Monday, July 6, 2009
July 4th in a Small Town
We went to my parents for the 4th. Have I ever told you the 4th of July is my favorite holiday. There are 2 factors that play into this decision. First, when you live 700 miles from any family, it is the only holiday that you can be guaranteed you will have off with your spouse, and family will seldom expect you to make the drive to see them. Second, as the King and Queen of Cheap, this holiday is perfect. Did you know you can always find a free parade? And frequently a free barbecue (or at least a cheap one) and usually you can top the day off with a free fireworks display. Free, free, free, free, free. It makes me giddy just thinking about it.
Well, we had planned to drive to my hometown for the parade and the picnic in the park. However, my sister Paula and her family were there, and they all wanted to go fishing. I was quickly deserted by my family in favor of smelly fish. However, SOMEONE had to go to town to buy more fireworks for the display we planned at my parents that evening. Mom & I were the elected party.
We made sure we got there in time for the parade. It was amazing to see people I had not seen in 15 years. It was great catching up with people my age and seeing their kids. Unfortunately, they all had to take my word that I had beautiful, amazing, well behaved children that far outshone all of theirs. You will be impressed to know that I refrained from telling anyone about my blog, or handing out business cards with my blog address and Wonder Woman on it.
After the parade, we headed to the fireworks stand, only to discover it was not yet open. However, we noticed a van parked in a field and cars lined up facing said van on the street. "Oh! They must be getting ready for the Punkin' Chunkin'!" What? This was certainly a new festivity to me. When I was growing up we had the standard parade, volley ball tournament, softball tournament, golf tournament, gunny sack races, foot races, turtle races, swimming races, picnic in the park, and free will offering barbecue in the evening with live entertainment followed by a fireworks display put on by the local volunteer fire department. I'm sure I forgot something there, but needless to say the day was always jammed with fun stuff to do. But again, a Punkin' Chunkin'? This was a mystery to me. Of course, we had to see what the big hoopla was all about.
First, let me say that it takes a special group of men to build THIS thing.
But, in all seriousness, it was absolutely fascinating to watch. There was a smaller cannon that could aim a little better, but not shoot as far. You can see it below the big orange one in the photo above.
After they were through wowing us with their ability to demolish a van with watermelons (pumpkins are out of season), they aimed the big one up in the air and showed off how far ti could shoot: Nearly a mile. I'm serious, that sucker could shoot that cannon an amazing distance. I tried to video it, but unfortunately my little point and shoot wasn't as effective as I might have liked. Plus, my camera battery died. Darn. I have several short clips that I'm trying to figure out how to edit into one video. I'll enlist Studmuffin's help tonight, so maybe I'll have more for you soon!
Anyway, after the Punkin' Chunkin' we went to the fireworks stand, hit the quick stop for a cold drink, and dropped in to the grocery store for a few last minute items. At this point, we were pretty hungry, so we headed to the park for the Chamber of Commerce Picnic. We did have to actually pay for our burgers, but it was free to me, since Mom picked up the tab, so I was game! I saw lots of people that I had not thought about in years, and that was even better than the free burger!
Well, I have lots more to tell you about my fabulous fourth, but since I've been a tad dry on blog ideas, I'm planning on milking this holiday for at least 2 more posts!