Friday, August 21, 2009

july 24, 2009

I love the Handcart Days parade in Bountiful. I love the marching bands, especially those presented by our military men and women. I love the bagpipes, and the vintage automobile proudly wheeling each year's "Grand Marshall" down the street. How I wish I could have seen Vernal's parade this year, with my father as the Grand Marshall. He treated it as though it were nothing, yet I think it was a very big deal!

Attending this year's Handcart Days parade was bittersweet and I admit I felt nearly apprehensive. For the past two years prior to this one, I had always had a handsome man on my arm as my "date". Hugo (Grandpa B.) had sat out in the heat with me in '07 and '08, helping me keep an eye on my three amigos as well as pointing his cane at any rove candy my children may have missed. It never failed that he commented on three things: the horses, the bagpipes, and the marching soldiers (to which he would refer to what it was like to be a missionary in Berlin during the early days of Hitler's powers, watching armies of thousands of Hitler's follies marching in precise rhythm. Hugo said it sounded like thunder, it was so loud.). LaRee (Grandma B.) had never cared to go outside with us, concerned about the heat and the uncomfortable lawn chairs. So we'd eat dinner with her, then walk her back to their apartment. I wanted so badly for her to come this year. I thought if I couldn't watch it with her to take Hugo's place, my heart would break and I wouldn't want to watch it at all. For weeks prior to the parade, I began nagging her and begging her. After a while, I could tell her defenses were weakening. I almost thought she wanted to go (maybe she'd disagree with that and tell me I'd gone to far with that assumption).
Imagine my delight, and the tears that surfaced, when on that day she caved and said she'd come. I was grateful I had sunglasses on, because more than once I thought about Grandpa and although my heart felt something was missing, I knew it was more full than it would have been had LaRee not come out. I know it wasn't particularly her idea of a good time, but I hope she enjoyed herself. Sometimes I worry because it's so easy for her to convince herself she needs to stay "in". That it's too much energy and even pain to move around. I know it's difficult for her to get around, but I'm always grateful when she's willing to put forth the effort. In the end, I hope she feels it was worth it, too. She'll never read this, but I hope I can tell her how much it meant to me to have her out on the sidewalk with us that evening. I just couldn't have watched that parade without a "Grandparent B."
Halle has decided she wants to save up her money to buy an American Doll. To help fund her cause, she sold bottled water at the parade. She wore this sign:
"I am saving my money to buy a new doll.
Please help me earn it!

That sign proved to be worth it's weight in gold!
Not only did she sell all 48 bottles she had (for $1 piece), but many "grandpas" read her sign and felt badly for her. More than one handed her a five-dollar bill with the comment,
"Here you go, honey. I don't need any water. Just put this towards your doll."

We're exploring two options for next year's parade:
1) She'll walk with a wooden crutch and a patch over one eye,
2) I'll sell water with a sign that says,
"We'd like to buy a camp trailer. Please help us raise money!"

A clown asked Halle to help her with a magic trick
We also enjoyed pooling our fireworks with the neighbors and having a neighborhood firework display. It was fun to get togethers with people we enjoy, and hopefully can get to know better.
Plus, it helped cut down on late-night firework noise by getting most everyone's pyro-fix out of the way in one night!These are some neighbors who have stolen my heart:
the Ottesons.

AWE-SOME family!

Hope Sig1

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Thomas Jefferson