Celebrating The Fourth With Family



In a way, coming together with family to celebrate the Fourth of July seems a bit counter-intuitive. After all, isn’t it “Independence Day” and don’t families remind you of dependency?

Yet, we went to Monticello for the fourth (and fireworks on the fifth), and it was grand. For some reason, a parade is more pleasant in a small town. I still wonder why they cast candy at parade audience (it seems a slightly dangerous habit, and I got bopped with a sucker just to make the point—although the great danger is small kids darting here and there to get more sweets). It would seem to me that a rule that you have to just hand out stuff if you want to give anything away would make sense, but nobody asked me.

Twin US flags on back of a fire truck in Monticello parade.

Twin US flags on back of a fire truck in Monticello parade.

The parade was fun on several levels. I was secretly pleased that the school band seemed to be playing “My Country Tis of Thee,” since that’s also the British national anthem “God Save the Queen,” thus celebrating our British heritage on the holiday that also celebrates us breaking away from them.

Why a pink elephant? Waving a bat at a panther? The one part of the parade that scared a grandchild.

Why a pink elephant? Waving a bat at a panther? The one part of the parade that scared a grandchild.

We had a great day—watching the parade, having a dinner at my daughter’s house. The next day, July 5, was the firemen’s fireworks display at the fairgrounds, and we showed up with a whole crowd of grandkids. The fireworks were a bit late, but fine when they started, and it was fun running around, catching fireflies, playing with grandchildren.

And I go to be a hero. Nikayla had been wearing a big plastic ring she got on her fifth birthday, and after dusk settled, she noticed it was missing from her finger. A frantic search with flashlights ensued, but finally her mom had to tell her that it was probably gone.

Meanwhile, I was finishing a bag of puff corn. In the final handful, I felt something hard—and luckily neither bit too hard nor swallowed too quickly.

Yes, I won the prize, I found the ring in the puff corn.

It was a fine fourth.

By the way, blog fans, I don’t think I’ll be writing the other posts about my Paraguay trip. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy Paraguay—I had a blast—but I edited some photos and arranged them, and discovered the muse was elusive. It was not an unhappy time to look back on, it would just have taken too much work to create galleries and write the posts I earlier promoted.

And the trip was giving me an odd “blogger’s block.” While I’ve kept up my bike blog, I’ve been more remiss on this one.

So I declare independence. I’m sure I will mention the Paraguay trip now and then, but my focus is officially on the here and now, again on life in Iowa.

Which is grand.

Part of the fireworks on the evening of July 5 in Monticello.

Part of the fireworks on the evening of July 5 in Monticello.

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