Independence Weekend

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Happy birthday, America! Vivian and I kicked off a nice little three-day weekend with a bang on Thusday by inviting a bunch of our friends over to our place to grill some burgers and set off some fireworks in the front yard. It was a last-minute fling, but with a newborn baby in the house, it was much easier to gather together with a bunch of friends at our place than tote our little ones somewhere else after dark. Hannah had fun playing with Dean and Sarah’s little girl, and Phil volunteered to grill up some burgers for us with his special culinary touches (“this and that” was all he’d tell us). Aaron got passed around from person to person to person, and then we kept the neighborhood awake with a series of artillery shells and flaming projectiles that whizzed in random directions, all of which we watched with baited breath from our front steps. It was a fun away to start a long weekend, and fortunately nothing burned donw.

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The next day, the Johnson Family went down to Ralston to check out the Independence Day parade, this time as spectators rather than dancing with our cluster of Jitterbug friends. The weather was just perfect to sit and watch the series of floats some puttering by. There was the standard assortment of clowns, shiners, Star Wars cos-players, unspecified characters, dancers, and tractors rolling along. This also happens to be an election year with a handful of vacant seats, so I snapped pictures of people running for governor, senator, county commissioner, and dog catcher as they wandered by asking for votes. There was even a mobile petting zoo that stopped long enough for us to get a good whiff before the parade wound down.

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That evening, my folks invited us and Vivian’s parents over for a dinner of smoked ribs to celebrate The Fourth together as one big family. (Both grandpas fussed over the meat, of course.) Then we migrated outside on lawn chairs to check out a 360 degree display of fireworks that neighbors in all directions were busy setting off for most of the evening. We had a bunch of our own to set off as well, of course, but nothing at the foot of our driveway was quite as spectacular as the panoramic dipslay of fireworks all along the horizon of my parents’ backyard. Both grandmas took turns with the kids until we were ready to pack it in at the end of the night.

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Saturday was a day of recover filled with errands to Costco and doing laundry at home. Then on Sunday, the whole Johnson Family was in attendance for the first time, including Baby Aaron. Our church family threw us a “diaper potluck” after the service, complete with baby cakes and enough Huggies to last Aaron until Pre-School.

Sunday was also our friend Libby’s birthday, which she chose to celebrate down at the lake in Louisville. It was a sweltering 96 degrees with air thick with humidity, so the relatively cold waters of the lake were more than welcoming. Once Hannah eased her way into the waters, she didn’t want to get out, and the rest of our friends tossed a beach ball and played with a thousand different pool noodles they brought with them. Little Aaron just chilled the whole time, content to sleep and look adorable to everyone passing by. It was a lovely afternoon perfect for any number of photos from the shoreline. I’m only sorry Vivian couldn’t join us this time, but the summer’s still young.

Happy Birthday, ‘Murica!

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