Monday, July 04, 2005

The Glorious Fourth

Today is everything a proper Fourth of July ought to be--sunny, 80-some degrees, the smell of harvested grass seed fields in the air, and the old-fashioned parade in Harrisburg. No marching bands or Dairy Princesses here--just fire trucks, seed trucks, a huge bridge truss from Morse Brothers, kids on decorated bikes, four-wheelers from Smucker Manufacturing (Paul's second cousins), and so on. The Grand Marshal was a lovely elderly woman who was born in Harrisburg in 1910.

Emily's friend Stephanie's dad drove the Willamette Ag truck in the parade so Emily, Stephanie, and a few others walked ahead of the truck and tossed candy to the crowds. This was deeply satisfying to Emily's theatrical soul.

It was also Steven's first taste of Independence Day as an American citizen. He came home with a gold-spangled star on a stick and more candy than any child ought to eat in six months. He was very happy.

I love this country and get goose bumps when the flag goes by. We are very blessed to live here.

Quote of the Day:
Why do grandpas have pants and then things over their shoulders?
--Steven, observing the old guys in overalls or suspenders, sitting in their lawn chairs at the parade


  1. The reason you never see women with suspenders is that they do not have the same problem we men do. As we get older our hips shrink away to nothing and rather than risk the fatal sight to younger eyes, we put suspenders on!! Women on the other hand,... well, they, um, they take whatever we lose! :-)

  2. Japheth......YOU are asking for trouble!

  3. Japheth, You need to go show your wife what you just wrote!!! Hopefully she will put you in line. LOL!!

  4. Amen to what Arlene and Pauline said!! Dorcas--make sure and ask me about Stevens candy getting experience!!!! I heard the other side of the story!!!!:)

  5. Dorcas, it sounds kind of nice to hear a Mennonite say, "I love this country and get goosebumps when the flag goes by." You mean it's really OK to feel that way? : )

    P.S. I'm wondering what the smell of harvested grass seed is like...sounds nice... does it smell even better to you because it has financial implications? : )

  6. BTW, all you women, we've got to admit that Japheth is right!! (Certainly has been in my case...) After all, we need something to carry babies on, rest our hands on communicate displeasure, and to pad our rocking chairs! We just become more cuddly as time goes on....

    Harrisburg people, what in the world is a parade without a marching band? Yes, old fashioned, I should say so!! LOL!
    I think Emily's theatrical soul would love a marching band....

  7. Japheth, I'll let these other ladies chew you out. I'm afraid what you said is true whether we like it or not.
    Sharon--do you have Alzheimers or do I?? I thought I told you "the other side of the story" at the fireworks last night. Or did you hear it from someone else? (Please say no.) And I would just as soon not tell the world the other side of the story so thank you so much for mentioning it. Ahem.
    Sheryl--The first time I went overseas I went to Yemen, a country that makes you want to kiss the flag, the ground, the people, and everything else American when you get back. Yemen made a patriot out of me.
    The smell of grass seed harvest...hmmm, something between fresh-cut alfalfa, straw bales, just-mowed grass...with just a bit of tang to it. lovely...and yes, made lovelier by the financial implications. Smile.

  8. There are absolutely no personal financial implications for me related to the smell of grass seed harvest in the utopian Willamette Valley, but there is hardly anything that smells better. I drive with my windows down until I am either so hot or so cold I can't stand it (depending on the day's weather or how middlish-of-the-night it is), just so I can smell it! And I daily rue the minute I have to go back into the office at the end of my lunch break into that artificial atmosphere. Life was meant to be experienced in the context of grass seed harvest and its smells. :-) That's why I have my bedroom window open as I comment, so I can go to sleep with the scent sweetly wafting into my room... So thank you to all you grass seed farmers out there for positively enhancing my life! Ha!

    By the way, I love the Harrisburg parade, too. It represents what parades should be, in my opinion--just a down-home, country flavor with people you know from church, the community, etc., participating. Even the little Harrisburg parade makes me glad to be an American. I drive 35 miles just to go to it! :-)


    P.S. I did operate a combine six different summers during harvest in the 1990-2000 span. I guess at that point I did experience a minor bit of financial implication.

  9. Dorcas, I agree, we had a very "proper" 4th, lacking in no way. Very lovely!

    Oh, the smell of harvest... I don't think it can truly be described. It needs to be experienced. Don't you feel sorry for people that can't experience a Willamette Valley summer and harvest? It is my favorite-est time of the year. And I haven't lived in lots of different places, but the smell of harvest here is heavenly, compared to Idaho, where they harvest onions. Trust me, it's awful! -esther

  10. In all seriousness, my hat is off to you mothers that have given up a nice figure for the sake of having children. I see so many in the world putting off or even refusing to have children because of what it will do to their body and I thank God for you ladies and your willingness to be used in this great way.

    Maybe we menneed to reaffirm our wives in their newfound beauty as mothers and mature women. But sadly we have adopted the worlds standards of beauty and thus the pressure.

    My wife is "growing" into a mature womam, but to me, she gets more beautiful every day!!

    PS. She watched me write the first comment and kinda snickered herself! goes to show she has a sense of humour!

  11. Having children is no excuse to look like a gunny sack of potatoes. I know a woman who had eight children and still wears a size 4 petite. Discipline is required in all areas of life.

  12. The smell of grasss seed harvest in the Willamete valley is distinctly not a good smell. Actually, maybe it is. Who am I to tell you it's not? You see, I can't even smell it! It so plugs my nose and sinuses that I have no ability to smell good or bad. I can't see the fields because my eyes swell shut. The pollen settles in my lungs and I cant even breathe.

    Before I go to your end of the valley I call my brother and get the pollen count for the day. Many times he advises me to stay away. He doesn't have to know the count. He can see the pollen blowing in great drifts across the fields.

    I have to say I find no beauty in the seed harvest. But then I cant find beauty among Oregons many evergreens either. Their yellow pollen lies thick on the roads and cars in the spring. I have the same end result as I do with the grass seed.

    Woe is me for I am totally undone this time of year.

  13. Japheth-Thanks for the "hats off"! If I had known what children would do to my figure, I'g have had them anyway!
    Trichelle-I wonder if you have ever given birth? I know many women with that view point until it comes down to themselves! I also have a foster sister who has five children and has returned to her 100 lb weight after every one. And all the time she ate cakes and pies and chocolates and mashed potatoes with plenty of gravy, and the weight still "fell off." While I have, with stict diet and diligent exercize managed to return to my wedding weight after every baby (except the last one) my figure has never returned to its "before babies" status. Life is not the same for all of us! But I'd still choose the babies!

  14. Oh dear folks!!!...Pauline is on the war-path!! :)

  15. God has been so gracious with me in this aspect. With each of my boys I gained 50 lbs. with my girl just 35 doing nothing different. But each time before I was pregnant again (and my children are close, four of them 4 and under) I was down to my wedding weight!! I praise God because it was nothing I did! Though I tell people that chasing after the toddlers getting into things probably keeps it off.

    I do admire the ladies that put forth the effort. . . someday I may be doing the same thing with no better success.

  16. Pauline: Yes, indeed you have made the right choice. I am the woman Trichelle was referring to. And I can vouch that she has given birth. Infact the same number of times that I have.