“If you’re not in the parade, you watch the parade. That’s life.”

The morning is cloudy, damp and windy. It’s an ugly morning. Rain is predicted. It is a good day to lounge around the house, to be a sloth. I’ll stay in my cozies.

Every July 4th, I used to march in a parade in Wakefield, the next town over from mine, as a member of St. Patrick’s Shamrocks drill team. The rest of my family spent the day at a friend’s house right on the parade route. I hated passing that house. Everyone was on the porch watching the parade and waiting for me to pass by so they could totally embarrass me. They’d yell out my name over and over. I’d try to ignore them, but I couldn’t. I’d give a little wave, and they’d clap. I was glad to move on.

Later, when I was much older, my mother, sister and I would mark our spots before the parade by putting down our chairs on the side of the road. We’d go home for a while then return to watch the parade together. It was far nicer to watch than march. I’d even sometimes buy a balloon I’d tie to my chair, a necessary step to ensure the balloon wouldn’t fly off. When I was little, I had many balloons escape. I’d watch them fly higher and higher until I could watch no more. When I was really little, I cried.

My mother always had a barbecue on July 4th. Hot dogs and hamburgers were on the menu when we were kids. They’d be potato chips, pepper and eggs and potato salad. Usually we’d have Hoodsies for dessert. Those were the days when Hoodsies came with a wooden spoon.

When we were older, the menu got fancier. They’d be teriyaki steak tips, chicken and sometimes kebobs. My father was always the cook. He’d sit outside with a drink and something to read while he watched the meat cook. He always cooked the meat perfectly. The sides didn’t change much. They’d be my mother’s potato salad, pepper and eggs, chips, maybe cole slaw or even pasta salad, bought, not made.

The fireworks started last night. I could hear them going off though not all that close to my house. Luckily, though, for my dogs, neither one minds the blasts. They sleep through them.

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10 Comments on ““If you’re not in the parade, you watch the parade. That’s life.””

  1. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    Today is a mixture of clouds and sun with a predicted high of only 96°.

    Today I’m awaiting our repairman to return and finish the job he started on Friday. He had to purchase some parts. First our kitchen refrigerator went on the fritz and was working intermittently. Luckily, we have another refrigerator in our garage to store the food. It needed an electrical part. Then, the repairmen said he could repair our built in microwave oven, which hasn’t worked since we bought the house three years ago. He is replacing the door latch switch which he said should fix it. We have been using a countertop one which we moved from our condominium. Also, he discovered that our dryer vent wasn’t working correctly and he offered to repair it and clean out the dryer exhaust tubing. Wow! All of this work at a reasonable cost. Anyone who is willing to come out to work on a Sunday is amazing.

    I have no repair skills, so finding an honest repairman who can fix everything at once is a godsend. My spouse found him on the next door website. If you haven’t used it it’s a great neighborhood resource and local information. I have to stop and think which way is tighten and which way is loosen when I use a screwdriver. 🙂

    Last night, my neighbor across the street pickup truck’s horn started going off continuously at one in the morning. Eventually, they drove up in their car about thirty minutes later and stopped the honking. I assume that a stray cat or something set off the alarm. My son called those neighbors, “The red neck neighbors”. 🙂 Our neighborhood has lots of pickup trucks parked in the driveways. Most of them are too large to fit inside the garages or the garages are filled with other stuff. In Texas driving a huge pickup truck is important to your masculinity or femininity.

    My better half is picking up my daughter for the holiday and they both enjoy going to fire work displays. I could care less about hanging around in the heat to watch 20 minutes of boom boom. I enjoy them just as much watching on the TV where it’s cool and comfortable. I’m sure there will be idiots in the neighborhood setting off fireworks despite the ban burn.

    • Bill S. Says:

      We had a repairman from Sear Appliance Repair fix our month old microwave. It was the door switch. He was here half hour. He has been doing this for 39 years. I didn’t know Sears still offered this service. The microwave was from Home Depot.
      I miss Hoodsies.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      I thought it was going to rain a while ago. The wind whipped, and it felt cooler, but nothing happened.

      Lefty loose. Righty tighty.

      I have former students for electrical and plumbing. One never takes money, and the other only charges me the repairman’s walk-in. I am enormously thankful.

      One of my neighbors has a pick-up for day to day while another has it for work. Everyone else has cars. It is your average neighborhood. Colorado too is pick-up heaven. I was amazed when I visited.

      I like to watch the Boston Pops concert on the Esplanade along the Charles River. After the concert, are amazing fireworks over the river.

      I do hear the bangs at night. Sometimes I can see the fireworks from Yarmouth in the sky. That’s close enough for me.

      • Bob Says:

        Okay, is a Hoodsie ice cream, or is it pudding? Is it both chocolate and vanilla? Your pic doesn’t have a caption or a description.

      • katry Says:

        It is officially called a Hoodsie cup because it is made by Hood Ice Cream. It is both chocolate and vanilla ice cream.

  2. Birgit Says:

    I like the idea to party to celebrate a country. I could see it once with fireworks near Denver years ago, no parade I think, at least not where we were. We only have some apolitical parades here for good reasons, carnival parades and some others.
    School holidays now and the annual Sunday summer concerts in a park next town started again, about one hour by bike, Nordic folk and Balkan guitar music today. It was fun.

    • katry Says:

      Already flags are on houses and draping fences. Just about everyone celebrates. Many towns around here have parades. I have a concert on July 4th and we have a patriotic medley. The crowd always sings along.

      There are town concerts here as well with town bands. They play in round band boxes once a week. I wish, though, we ha your music as well, Nordic folk and Balkan guitar. Enjoy!

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