Yesterday I went to the annual parade that our town has. My middle child went with me and promptly jumped on his bike, which we had brought along, and rode off in search of friends, many of whom he hasn’t seen all summer. I walked the short distance to the main street and arrived just as the first police cars, with lights and sirens going all out, neared my spot on the roadside. I could see the American flag being marched up the street right behind them by the local American Legion members in parade formation and hear the steady drum rhythm that synchronized their footsteps. As I saw all this, a wave of nostalgia and patriotism and pure summer joy came over me. Of course, I get a little choked up and sometimes teary when I see the American flag raised and hear the national anthem being played. I can’t help it.
Well, I decided right then that the parade would be the topic of my next blog, and realized that I hadn’t even thought to bring my camera. Quick-thinking, modern person that I am, I pulled out my cell phone. After a couple minutes trying to remember how to take pictures with it, I started clicking away. I took pictures of police vehicles, fire trucks, local kids’ groups, and of course the high school marching band. What is a parade, small or large, without a marching band? I took pictures of friends and family and ran out of memory on my phone before the end of the parade. I skipped the utility companies and political people. Boring! Of course, you won’t get to see any of those pictures because I can’t download them directly from my phone to my computer. Why?! Everyone else does it all the time! Alas, I have a low-tech phone, at least that’s what I’m using as the reason.
I stood there alone on my patch of grass, yet connected to the whole community through my friends and family, acquaintances and familiar faces. Kids who I taught threw candy at me, and a couple of my grown up friends did too. I picked it all up and stuffed my pockets to take home to my daughter who was camping with a friend and missed the parade and festival this year. The main reason I went was to see my father-in-law and his friend towing the giant pirate ship that they helped make for the church’s vacation bible school. It was really cool and I snapped several pictures of it that I can’t share. I’ll figure it out. Eventually, my older son walked right past me without even seeing me, so I called to him and he came back and stood with me for the rest of the parade, chatting about friends and work and trucks. After it was over, my other son called to me from across the street standing with a group of friends, so I talked to them for a few minutes and then left to go home. I never felt alone even when I was. It was a magical parade day for me.
The second half of my day was stuffed cabbage, my husband’s specialty, shared with my other in-laws, hubbies mom and her husband. All in all it was spectacular, uplifting and relaxing all rolled into one.