Happy Fourth of July, everyone!
Happy Un-Independence Day, Mom! ;^)
It has been a really great day, and while it was cloudy most of the day; we didn’t get any rain!
That made Tai Chi by the river an option for starting our morning; breakfast in the sunroom was a lot of fun with Jayden and Aiden helping out with the entertainment; and then we were all busy with work around the house until I needed to get to the school for the parade. Michael, Rowen, Rebecca, and Lucas all went with me for that little walk; we met up with Tim and the rest of the band once we were there; and had lots of time to do our band warm-up as well as check out the floats and chat with some friends and neighbors before the parade started.
While the Memorial Day parade will always rank high on best band memories for me because it was our first parade as a marching band; this one was a lot more fun because we could, obviously, do more with the music. The two Disney songs we had for our little four-song rotation were big hits with the kids of all ages; and had the bonus of giving everyone a taste of what we were working toward as a band – the chance to play at Disney World. The highlights of the parade for me were when we played for our families and best friends at different spots along the parade route; but the fun was also over far too soon – or it felt that way after months of getting ready for the parades.
I should mention that we didn’t have the full band with us today, but that’s because if we had everyone; the rest of the parade would have suffered without enough teens for the teen praise team and other groups. We did have most of the Maple Valley teens, though; and had enough musicians on each instrument to still sound great.
Michael and I didn’t need to stay with the band after the parade because other teens were in charge of getting some of the gear back to the school; but we did need to get to the fundraiser booth and take a shift helping out there. Other volunteers had it set up by then; so we just jumped in and started selling the snacks and drinks. We stayed in our band uniforms for that; and had line-ups of customers wanting to help us out with the fundraising for our trip after hearing us in the parade. I’m sure we didn’t make up for losing two full days of sales on Saturday and Sunday; but we did likely have a better day than we would have if some of that money had come in earlier instead.
While we couldn’t play while working the booth, we only had to work for three hours before getting to have the rest of the afternoon off as other band members took the next shift at the booth. That meant missing out on lunch with our families and the co-ed ballgame, but ‘our’ team wasn’t playing in that game this year anyway; so I didn’t miss out on a cheerleading duel with Miranda because there wouldn’t have been one. Michael and I went back to our homes first to get changed into play clothes; met up with my family first; and played with them for a couple of hours. After that, we tracked down Rowen and Tim to have some teen-rated fun; and then we were with our collective families for dinner. The play time included game booths, playground time, and one swim in the river; but no bike riding because most of the trails in the park were too wet and muddy from all of the rain for that to be fun – even though there were some teens and kids willing to play in the mud anyway.
I haven’t specifically mentioned our food donations, but that was part of the work this morning, and as usual; our contributions were mostly for the lunchtime menus at a couple of the booths. Our boxed meat donations would have been partially used for dinner too, depending on whether they were used up early or later; but then I’m not including the donations from the lab and family business. We don’t deal with that personally; so it isn’t something I have anything to do with anyway.
While I’m thinking about the lab, I’ll also mention that Aunt Grace had a tough day today. I’m pretty sure that she’d be okay with giving birth right now instead of waiting another month. She wasn’t comfortable at all today; and went home for two naps that were mostly to get her off of her feet and out of the humidity that was thanks to all of the rain on the weekend. She’s doing fine other than getting tired, and so is the baby; so we’ll just need to make sure that they don’t overdo it between now and early August.
Dinner was a wild blast of fun as we rounded up food from a half-dozen booths; set up a bit of a pot-luck meal for everyone to fill plates from; and then Michael and I sat with Rebecca and Lucas while we ate – and found out what they’d been doing since the end of the parade. They had a turn at the fundraiser booth to get to after we finished eating, but Michael and I had time to help with the park clean-up and then catch the first part of the dance before we were booked for another turn at the snack booth. We finally got to see some sunshine by early evening, and we’ve had a perfect summer night for the dance and fireworks. Our booth was busy during the dance; we had a rush during the fifteen minutes or so before the fireworks started; and then almost nothing as the entertainment finale started at ten-thirty. The early start was due to it being a work night for a lot of adults; but the display is getting to be even more spectacular thanks to bonus donations from the lab and med center.
Michael and I stayed with the booth and watched the show from there. It wasn’t the best view in the park, but it wasn’t bad either; and we had fun cuddling while doing that. We also needed to help with packing up the booth after the fireworks – along with making any last-minute sales as the exodus from the park continued for a half-hour or more after the end of the fireworks show. We loaded up a pick-up truck with all of the leftover snacks and drinks; the booth fit onto a trailer with several other booths; and then we had to clean-up our area before heading home was an option. That’s why it was well-after midnight before we got to my house, and by then; we’d missed out on most of the family action – though Mom and Dad were still awake and relaxing in the living room with cold drinks and not much energy left in them after a very long, busy day.
In addition to missing out on getting our day camp gear home and put away, we’d also missed out on the goodbyes with most of the visiting parents and grandparents for the Johnson and Proctor clans. They’d decided to head home after the fireworks instead of waiting until morning; mostly because they wouldn’t have to worry about traveling with kids. There are a couple of exceptions; but Jaimie, Kaitlyn, and Jayden are now parent-free for the next two weeks; and they’ll be spending a lot of time with us during the weekdays so that Aunt Grace doesn’t have too much to do when she’s already pushing her limits just keeping up with work at the lab now.
Since Michael and I will be helping out with the kid control and entertainment tomorrow, we only had a short chat and break with Mom and Dad; wrapped up our night with a goodnight hug and kiss out on the front porch; and then I came straight up to bed after watching Michael walk home. Some Jacuzzi time would have been nice, but I settled for a quick shower; did my hair; and then climbed into bed with Mandy. There was some family business work that needed to get done, so I took care of that too; and then did a full computer check – including a once-through of the Hathorne Industries systems. They had their annual party at the Hathorne Estates too, but I don’t have anything to report from that check that won’t be in the archive Mom has set up for them with the details of their business and family operations. It also isn’t any fun to see the things they’re doing around the world that we can’t do anything about – though we will be able to do that some day.
That’s a thought for another day when I’m not so tired out. I’ll have work to do this week, but will make time for some fun with my cousins while they’re here; so I’ll do a bit less work at the Inn and try to keep my family business work to a minimum too. I’m really looking forward to Dawn and Jillian getting here in the morning too, and while Violet and Dillon are going to try to get here in good time so they won’t miss much work at the lab; that’ll depend a lot on the traffic – and how early they can get up after having a late night in Woodvale with the holiday celebrations there.
I can write about all of that tomorrow night too, though, and I’m about ready to drop even as I’m pushing through this update; so, until next time...
...May the Magi Force be with you!