Independence Day: Break Out the Coffee, We’ve Got Guests

Kiddo & Mama Victoria

Today, for your Fourth of July weekend pleasure, my friend and writer,
E. Victoria Flynn, stops by with a guest post on small town surprises.

Victoria blogs over at Penny Jars, and if you aren’t reading her stuff, you’re missing out. She whips up some amazing posts, especially on Thursdays. So, get your feet wet here, then click on over there.

The Small Time Philosopher’s Guide to House Listing

 They didn’t tell us about the parade route. Maybe they didn’t think it was important in the middle of January, a day after a snow storm, when the only parades anyone seemed concerned with was the morning traffic heading out of town. Maybe they thought it would scare us away.

We started the 4th of July weekend playing poker, Mike and I, thinking about taking a walk down to the park where we could hear the bands and the hooting, where the kick off fireworks shot from their canons, where I felt we should be becoming part of this tiny town, beer and all. We knew no one, but I loved the possibility.

These were the weekends before kids when we could sit around comfortably surrounded by dusted bookshelves and organized cupboards. Going to bed early meant before the sun came up, and sleeping in meant anything at all.

Until the siren blasted us out of bed.

Until the steady honking moved slowly, slowly, slowly past our heads.

“There are people all over our yard,” Mike said. “It looks like we’re having a parade.”

“For real? How come nobody told us?” Maybe we should have made more of an effort to introduce ourselves to the neighbors, but I had been waiting for the bunt cakes and brownies to arrive. How come nobody brought us brownies? We love brownies.

We did have coffee, and we made it strong.

We pulled out our fold-up beach chairs and set them on the porch. Mike got out the video camera heretofore used for shots of “This is the garage. Here’s the back yard. Look, the neighbors have a pile of wood. And this is…I don’t know what this is.”

It was a dark day, drizzled and damp and dimpled with small town promise. We watched green and yellow John Deere tractors, shined up red Farmalls, Dairy Queens riding the backs of convertibles, horses clomping at the road. There was candy strewn across our lawn.

It was terrific.

By the next year we had invited our family, and I was fat in the belly with our first little girl. After the parade we ate brunch—banana bread, mini quiche, lemonade, and bowls of fruit. A year later, it was a tradition.

I’m pretty sure the four days of the 4th of July is what keeps us rooted in this town. We talk about moving back to Madison, closer to my husband’s job, closer to our friends and so many places and events we enjoy. We talk about it, but we can never decide–if we were to sell our house, should we tell them it’s on the parade route, or should we just leave it as a surprise?

~

You can find Victoria elsewhere: on Twitter and on Facebook and sometimes at a small ice cream shop just west of here, when the stars align and calendars sync and writers unite.

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9 responses to “Independence Day: Break Out the Coffee, We’ve Got Guests

  1. Christi,
    Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog. I always love being here. We’ll be busy all day getting ready for the parade, I hope it’s a fantastic holiday weekend for all filled with celebration and kid-faced smiles.

  2. Pingback: Holiday Hubub | Penny Jar

  3. What a thrill to have first heard about this delightful story in person! Happy parades and fireworks and food to you and your families, Victoria and Christi.

  4. Thanks, Lisa. To you too!

  5. What a delightful post for the 4th of July! I can’t even imagine how much fun it is for y’all to live on the parade route!

  6. I loved this post, Victoria! And Christi, great to have found you! I also went house-hunting in the snow. A Midwestern winter sometimes feels like it will last forever. We forget about July in January.

  7. Pingback: In deference to our mixed-up selves | Penny Jar

  8. Thanks, Beth. It’s become our favorite holiday.

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