Tuesday, July 5, 2011


We enjoyed the parade yesterday a.m.---it was a true hometown affair, with policemen on motorcycles doing figure eights right in front of us, several firetrucks, lots of scouts and dance studios, quite a few church floats, several bands, and myriad vehicles plastered with election posters, with the face-for-the-name waving from the car, or walking behind, scattering candy and shaking hands.    One lady stood alone in the back of a small pickup, up to her knees in a tide of Tootsie-Pops, ladling them  out over the side with her hands like bailing a boat.

Just as the band in Desert Camo stopped in front of us and struck up The Stars and Stripes Forever, blasting it out into the crowd, there was a great rumble from the sky, and two enormous planes flew low overhead, huge black bird-shapes against the sky, disappearing into the West.    Just heart-stopping and tear-bringing, as such a moment often is, and the thrill and the frisson of awe and pride as that blast of sound roared overhead---unforgettable.

We came home for quick cold turkey sandwiches, cucumbers in sour cream, and the just-made sweet dill slices from  the day before, and just relaxed for a bit.

Since Chris was going to grill the burgers, and everything was lying ready to hand, and since Caro was tending to the onions and lettuce and dessert, I just kept saying during the day,   “I’m just going to make the beans and slice some tomatoes.”

“And scrub and bake the potatoes,”    “And make up the topping for the potatoes,”   “I’d better go ahead and make the tea,”   “This bag with plates and cups and silverware is ready to go upstairs,”  “The cloths need to go outside,” and so on, all through the “lazy” afternoon, as I went to each little chore soon as I thought of it.    Doing nothing can plumb wear you out.

DS came over and he and Chris planted some more tomatoes, and tinkered with the garage door, and Chris got the patio all blown and neat and the tables set up.

Then our girls arrived, and the guys blew up the new little pool---a googly-eyed fish with built-in-sprayer,

Later, they blew bubbles as Sweetpea chased and caught, chased and swatted, chased and giggled. 

 I think of some moments like soap bubbles---beautiful and ethereal, and disappearing at a touch, and it’s often possible to see the scatter of Fairy-dust lingering in the air as the hand completes the arc:

And in this next picture, the big hazy circle like the ghost-of-a-CD is an out-of-focus bubble, a kinda metaphor for the way I tell things sometimes---through Google-Goggles and soapsuds shine.

You KNOW that though I gloss things and though I like to linger on the bright and cheerful and the little birds that dress us in the morning, usually the REAL is hunkering there, just out of camera line:

The back-door table, repository at this minute of two quiver-chairs, ready for carrying to the fireworks, two leftover flower pots which will probably still be there at Halloween, a half-full water bottle, a big purple jug---gallon of extra bubble stuff---several bottles of bug spray, the box containing all the cups and pots and ribbons for festooning the Tree Cup Tree soon, the dog baggies, what looks like a can of charcoal starter, and a big ole Styrofoam ROLL TIDE cooler from the last time Chris brought back Alabama Hoop Cheese.  (March, maybe?)

We DID, however have a lovely, smooth, leaf-free spot, with two big round tables on the patio---one for serving, one for eating, though almost all the dishes of food made their way onto the table where the six of us sat.

One MUNCH shot---Chris’ half-pound burger, with tomato, slices of Vidalia, and slices of dill-Havarti, drooping down like a little tablecloth.   He’s a mayo-and ketchup-man, and NONE of us will touch his knife---give him a jar of Blue Plate, and he could mookey up every knife, spreader, saber and sword in the kingdom.

And you'll notice the patriotic tablecloth---Easter Eggs.  The drawer to the big ole wicker dresser was stuck, and I was afraid I'd pull the whole front off of it, so I took what I could get.  Well, THERE IS some Red and Blue in there.  And White.

Sweetpea and her Mama had made a plate of blueberry muffins, and so we admired them, but were too full to eat one, so she went around the table with ONE in her hand, doling out teensy thumb-and-finger bites like a little sweet Communion as we all sampled.

THEN THE FIREWORKS.   Huge crowd, and we could not BELIEVE all of the odd, impatient folks grabbing up chairs, kids and coolers and filing past us to get to the parking lot a mere ten minutes after it started.     I have a word for all of those TYPE AAA in-a-hurry-people who got up to fold their tents and steal away to the parking lot before it was half over:


It was glorious and sparkly and like great bursts of jewels scattered into the heavens---the colors were iridescent and pure and sheer beauty falling and winking out, just as other even more beautiful twinkles and sparkles soared up to cover their place.   It wasn't just the regular powder or combinations or whatever we're used to---it was like great shimmering handfuls of actual precious-stones-in-sunlight, cascading and fading and being renewed.   It went on and on, with the sky never vacant of shimmer and shine and every color there is.

I’ve never seen any lovelier display, and I’m sure we all just sat there with goofy expressions of sheer delight on our faces.   IT WAS GLORIOUS.


Patsy said...

So much fun!

Beverly said...

Rachel, it all sounds like perfection to me. I laughed aloud about the mayo knife. I can't stand a yucky mayo knife.

I adore fireworks. We always record the Boston Pops Fourth and the Macy's Fourth. While the Macy's fireworks are drop dead gorgeous and much greater volume, the Boston fireworks are always my favorite. The have synchronized the fireworks and music into an absolute perfect work of art.

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Kim Shook said...

Sounds like the perfect way to spend the 4th, Rachel! I like the word picture of Herself passing out thumb-and-finger bites!

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