Sunday, July 6, 2008

Simple Pleasures

A little more than 5 years ago, we moved to our current house in a new (to us) town. Our house is walking distance from the town hall and every year our newly adopted town throws a large 4th of July celebration. There is always a parade early in the day, there is a large arts & crafts sale with vendors set up all over the lawn of the town hall, there are games for the kids, tons of food vendors, and live music. They also have entertainment for the kids in the afternoon.

My daughter had the opportunity to march in the 4th of July parade with her dance school, but she marched with them in the Memorial Day parade and had a great time! My husband marched with her, and my dad, stepmother, my little one and I all set up our chairs in front of the town hall (where the parade ends) and watched and waited for her. This was the second time she marched -- the first was the year I was expecting her sister, and she and my dad marched with her preschool. My stepmother (who grew up in our house, we were lucky enough to buy it from her mom) said that growing up in this town, our girls will have about a hundred opportunities to march in the parades over the years! And sure enough, by the time the parade ends, you are certain that everyone in town is either marching or watching! Anyway, this year my husband was working and we did not make it up in time for the parade, but we have enjoyed it in the past.

From the first year that we moved here, we got right into the festive spirit. We made a new tradition to invite a few friends over for an upscale 4th of July bbq. Usually everyone brings their own lobster and we all chip in for clams -- hey, it's once a year! Anyway, we spend the day swimming in the pool, going up to the town hall's celebration, bbq-ing our fancy dinner, and at the end of the night we count ourselves especially lucky, because we are able to see the great fireworks display from our backyard! Some years we have even watched while floating in the pool -- quite fun!

This year, our usual gang of friends were all out of town and unable to come to our annual bbq. Instead, the four of us took a walk up to the town hall and enjoyed walking around to see all of the different crafts and my girl played lots of games and even won a few small stuffed animals for herself and her sister. We bought dinner there and we sat on a shady patch of grass and enjoyed our 4th of July picnic while listening to the music of a local band playing at the festival. We got to visit with a few people that we know, and afterwards we walked back home and got ready for the fireworks. I had thought about putting my little one to bed, but was unsure of whether or not she would be able to sleep through the noise! We decided to keep her up and the four of us bundled up under a blanket on the swing in our backyard and thoroughly enjoyed the fireworks display. It was such a simple, peaceful day, but it was truly special sharing the time with just our little family!

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