Thursday, July 4, 2013
Up at 4:15 a.m. and on the road an hour later. We made good time coming up considering lots of other people had the same idea we did. We also made four stops – once at McDonald’s to grab breakfast, once at Forwards for gas, once at the Ace Hardware in Mio to buy a new lawn mower and then once at a yard sale. There were garage sale signs everywhere along M33 and it was driving Mark crazy that he couldn’t stop at all of them!
It was warm and humid when we left home this morning and we drove through a lot of haze the whole way up I75. Then when we hit our exit it was totally socked in with fog! North of Rose City we suddenly drove out of the fog and had blue sky but it was so weird because when we looked in the rearview mirrors we could see the fog behind us like a curtain drawn over the road.
A pair of pileated woodpeckers flew right in front of our vehicle just before we made the turn onto our road. They are so cool! We pulled in the driveway at 10 and the kids – Katy, Pete and the two dachshunds – pulled in about 15 minutes later. Mark’s first priority was firing up the new mower and getting the grass cut, since he hasn’t been able to mow all summer! (Last time we were up he used the manual weed whacker to get down some of the higher grass.) It was chilly here and I needed to pull on a sweatshirt. One of the first things I did after unpacking was mix up the hummingbird nectar and hang the feeder out. We had hummingbirds in a flash!
Pete bought a couple new “toys” for his Jeep Wrangler – they are going off-roading tomorrow – so the guys played around with those and got the Hi-Lift winch/jack thing figured out. Mark made grilled sandwiches on the Coleman stove for lunch and then we all headed into town, Mark and I to hit some garage sales and Katy and Pete to do some shopping for their camping trip. We saw one lone deer while we were out and about. There are scads of people up for the holiday and the grocery store in town was packed!
The good news is that we found blueberries at the end of our driveway, so it does look like we’ll get some picking in this weekend!
Everyone was tired from our early morning so we had a rather quiet afternoon. Mark and I did take the three beagles for a hike while Katy, Pete and the doxies stayed at the cabin. Mark drove over to Mills Rd., away from the ATV trails and all the noise. There is a nice trail there that starts in a pine wood that gradually transitions to young beech trees. (That area was probably logged some years ago.) We cut off into a little valley that goes up to where some underground springs bubble up and create little waterfalls but it was mostly all dried up. A few thrushes serenaded us along, but other than that it was all silence. The wildflowers from a couple weeks ago are fading and new ones are taking their place. We saw lots of sweet peas and daisies and wild roses.
Around 5:30 we headed into town for the Independence Day Parade. There really is nothing like the 4th of July in a small town!! A good friend of mine says we should do a float next year for my books and she will throw candy! I love America! I love the 4th of July! When our kids were younger, the 4th of July was almost as big a deal as Christmas. This is the first time since buying this place that we’ve celebrated the 4th here. We have come up the day after, but never been here for the actual holiday. (When I was young my sisters and I rode our ponies in the Independence Day Parade here. I was a bit disappointed there were no horses this year.)
Dinner was burgers and macaroni salad – can’t get much more American than that! Then we all cozied down to wait for dusk and the fireworks. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to keep my eyes open that long. It was just after 9 p.m. when we headed to the high school for the fireworks display, which of course didn’t start until after 10. It was fun people-watching as we waited, especially watching the little kids who were so excited. I experimented with the fireworks setting on my camera and obviously had no idea what I was doing! Here is one of the results of my incompetence.
I finally realized I was missing the show messing with my camera so I finally just put it aside and leaned back in my chair to relax and enjoy!
It was 11 before we got home and we were all exhausted. I only had energy for pulling out the sofa bed for Katy and Pete and brushing my teeth before I crawled into my own bed. Before I drifted into dreamland, I took a few moments to thank God that I live in America. Even with all our problems, it’s still the best country on earth. May freedom continue to ring!