I missed the parade this morning. I had the freedom to sleep in, and felt it would be un-American not to take advantage of it, so by the time I was up and walked the dogs, I would have been scrambling to get to work on time if I had dashed off to the parade.
But I admit I regretted not seeing my friends driving their Longhorn Orange Model T in the parade. If I had known they were participating, I would have gone to bed earlier, instead of staying up past midnight last night to read another chapter of The Game of Thrones last night. (Just taking advantage of another liberty!)
Our vineyard (as in "the vineyard where I work", not "the vineyard I own") hosted a VinoPalooza today which included wine tastings from other vineyards, live music, pulled pork sandwiches, and horse-drawn carriage rides.
I didn't get to taste any of the other wines or hear the live music, because I worked inside the bistro the whole time, but I did get a pulled pork sandwich and a ride in the carriage with co-workers once the whole gig was over and all the guests had had their chance, thanks to co-worker Angelia who paid for all of us.
Say hello to Dolly, the horse. ("Hello, Dolly!" Get it?)
That's Kain on my right, who I've known since he was in TG's kindergarten class, and his mom, Angelia, on my left, who I've known since then, too, of course. And Clay, who I would co-work with on the weekends and then substitute teach during the week last year. (Or was it the year before?) His mom used to work with us, too.
That's life in a small town.
Since I didn't make it to the parade, I was determined to watch the fireworks, so after work I drove up Airport Hill which overlooks our little town, the lake, and the hills beyond. I pulled into a deserted cul-de-sac to wait for dark.
Not long after I parked, two other vehicles joined me...two young couples. The guys were National Guard and they had patriotic music playing on an iPod or iPhone or iSomething. We chatted a little as the sun went down, fireflies flickered, and small bursts of fireworks popped up out of a handful of small communities sprinkled through the hills.
It got dark, and we were tempted to get anxious...especially since the mosquitoes had discovered us...but I remembered the years before when we'd watch the fireworks in the park below us, growing impatient after the sun set. The fireworks always started about twenty minutes after we thought they should.
Sure enough, at 9:40 pm, they began. I stood there with the two young military couples on a hill overlooking my little town, ooh-ing and ah-ing over the colorful, sparkly, beautiful fireworks. My photos don't do them justice.
But it was so much better than watching alone. I gave thanks for another 4th of July memory to stash along with the others.
Happy birthday, America, and happy 4th of July to all of you!
How often we fail to realize our good fortune in living in a country where happiness is more than a lack of tragedy.