Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Fifth of July

The day after is starting out quietly. Homemade granola, fresh picked raspberries. The Sunday paper. First load of cherries out of the dehydrator and the second load in. Wimbledon and skittles with Papa. Later the Farmer's Market, grocery shopping, setting grains to soak for bread tomorrow. Making cherry jam. The 80 pounds of pesticide-free Johnson's Orchards Bings and Rainiers we picked Friday sure went fast! Laundry. Yogurt making. Yard mowing and weeding.

The Day: The Fourth of July was sparkly, hot, silly, fun! A perfect birthday!
Cherry Festival at the Fruit Place: pit spitting contest (45 ft!), cherry pie eating, cherry tasting, hay ride, tractor sitting (why oh why is sitting on a tractor so amusing for little boys?)



Can I use my hands now?
Going to the reservation to buy firecrackers: a big pack of sparklers and a few Roman Candles to save for some wintry, snowy, safer night (Why oh why do boys love fire and explosions so? And why oh why do grown men revert to absolute boy-hood around the Fourth, so that Moms have to turn nervous and shrill and ruin all the fun? Why?)
Supper with friends: So relaxing and nice. Amazing to watch all the kids, usually asleep by 8 (or earlier) stay up, and up, and up! Barbecue beef, delicious German potato salad, coleslaw, corn on the cob (Miles ate three!). Moms talked and took care of babies, Dads and older kids watched and sang along with the Schoolhouse Rock songs about America. Miles woke up this morning singing the Preamble to the Constitution. Papa might have gotten a little misty singing along to "The Great American Melting Pot". It's possible. Three year olds running in and out, up and down, riding trikes and spring horses, eating watermelon and cherries. Thrilling, scary, exciting, beautiful sparklers. So, so good. Happy Independence Day!
Fireworks: Much debate, a final decision. With lots of bug spray, plates of raspberry shortbread bars, we'll brave the mosquitoes, the crowds, the late hour, and make our way to the Arboretum to watch the fireworks. It was great! The little ones who'd never seen fireworks were entranced, heartbroken when it was over. Baby Ansel, dressed head to toe and covered in a wrap on my chest was unmolested by mosquitoes (though I was prepared to retreat to the car if necessary). The rest of us were under attack (though Papa and the boys not so much as me, luckily). It really is unheard of in this area- it's awful. And yet, no one wanted to leave. The excitement of fireworks was worth it, and the pure joy of watching little faces so entranced, so amazed, was pretty great. Even if my arms, shoulders, back, legs, feet are swollen and itchy and hurting today. It was a great day, yesterday, the Fourth of July!

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