Saturday, July 5, 2008

The 3rd, 4th & 5th of July

On the 3rd, a few days after my last post, my family and I went to buy fireworks. We always buy from the Boy Scouts firework tent. Our neighbors are usually there, but their son has grown up and is no longer a scout. This year, as we walked into the tent, I saw two women at the register. One of them looked familiar and I asked, "Do I know you?" Besides the fact that she tuned our piano years ago, she turned out to be the lady who interviewed David Ogden Stiers on the radio a few days ago! I was so pleased to be able to tell her how much I enjoyed the interview and we also told her how we had watched the Star Trek episode she spoke of, just the night before the interview. She agreed it was strange and we had a good chat. She told us about the interview, how she was able to get his agreement to meet her and how quick-witted he was. I was so glad to be able to talk with her and I know she appreciated hearing our comments.

As this is a small town, this lady (her name is Kathleen) has a son who used to take trombone lessons from my husband's step-dad, (Grampa Bob). My son, Chad, used to have euphonium lessons on the same day but different hour - we never crossed paths.

We celebrated the 4th yesterday, along with the rest of America. It rained all morning but by 3:00, it was clear enough to go to the parade in the next town over. A nice man beside us gave our kids some small American flags to wave. Lots of firetrucks and sirens (small town parade stuff). And those dreaded clowns. My kids run for cover. They don't like them either. Then back home for pizza, complete with pepperoni stars, the long wait for dusk to set off our way-too-expensive fireworks (my husband's thing!) and then watching the big fireworks set off from a dock on the Columbia River in town. We had to watch them from a different vantage point than usual and it was kind of uncomfortable. Too many people and some of them were drunk. I can't stand that! But the fireworks were beautiful and loud, just the thing to end the day.

One of the drunk men a few feet from us did provide a funny moment - at a hotel behind us, someone's car alarm was set off by the booming of the fireworks. The annoying honking went on for several minutes when this drunk guy finally said, "Turn that s*** off!" At that precise moment, the honking ceased. Then he said, "Thank you!" Todd and I thought it was hysterical and we had a good laugh.

We also got in some learning today. I use this day as an opportunity to teach my kids why we celebrate on this day and we sang some patriotic songs that I think my kids should know. There are many things that we automatically learned in school growing up that I need to teach my homeschooled kids, like the Pledge of Allegiance, for example. This became alarmingly apparent on the evening of the 3rd. As usual, we went to the 4th of July concert in our town (where Grampa Bob plays in the symphony) and at the beginning, there is a flag ceremony where all the military flags are presented, along with our nation's flag. When Old Glory appeared, I told my 7 year old to put her hand over her heart. She said, "Why?" rather loudly. I said, "Just do it!" and made a mental note to explain later. We usually say the Pledge of Allegiance on the 4th (among other times of the year) but I think she had forgotten or it didn't make an impression. I don't know. I just don't want that to happen again, plus these are among the important things my kids need to know about our country, about being an American.

No wonder I am always SO exhausted on the 5th! Our 4th seems rather busy compared to my own childhood. But it's what we do. Hope you all had a good 4th!


Kathleen aka Coffee Mom said...

Sounds like a fun time Kate- Our town has a big weekend festival at the end of July with fireworks and a street dance. We look forward to it all year!

Leingang Family said...

Glad you had a fun 4th despite the clowns. Who likes clowns anyway? :o)

Mama Self said...

I get mortified when my kids say something that shows how deficient I am as a teacher (NOT saying you are, but I can get my pride hurt easily...). Then I have to make that mental note to teach that and go back through all the reasons we home school. Why do I care so much what others think anyway?!?!

Emily said...

Love the....'Just do it!' reply. Kids ask questions at the funniest times, huh?

and stars on the pepperoni pizza? Not fair.