Thursday, July 5, 2012

Independence Day

You want to know the best part of today?  It wasn't necessarily the 5k or the parade or even the fireworks...although they did play a part. was breakfast.  And not that the big town breakfast was more impressive than usual, really.  The pancakes, eggs and ham were good, of course.  But as I sat there downing my food, I looked around and was struck by all the people around me.  Business was booming and there were hordes of people milling around and sitting at tables.  Some wearing running attire having just come from the 5k like me, others decked out in their red, white and blue Independence Day finery.  But all of them part of our community.  And I realized that this holiday, more than any other is about just that.  Friends, neighbors, townsfolk, community, Americans....all coming together to celebrate our history and our culture.  Which is why, I realized, that I try so hard to really support and participate in our community Independence Day celebrations.  Why I don't treat it as just a nice day off to lounge around the house.  I want to feel that community, American spirit.  And as I looked around at all my local townsfolk and thought about all of this, I admit I got a little emotional. 

 Despite the fact that Julianne did NOT love running the 5k last year, she accepted the invitation again.  Why?  Because she had "run a 5k" on her summer bucket list.  Go figure.  The muttered comments ie: "stupid running," and "I hate this" etc. were not quite as bad as last year.  But all the same, this 5k for her was something to be tolerated or endured rather than enjoyed.  Brandon surprised me by agreeing to run.  I think it's because I kept telling him that despite the fact that he could run faster than me, I was doubtful that he could keep it up for a longer distance than just a mile.  About a minute into the race, he turned to me and said, "See you at the finish, then?" and took off in his little Vibram five-finger shoes.  And yes, he finished his 5k in 29:58....a good 6 minutes before me.  But in my defense, maybe I could've kept up with him had I not been trying to encourage Julianne who had an awful side ache (along with her lovely attitude.)  She fully claims that had I ditched her she would've been cursing me in her head.  :)

(We tried to keep cool with a bunch of little hand-held, battery operated fans and lots of drinking water. )

Extreme heat and I don't get a long.  Which is why, though I love living in a place that has four distinct seasons, summer is my least favorite.  But the 4th of July is a day where I will happily and willingly tolerate the heat and the sweat rolling down my back to enjoy the festivities.  I love me a good Independence Day parade.  I was a little disgruntled this year, though.  With sirens blaring, the fire department rolled truck after truck down the parade route.  Then the police motorcycles.  The city council drove by in various convertible cars.  The cheerleaders and the (huge) high school marching band came next.  All good stuff, but I'm thinking "Where is the flag????"  My favorite part of the whole parade...standing up with all my neighbors and townsfolk up and down the route, all of us with hand over heart as the flag goes by at the very beginning of the parade, and then the reverence and deference for our country's flag dissolving into grateful applause and cheers for the veterans that come next.  This is not only the best part of the parade, but the most important, in my opinion.  Where was it???  After the marching band, finally they came.  And the flag didn't come by on it's own accompanied by a color, it was just on the back of one of the veterans trucks.  I have to admit, I was deeply disappointed.  Seemed to me that the parade organizers got it terribly wrong this year.

This year I got talked into letting Lilian join the mini cheer camp run by the local high school cheerleaders...a few of which live in our neighborhood.  Cheer leading is really not my least not for my 5-year old.  I'm not really a fan of young kids shaking their booty and doing moves that make them look like they are 5 going on 16....that's just my opinion.  But I liked helping my neighbors with their fundraiser and Lilian enjoyed going to the cheer camp with her friends.  They performed at the big carnival right after the parade and I have to admit, Lilian did look pretty cute.  Plus, she adores her new t-shirt....

 We were hugely thankful for the invite from a friend to swim in her backyard pool.  I was feeling much like a baked potato and spent absolutely no time on social niceties beyond saying hello before jumping in the pool.  Ahhh...  A few hours of swimming and relaxing under a shade umbrella was just the thing I needed to recover from the heat of the parade and steel myself for the upcoming warmth of the outdoor BBQ and fireworks to come.

Luckily the evening wasn't as broiling and while the kids ran happily amok, we enjoyed good food and the company of great neighbors.  The stereo providing the soundtrack to our evening turned into a karaoke and dancing contest this year once again.  Apparently this is becoming a neighborhood tradition.  And then the music died down in favor of the booms and whistles of fireworks when it got dark enough.  And wow, what a show!  Enough oohs and ahhs to make you feel like you were at a professional show.  What can I say, our neighborhood takes their fireworks seriously.  :)  It was a tiring but happy day.  I love the 4th of July!  


1 comment:

Jewels said...

See, the problem here is that you started your day RUNNING. That will always make you sweaty, then you can't cool down the rest of the day. Do like me, lay in bed with the AC as long as possible.
(Which is why you are slim and svelte and I am, well, me.)