Happy 4th of July to all of you out there who don't live in Utah! If you do live in Utah, then you understand that in our world the 4th of July is over already. It happened Friday and Saturday. That's because in Utah nothing happens on Sunday. That's right. No Thing.
Not that I'm complaining. Sunday is a laid back day for me anyway. Plus we got to celebrate the 4th over the course of two days instead. (And a big benefit is that I can start my July 4th post with a picture of fireworks that I took two days ago. Cheating? Yup.)
Friday night our town had a little parade, that ended with a man yelling at me, "If you don't get out of my way, I'm going to run you over!" Because it was a small town, no f-words were uttered. That's how you can tell we have hospitality.
Later that night we traveled to a nearby town for an outdoor concert. You might remember that we went to the same place last year for Independence Day celebrations and got to see Merrill Osmond. These outdoor concerts are magical. People spread out camp chairs and blankets and listen to good music under the stars, followed by fireworks. Children run through the grass and dance, wearing neon jewelry and lighting up our night in a parade of bright colors. Warm breezes keep us from being too hot or too chilly.
Look at the clips below to see a brief glimpse of who we saw in concert this year.
[Now this is right where our video would have appeared had I not stopped the download after THREE HOURS. I even took an hour nap while it was downloading. So just pretend you saw someone who looked and sounded amazingly like Neil Diamond.]
That person in your imagination was not even Neil Diamond, but an expert faker named Jay White! We thought he was fantastic, as did the crowd. On many songs, if we closed our eyes and laid our heads back in our camp chairs, we would have sworn Neil was really there. He normally plays at the Riviera in Vegas but we were lucky that he had nothing to do on the 2nd of July! (That's the 4th of July in Utah lingo.) This had to be one of the best concerts I've attended.
Gal pal Ekanela and her family were there too.
Weston (purposely pretending to be eating) with Ekanela's son, He's Hot.
Ekanela's daughter, The Divine Miss Ya-Ya
BFF Ekanela with hubby, He's Even Hotter, and daughter, SK8TR
The next day, Saturday, Ekanela and I hit the parade route. We even took our kids. We would have gotten lots more candy had we left them home, but we knew they would enjoy the hot sun and noisy sirens.
Well, except for SK8TR, who enjoyed the sirens NOT SO MUCH.
The Divine Miss Ya-Ya, her cousin Osteoporosis, He's Hot, Weston, and SK8TR
SK8TR, an all-American pile of cuteness
During the parade, Weston scored two coupons for 12" pizzas for only $5 each at a local pizzeria that is known for its great food. The coupon specifically said, "No Waiting!" That was a big fat lie. Ekanela and I each decided to get one pizza to give to the kids for lunch. I went in to order our pizza, while Ekanela went to the dairy. We hoped that we would finish our errands simultaneously.
At 12:30 I entered the pizza place and saw that there were lots and lots and lots of people who all thought they should use their Pizza for $5 coupon. Right now. I placed my order and paid for for 2 cheese pizzas around 12:35. At around 1:00, Ekanela called to check progress. I told her I had ordered, but not yet received, our pizzas. She asked me if it would be a problem to order a third pizza.
I looked around and saw that there were still quite a few people waiting for their orders, and about 20 more people waiting in line just to place an order. She decided to send her son, He's Hot, in to get a third pizza. I was honest and said that he would probably be in line for at least 30 minutes, waiting to place his order, and then there would be another 30 minute wait to get the pizza. $5 pizzas don't come along every day so she decided it would be worth the wait.
After about another 10-15 minutes, the owner came out and yelled, "Three cheese pizzas for Roger? Roger? Is there a Roger for three cheese pizzas? Roger?" Roger was either deaf or had given up, so the owner called out the next person in line, who happened to be me! "Two cheese pizzas for Randi?"
I said, "Actually, I need three cheese pizzas now," and turned to He's Hot at the end of the line and said, "Bring the money up here!"
The owner said, "Just take them, they're yours. Go." Woo ho! Ekanela scored a free cheese pizza. Thank you, Roger, wherever you are. You saved us about an hour's wait, and made some starving children very happy.
Later that night, we went to another set of fireworks just a few blocks from my house. There's a beautiful church building not far from my house that sits atop a steep hill.
People gather with blankets and bug spray on that hill to watch. Computer Geek, Weston and I walked over there to sit with daughters (adopted and not) and grandchildren (adopted and not.) Our blanket was kind of slippery so Computer Geek and I had to dig our heels in to keep from sliding down the slope.
Tiny Dancer and Em
Avatar and Pinque
Weston and Dash
He said he was watching but I think he was sleeping.
After we walked home, I put brownies in the oven so we could finish our July 4th celebration the right way---with chocolate and ice cream. Gnome happened to call around 11:00 p.m., right when the brownies were coming out of the oven, so we invited her and Hoolie over for a midnight snack.
Today, the real July 4th, I would like to officially end our festivities, as many of you are just beginning yours, with a quote by one of my favorite founding fathers.
Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!