For a few blissful days, the whole family was together. Nina and Levi flew in from San Francisco, Syd and Scott drove from Oregon, and over the 4th, we were all in one spot for a few wonderful hours--all the siblings, spouses, the grandkids--and it was sweet. Dad had bought a slip-n-slide and the kids played on it for 3 hours straight without fighting once.
Nina and Levi had to go back home for work, but the following week the rest of the family, sans Karin and her bunch, went to the Weber State fireworks they do every year in July to celebrate the anniversary of the poor, hot, sweaty and pissed off pioneers as they walked into the valley and then puked about how barren it was. Naw, they were happy. But I would have puked. Probably because of the wagon movement more than anything. I'd have been one who walked the whole stinking way because of motion sickness.
ANYWAY, the fireworks were awesome, the kids were crazy and we had a grand old time people-watching. And I'm pretty sure we got to see everyone in attendance because we had a spot right across from the porta-potties. Thankfully, we were upwind. Anna and Abi picked the perfect spot the night before and spread out, like, 7 queen size blankets.
It was interesting, though, and my sisters and I felt it (and probably my brother, too) that this year we really missed my mom. She was there as such a looming presence that wasn't really there. And she hadn't been to the fireworks in years because she'd been so sick. Plus, the heat made her swell up like a balloon. But when we were kids--holy crap, the month of July was almost as big a deal as Christmas. Food, parties, fireworks in front of the house for the 4th (before the fire restrictions), red-white-blue decor everywhere and the flag flying proudly on the front porch. And for some reason, this year was...hard. We just miss her.
But enough with the maudlin--she'd be disgusted to find us wallowing--and tomorrow we head to Karin's house for July Birthday Festivus. And there will be the slip-n-slide. That many hours of non-fighting was sheer heaven. I only wish we could do it in the winter. :-)
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