody!"

The Clydesdales were a part of the festivities. Everybody cheered like crazy - for a bunch of pretty iconic horses. I felt like a true St. Louisan when I saw them and got all excited. Good grief. Pride in our city - what's happened to the southerner I once was? (She's here, don't fear.)
And here is America at her finest. Small child, red wagon, selling water for a dollar (capitalist), and her poster was even made on cardboard with a cause advertised on the back. God Bless the USA.
There was tons of candy being thrown. The kids were timid at first but soon caught on to the need for standing instead of sitting and being aggressive to run and grab if they were going to "beat the neighbor kids". See the daddy in this photo - the one cut in half by the street sign? He kept urging his kids to "get out there" and warning them, "Here comes some more candy throwers. Get ready. Be aggressive." His son was so timid I finally got KB to give him a piece she picked up so he would have something. His daddy was not pleased.

We left Webster with the sound of music blaring. Seems folks have huge parties/lunches after the parade finishes and the festivities end with fireworks at night. The second best part of the day was getting into the van and having Honey look at me and say, "That was really fun." That might be the first time we have done anything as a family of five and enjoyed having our kids along. What a blessing.

Side note: There were a couple memorable moments and general observations to make. I will type them here!
1. There is a street in Webster that represents at the parade each year. Folks from every age group walked in perfect formation; each holding a cheap aluminum lawn chair. The chanted and, at intervals, stopped to do a choriagraphed "dance" with their chairs as props. It was super great.

2. Elections are just around the corner and there were TONS of political candidates with representation in the parade. Memorable moment: one guy had a flat bed full of supporters and they were kissing a baby. Observation: political candidates give better candy.

3. Walking down the tree lined streets of Webster, I hear my daughter say, "Mom, I need a new pull-up." Turns out hers had broken on the side. I told her to walk a few steps further so we wouldn't be on the main road and she agreed. Two steps later her daddy laughed, Little stopped short, and we all stared at the pull-up around her ankles. She KICKED it off and looked at me to do something. It was clean so I rolled it up and stuck it into a side pocket on my mom-bag, took two steps to a huge bush, and in mere seconds had a new pull-up on Little and no booty showed. It was masterful. And memorable.

4. After the parade ended we made our way down the sidewalk to return to Shelley's. KB saw a plate of sugar cookies on make-shift table. The owners were milling about and not paying much attention. She took one. And there you go. I wasn't really there for that one - she was in Shelley's care. All I witnessed was a cookie in her hand and a woman saying, "It is perfectly understandable. They are just sitting there." Dear Me.

This is getting too long. I'll do more tomorrow.


Debbie said...

Sounds like the "perfect" day! I love parades (and fireworks). No parades for us this year, but the fireworks were great.

Shelley said...

Oh, sweet Becky. LOVE this post. I'm sending it to my parents so they can truly understand the WG parade experience. Hope maybe the Kicklighters will (a) move to Webster and/or (b) make the parade an annual event. My driveway's yours, and my lap is KB's.