There's nothing like the sound of pouring rain to put a damper on your 4th of July festivities...and it was POURING when we woke up this morning! The entire radar was a lovely shade of green, and things did not look promising for the annual community parade. If my kid weren't marching in it, I would have rolled over and gone back to bed. Believe me, I thought about it. But I do love a parade...and my kid...and I love watching the band perform, so we packed up and headed out to claim our spot on the parade route. Oh, it was crowded...you bet! I'm not sure how we found a spot. We hauled our chairs out and set them up under our umbrellas, strategically placed so as not to drip on the chair next to us. Yep, we are PROfessionals. My parents were ever so kind as to join us...and whacked in the head. Last year, we were dripping sweat. This year, the drips were from a cold, steady rain, and I would gladly have donned a parka.
We sat for a while in a steady rain, praying that the straggling cars passing us by would avoid the puddles in front of us. Miraculously, just as the parade came into sight, the rain stopped! We dumped the blankets and umbrellas and took up our post on the curb. We had no problem spotting the band well in advance. They were wearing their new show shirts, and...well...they were hard to miss, even with the rain ponchos over them. Last year's show shirts were so sharp and classy that we were naively excited about this year's shirts. Until we saw the bags full of highlighter yellow t-shirts being passed out the night before. "OH...WHOA...WOW," was, I believe, the most common of responses among the teens. They had a few other comments I will refrain from sharing. My neighbor and I decided Mindy's new nickname should be "Sharpie". My neighbor's daughter quipped that at least Mindy won't get run over, wearing that shirt. But my favorite response was from Abby. All she could do was roll on the floor and laugh and sputter words like "neon" and "banana". She was REALLY glad she wasn't in the parade this year.
You can definitely see them coming...
The kids played "In the Stone", by Earth, Wind and Fire...I would have preferred "Boogie Wonderland", but nobody asked me. Seriously, they were awesome! They always are! Afterward, Mindy told us that the pouring rain kept them from playing the show tune until they got to our location at the end of the parade route...had to keep those woodwinds and brass covered...which left the percussion section playing the street beat until then...which left Mindy with very little feeling in her arms without a break from the cymbals. We were so proud of her, though. There's just something about your kid marching in a parade that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy...which is a good thing, considering the weather.
Many of the kids who come to this parade every year call it the "Candy Parade"...it's like Halloween with the candy-givers doing the walking. They collected scads of suckers and bubble gum, and Mickey made quite a haul. It took Caroline a few minutes to figure out what was going on and understand that it was okay to run out into the street to get the candy, but, oh, was she happy when she did!
We headed back to the house after that to have a cookout with my parents. Jon's mom was in Kentucky, visiting his sister, so it was a quiet afternoon. We took advantage of having time to spend with Mom and Dad. Caroline had "Pop" color with her and read books. After lunch, Mindy played a bit on the xylophone she brought home to practice for her marimba part. Caroline was all about that, and Mindy let her try it out. You can just barely see the motion of the mallets in the photo. This girl is meant to be a drummer!
Those mallets are flying! I think we have
another future percussionist...
Later in the evening, we grabbed milkshakes from "Steak 'n Shake" and headed back over to the park to see the fireworks. Abby complained the entire way...she really does not like fireworks...HATES loud noises. Poor Abby...and I forgot the earplugs. It was like a war zone where we were, with people setting off some fairly good-sized fireworks of their own!
Here's a slide show of our day...click on the slide show to view photos individually.
I am falling asleep, but I am almost finished with a little something to add to this day's post, so check back later today...