About Me

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Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Thinking Back on the Fourth

I picked up two big boxes of Driscoll strawberries and a big bag of baby carrots on the way to the parade. Also a Swiffer for this lovely floor and refills for the wand that I use to clean the commode. I do not think I have ever voluntarily tidied the loo on the Fourth of July, but this little house seems to want peace and order as much as I do. I got to my friends’ house just in time to put the food in the fridge and walk over to the parade with some of their kids and grandkids.

Nice bunch of people!

I sat in the shade and knitted until the parade started. It lasted fifteen or twenty minutes, and we just kept sitting there, and that’s when I learned that they would come back in the other direction in an hour or so. The youngest grandkids were on their bikes in the parade.

Some of Fort Worth’s finest.

And the obligatory pretty girl on horseback. This horse had a patriotic feather boa draped around its neck.

We were sitting across the street from this house.

A guy my age [and his daughter?] on a Very Nice Bike.

And a drill team. Cordless drills with streamers attached. We laughed maybe a little more than was strictly necessary.

An oompah band in the back of a pickup, snapped just before the parade began.

They were pretty good. And they were playing a song I remembered from fourth grade. I told the kids sitting around me, “Five extra points if you know the name of that song and can sing along.” They just grinned and laughed.

I have no idea what the song was about, but it was in German, and the chorus sounded like

shtolla shtolla shtolla pumpa shtolla pumpa shtolla pumpa
shtolla shtolla shtolla pumpa shtolla pumpa pum pum pum

It was, of course, a polka. I could sing it for you. But I don’t think I'm quite up to dancing the polka today.

Tan, you speak German. Do you know this song?

After the parade and an excellent cookout and several nice conversations, I headed for home. Then decided to see if I could find the Neighborhood Wal-Mart, which is not really in the neighborhood. And I did. Stocked up on dairy [that gallon of milk which I bought last Saturday night is fresh and wholesome, but I bought 1%, and there is a little too much powdered milk in it to fortify it, and it tastes too sweet and a little cooked, so I made a batch of tapioca from it] and a few things to take in my lunches next week, and some bananas.

And then on the way home from there, I spotted a Tom Thumb that is closer than the one down by where Secondborn used to live, and I cherry-picked some boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $1.99 a pound. [And a couple more cans of the reduced-sodium tomato soup.] I’m going to freeze most of them, and tomorrow I’m going to toss one into the small crockpot my friend gave me, mostly to score a manageable amount of homemade chicken stock.

I am still enjoying the bean jollop that I cobbled together last Sunday. Had some last night for dinner, on top of a mound of the risotto. And I have realized, while eating this good stuff for dinner about every other night, that the traditionally-sized crockpot is now way too big for me unless I’m cooking for the tribe, or for company. Or making potato leek soup; that is inevitably a one-and-a-half-latte-cup event. [Your mileage may vary.]

I spent a little time organizing my planner for the next quarter. And more knitting, both on Juno Regina, where I’ve just begun the third pattern chart, and on the Noro Kimono. It’s almost time for more spit-splicing.

I found that I missed our tribal Fourth of July breakfast, which we typically ate while sitting along the sidewalk waiting for the Arlington parade, which is the biggest, or one of the biggest, in the state of Texas. And I missed the high school marching bands. Love the drumline. Love, love, love those cadences! And nobody’s horse pooped right in front of us this year, so there were nowhere near enough flies, at least not until the cookout after the parade.

And you know? I kinda missed my kids. But don’t tell them that, OK? Maybe next year we can meld some of the old traditions with some of the traditions in my new ward. There are way too many people and not enough shade at the Arlington parade. I loved the family-friendliness of this neighborhood parade. And also the Tootsie Rolls that were thrown from some of the cars on parade. And the fact that I sat in the shade for the duration. Both times.

I think it’s going to take awhile for me to find a new level of intimacy with my kids. I don’t want them to think that my life from here on out is just about me and what I want. How boring is that? And I so appreciate how respectful they are of my privacy, as I try to be of theirs. Maybe next year they will want to come over and watch fireworks with me. Maybe next year I will pick up the phone and ask.


Bonnie said...

I'm glad that you had a fun fourth. I was going to invite you to our little last minute BBQ here at the house, but I read that you were already attending a friend's potluck. Maybe next year we can meld some traditions, like you said.

Tan said...

Love the drill team! We went out to watch the grandkids' fireworks and then came home to more grandkids' fireworks in our driveway.

Tola said...

i love going to both the 4th parade in Rexburg, and the 24th parade in St Anthony. but the streets in St Anthony are narrower and tree-lined, so it'a much more comfortable. the VIP speaks German, ill ask him about your song.

Jenni said...

Without you and 2B getting everyone to the parade in A-town, I haven't been since before we went to Florida.