Saturday, July 05, 2008

Sunday Concert: Independence Day 2008

A few pics from our annual
Independence Day Celebration

We spent the week getting the house and yard ready. I primed the back porch floor, then gave it three coats of paint -- the third because I let an unexpected blowing rainstorm mar the second coat. I bought, hauled and spread four cubic yards of mulch.

I painted the yard furniture. I laid down a new pad of 25 pavers for the swing to sit on. I bought and repotted a bunch of flowers and ferns.

When I leaned the old mantle temporarily against a tree, I was suddenly inspired to make it a whimsical yard decoration with a geranium "fire".

David arrived before noon, parked his smoker in the back yard, fired it up. and started smoking four Boston butts. Later he would add a bunch of chicken, some corn on the cob, and some sourdough bread. (This pic is actually from last year's celebration - I didn't get around to getting the Canon out till much later in the day, and somehow neglected to get smoker pics.)

Early in the afternoom some other family members began arriving. By six, other friends began to filter in.

About six-thirty Mike, Richard, and I drove down the street to pick up Wint Barton, our "ninety-five and three-quarters" year old friend. Here Wint regales Teresa and Mike.
At about 7:20 we rang the dinner bell, Sheila gave a few instructions, I offered a prayer, and we formed a line through the hallway to the dining room and den where tables were laden with a huge array of bowls and platters of wonderful food.

The levee is the only toy the kids need. Haley (!!!!!) was my early afternoon helper, but by seven she was off and running on the levee with Cody and Miles and Hannah and Luke and Adam and Allie...

As the sun began to set Sheila enjoyed a laugh with our humorist and writer friend Ray Atkins and Marsha. Ray has recently published his first novel, The Front Porch Prophet, which I plan to read next week. A second, Sorrow Wood, is due to be published next year.

My current principal, Rodney, and my former principal, Bo, compare notes. I consider both good friends and enjoyed comparing early teaching experiences with them for a while. Bo's husband, Quillian, talks with thier grandson, Adrian.

Julie's friend Lori brought her kids, Hannah and Luke, who made themselves immediately at home.

Lyn, who made me an uncle with her birth, is moving to Rome this fall with hubby, Ricky, and their three children. Here they wait on the river walk at the top of the levee for the fireworks to start.

Nearby Julie, Miles, and Lori await the fiery show.

Our nephew Josh (waving) is just back in the states for a furlough after three years in Germany and Iraq. He brought along several friends. They and 25 or so others of our guests found the viewing just fine from the backyard at the base of the levee.

The top of the levee was crowded with many of our 94 guests and several thousand other Romans there to watch the fireworks.

One of my former students and his parents and grandmother joined us. Zane conducted one of the most interesting science fair projects two years ago. He set up three scent stations on the campus - a circle of smoothed sand a meter in diameter. In the center of each he placed a cotton ball soaked in bobcat urine.Bobcat urine is known to attract the attention of other animals. He checked the sand each day for animal tracks. We were disappointed that the only tracks he found other than assorted birds and domestic cats were those of 'possums and 'coons.

Three great-nieces and a niece -- all GREAT nieces!

Sam and his dad, Steve, are old friends of ours. Sam is spending the next couple of weeks directing an arts camp. He's invited me to sing at the camp next Wednesday.

Then the telltale sound and a streak into the sky over the river...

... and a big explosion of colors...

A great night... y'all come next July fourth!

In honor of the origins of this celebation, take a listen to this recording of Jefferson's immortal words:

(Hat tip to Tricia at the Miss Rumphius Effect.)

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