07 July 2014

Red, white, and...

The fourth of July was sort of a bust this year. I mean that is, if you like perfect blue skies.

I'm ashamed to admit it, though if you've read this blog for any amount of time, by now you know - we are fair-weather partiers. Fair-weather parade-goers. Fair-weather-pretty-much-anything-ers.

In the wintertime, we'll only go skiing if it's not too windy, not too terribly cold, and if by some miracle we don't think the slopes and lift lines will be terribly crowded. In other words, we don't go skiing on holidays. Or in more other words - we don't go skiing often.

In the fall, we rarely do leaf-peeping drives through the mountains and countryside; that is, unless we actually have somewhere we have to go. I mean, we have amazing foliage right in our neighborhood, so why fight all that traffic?

And in the summertime, we're just as bad. Air shows? We can see most of what they do from the local high school football field... or even just by walking down the road to the nearest field. Parades? Only if it's a small town parade and the weather is nice and we get there before they close the roads. Large masses of humanity? Forget it.

Too hot? We can think of better things to do in that heat - things that involve air-conditioning. Or a pool.

Rain? Why bother?

And yes, it's probably because our kids are now grown and we've DONE ALL THOSE THINGS.

Years ago, we trudged along with the tourists at the pumpkin farms. We chaperoned youth group ski trips on the weekends when the lift lines were a mile long and there was never a spare chair in the lodge. We dragged our kids through the heat and humidity for a glimpse at America on parade.

When and if we become grandparents, I'm sure we'll bite the bullet and do it again. But for now...

THIS is what our Fourth of July looked like.

1. Hurricane Arthur paid us a visit on Friday afternoon and evening. Sure, maybe the rain didn't really get going until after the parade had ended, but it LOOKED like rain all day, so we stayed in and blamed it on the storm.

2.On Saturday, we slept in - something we rarely ever do anymore. And that afternoon, we grilled the steaks we'd planned to grill on The Fourth - the same day we'd half-heartedly planned to have people over, but worried that the weather might not cooperate. NAILED IT!

3. I should add that we grilled steaks outside, ate outside, and stayed out there all evening. Then we lit our new fire pit and thought about all the folks who were rushing out to see fireworks that evening - fireworks that had been cancelled the night before.

4. Sunday was a carbon copy of Saturday, except that we went to church that morning. But after church, we planted ourselves on the patio with books and music, and warmed up leftover food from the day before. Most of our backyard flowers are in bloom and we figured the fireworks (that we skipped yet again on Sunday night) couldn't be nearly as pretty. Plus, added bonus, our backyard was way less crowded! :)

Some photos from the day, including our elusive cardinal that showed himself a LOT this weekend!

The thing is, I don't need parades and festivals and crowds to make me feel patriotic. Having my hard-working family sitting at home around the backyard we've been working on for 16 years - that makes me incredibly thankful and celebratory about the freedoms we enjoy.


Copyright © 2014 - Paulla Estes


Robin Follette said...

I am the same way! I taught my kids to go outdoors and do what has to be done regardless of the weather. If it's hot or frigid or raining or.... and it doesn't have to be done, get comfy and relax with a book or a board game. We'll catch it next time...if it's nice out.

Sarah Vail said...

Paula this sounds so much like me! I felt guilty (for about five minutes) for not wanting to do all the the things I used to do when my kids were younger, like parades, festivals, and fireworks. After I got over that I enjoyed not needing to be anywhere! There is a lot to be said for this stage of life, and I have to say I am enjoying it. I hope you are too!