Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Small Town 4th of July

Our day started with a pancake breakfast at the fire station. YUM! Any time the fireman cook our breakfast is a GOOD day! We always park in the same place and walk a couple of blocks into town. Then we get in line for breakfast. Well, we left Greg in line and the kids and I walked over to Rainbow's End (one of the many coffee shops in town) and I got a large, triple, non-fat mocha with no whipped cream. Then we walked back to Greg and we waited about 1/2 hour but it's a small town so there are lots of people to say hello to and the time passes quickly. We got our plates with 3 big pancakes, scrambled eggs, and sausage. YUM! We ate inside as the sun was already getting warm. Inside means inside the bay where the firetrucks are normally parked. They set up long tables and everyone eats together. Delicious and fun!

When we were done, we still had time to kill. So, we walked down the main street looking in shop windows. We stopped in our local pet and feed store. Ruthie asked about hamsters and they still haven't got any due in -- I suspect we'll have to buy her hamster elsewhere. We walked back to the firestation and staked out a spot near the end of the parade route. The parade is a Boulder Creek tradition [CLICK!]. We have been every year since we moved here and we love it. It's so insanely small town. Every year it starts at one end of town and comes down to our one stop sign, turns left and ends. The highway is detoured so the parade can come down our main street.

We had added entertainment this year. There was a new Highway Patrolman who was told to set up the road closure at the end of the parade. Well, he misunderstood his directions and set up to close the road just before the stop sign. I'm sure he was thinking that the traffic from the highway needed to go that way but he effectively dead-ended the parade. People started calling to him that he was setting up his car and cones in the wrong place. He sort of looked puzzled and carried on. Meanwhile, the parade has begun at the other end of the street. A kind gentleman walked out to him and pointed out his mistake. This young CHP officer basically patted him on the back and assured him that he knew what he was doing. The man -- an older white-haired man in a hat -- came back grumbling about that "stupid idiot." So, the crowd pretty much decided that this would quite entertaining and we'd just see what happened when all the firetrucks arrived at the beginning of the parade. Well, the other CHP officer -- who lives here in town -- is married to the fire chief's daughter and she couldn't just let this poor man learn the hard way. She went out and told him what he needed to do. He didn't really believe her either but she told him he'd batter call her husband on the radio. The firetrucks are about two blocks away now and bearing down on us (as they approach in a zig-zag down the road manner, throwing candy out their windows for the kids). He looked down the road and started to realize it couldn't work. So, radioed for help. The other CHP officer came down quickly in his car, told the young guy to move the cones and he moved the car. The young guy was sheepish and went down to the other end of the parade route rather than face the vast amusement of the crowd at the end of the parade. We did applaud him though!

The rest of the parade was delightful. The firetrucks with their sirens blaring lead the parade. It ends with a lumberjack drill team throwing axes (cardboard ones) and marching in unison. In between you could see anything: the All-American hotdog vendor with a retinue of dachsunds dressed in patriotic colors, a Monk from the local Taibetan monestary walking his dachsund, kids on bikes who just like to be in the parade, the Historical Society float with a period classroom set up on a flatbed truck, a group of belly dancers followed by a troop of girl scouts, a guy on a dirtbike driving over the top of a car repeatedly, and so much more. A wonderful, small town parade!

Around 1pm, we head over to my in-laws for an afternoon by the pool. We eat all afternoon and evening and then drag ourselves up the hillside to sit and watch Scotts Valley's fireworks. They start at 9:15pm. We watch the bats and stars come out while the kids all shout "When will it start?????" The show is always a good one. We're pretty far away from it but it's lovely. We've been doing this since Ruthie was an infant and watched delightedly over my shoulder at the pretty lights. We've done it during the years where the sound terrified the kids and we had to be in the house watching a video to distract them. And, now, they love it and ohhh and ahhh with us as we all watch the show. I got to sit on a bench with Greg and enjoy the show. It was delightful.

After that, we put the kids to bed at my in-law's. Wednesday is "Camp Gramma" day so Greg would have brought them over first thing anyway. He and I came home, did some work, and went to bed. Quiet and peaceful but a little lonely.

Happy 4th of July!

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