Orange Gearle

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

busy day

Since I haven't slept yet, to me it is still the 4th of July. :-)

I woke up this morning, earlier than I wanted to because I was running in a race. (Well, to be honest, first I woke up at 4am as usual to "worry" then I went to sleep just long enough to have one of those dreams that is hard to shake.) But the rest of the day was much better.....I met my niece and nephew at her aunt's house along the race route. Alissa and I traveled to the starting line together.

My blister is still a blister, but it didn't hurt too bad. All along the route there were "official" people guiding the way, offering support and water. There were many people in yards cheering us on -- some with welcomed sprinklers or hoses. It was kinda fun, actually. I did want to get one of the "official" people's shirts! They were orange....kind of a "Texas" orange. But alas....

Parents of a kid in the performance group that Hollyanne is part of were two of the "official" people. Russ with a megaphone....DANGEROUS. :-) Anyway, as I went by he yelled into the megaphone "And here comes Hollyanne's mom." Funny. I, of course, waved wildly and pumped my hands up and down, very Rockyesque.

The race is actually an 8K, but we ended up only running a 5K. Alissa's aunt's house is right about at the 5K mark, and the mimosas were calling our name! Alissa was ahead of me (of course) and so when I saw her sitting on the curb in front of the house, there was NO WAY I was going to continue the last leg of the race! Maybe next year? :-) So we chatted for about a half hour, and I had a mimosa made by my nephew, Seth (also the photographer). As soon as I was able to cool off a bit, I hopped into my car and drove to my hometown. There was a parade that I was to walk in for the Dems. In a previous diary I mentioned that I am a bi-political child. My father, my brother, and most of my father's family are not only Republicans, they continue to be a part of the 31% that are still supporting this regime. So I must say here, that I really wanted to be in this parade. My hometown is much like the towns described in the book "What's the Matter With Kansas? How conservatives won the heart of America" by Thomas Frank. There are a lot of people in my hometown that continue to vote against their best interest. As I passed out stickers, let's just say that was apparent. :-)

My daughter went out to breakfast with my parents this morning while I was running. Some of the canvassers that she works with joined them for breakfast! (They were making themselves visible in the community - half in my hometown, and half in a small town just north of us) My dad told them that Hollyanne was a "spy" for the Republicans. At least he was chuckling. This is a guy that registered democrat so that he could go to the caucus and "vote" for the person he wanted -- least likely to compete with Bush. God. However, during the parade I slapped a sticker on my dad's chest and he gave me a big hug. When it was my uncle's turn, he did not appreciate the gesture. Neither did the homecoming king from my senior class. So I put one on both his daughters. :-) God I'm a shit, aren't I? I get it from my dad, actually. To my father's credit, he did take a little "razzing" from his friends. He told them that it was because I went to college. He was right. Ok, not really - he actually said it was because I lived in Iowa City (when I went to college). But he's right about one thing -- the more I learn, the more liberal I become. :-)

An emotional moment: Right before the parade began three fighter jets did a fly over. Very loud, and quite emotional.

At one point in the day my father said to me, "Do you know how long the Revolutionary War lasted? Six years. So give this war a little more time, ok?" Well, the Revolutionary War was actually closer to 8 years, but whatever. I'm also having a difficult time seeing the relevance. But I just said, "K, Dad."....and he knew it wasn't ok. Funny, though, we hadn't been talking about the war or politics much at all...he just brought it up out of the blue. I'm just waiting for my brother and father to ask me why I'm no longer arguing with them. It's simple. I've decided that my time is better spent making sure that the 69% of the people that want a regime change get out and vote. (Ok, I'm probably exaggerating on the percentage...but maybe not)

It's actually become a nice little town, but I'm glad I don't live there. It's very red. It's a wonder I made it out blue. Thanks Mom. :-)

I returned home, got Hollyanne ready for her performance and did a bit of laundry in anticipation of my impending trip. Hollyanne went off with her friends (to hang out, perform and then watch fireworks), and I made a fantastic spinach dip to take back up to my hometown (this time to my brother's house).

I took a zillion pictures tonight, some of which turned out, and some did not. I am now wondering if my camera is broken. IDK. I will try not to choose too many pics to share, but I might not be successful.

Every year my brother gets a permit to light "big" fireworks. First, I must describe fireworks in my hometown.

The location: local fair grounds. (visable from my brother's house)
The participants: Firemen light 'em, everyone (including surrounding towns) watch 'em
Also in attendance: local boyscout troops providing refreshments

It's about as Mayberry as it can get. :-) Everyone is there. Everyone. Many locals have family reunions around this date (for many reasons) but the parade and fireworks are the best parts. Now, I've seen "big city" fireworks and I must say, my little town of one 4 way stop can beat them all!

But, my brother gets a permit to light off his own. He purchased hundreds of dollars worth of fireworks this year. He has a huge piece of land behind his house and everyone comes with chairs to watch. It's nice because we can watch his and still see most of the city fireworks. This year he truly out did himself. And I bet you won't be surprised when I tell you that his neighbor also purchases fireworks and yes, there is a competition. :-)

Mark, God bless him, is a planner. (It's a curse that I too possess) I think he worked on this all winter. He's not at all competative.

Aunts, uncles and cousins from both sides of my family attended Mark's event. All of my sister-in-law's immediate family was there, too. My nephew Seth brought his wife and a few friends. A man that I grew up with that plays a mean guitar also showed up. My brother and his wife play in a couples golf league, and their partners came.

My mother kept cheering for "both sides" because she thinks everyone should be a winner. Seriously.

During the event, although we were far away, we could hear Mark ordering around the help (a cousin, Mark's golf partner, Seth, Mark's brother-in-law, etc.). It was amusing. My father, my cousin Rita and I ended up sitting by the fire because it was chilly!!

The sounds of the fireworks echoed. That's not too surprising. But the sound of the echo was unique. It sounded like ducks quacking. So you'd hear the percussive sounds of the fireworks, immediately followed by ducks quacking. Rita and I had fun with that. Were there ducks injured during this fireworks display? We'll never know.

As you will see in the was an amazing spread. I even got to light some! When I checked out the layout before dark I was a bit concerned that we might be on the verge of earning the next Darwin award, but we made it through without incident.
(click picture to enlarge)

This is when just a few of us were there....maybe 1/2-1/3.

Ok, seriously, can you see why I was worried about a potential Darwin Award? Beer and fireworks...hmmm....I wonder if that's a good idea?

(above) Mark says, "When lighting fireworks, Never do this!"

Aaron, after the fireworks, checking out Mark's new guitar. I do wish Zoot Daze would've met Aaron. That would've been FUN!

What a great, and very busy, day!


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