Sunday, July 21, 2013

Minnesota: 4th of July

In my hometown, the July 4th parade is held on the Sunday closest to July 4th.  Don't ask me why.  If I ever live there again then I'll petition to have it changed.  But there is a little town that happens to be closer to where I grew up, but I don't claim it as my own because I usually only go there on July 4th.  It's tiny.  Like, population 12.  Or something close to that.  I think it has one store--a convenience store with a restaurant attached.  I had pie there once.

But don't be fooled--this place is famous.  Named after Eugene Debs, America's own socialist!  He was in my history book in high school.  Just google him if you don't know who he is.

And even more than Eugene Debs, the Debs parade is famous because it's so small that it goes around twice.  But I must say, it wasn't a bad parade this year!  Well, there was the guy who drove his minivan with an American flag draped on the hood.  And the guy who drove his semi truck.  But I snapped a few pictures of some of my favorite parade "floats," for lack of a better word.

This was my dad's exhibit--his horses, Cletus and Kate, pulled his wagon that was built in the 1800s, while my sister and her kids went along for the ride:

Here is the mini Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox.  The "real" ones are at the waterfront on Lake Bemidji, but this pair like to make appearances in parades this time of year:

There were lots of cool cars at the parade this year:

What's a great way to score loads of candy at a parade??  Bring a 3-year-old who says "hi" and "thank you" to everyone in the parade and happens to be unable to eat most candy.  We've still got a huge bag full!

And this little airplane came out of nowhere:

My dad's horses for the second time around!:

Every time Caleb saw an American flag he would stop and put his hand on his heart.  It made me proud:

Paul and Babe again!:

A firetruck...always very exciting for small boys:

My mom and my niece also rode their horses in the parade, but I didn't get any decent pictures of them.  Darn.

Ever since I can remember, we have had a pot luck picnic at my Granddad's house after the Debs parade.  My granddad used to live on the same 40 acre property where I grew up, but he passed away seven years ago tomorrow, at the age of 87.  His trailer house was sold long ago, so now just the garage and landscape remain.  It's hard going to these family gatherings without him there, but it's so great to see his memory living on.

At the picnic, we all sit around under the shade of the trees, talking and laughing.  The kids swim in the lake, and some people go out on the boat to fish.  It was probably my favorite part of the trip.

Nate, my dad, one of my favorite uncles, and a cousin:

A few of my favorite aunts and uncle:

The boys loved having cousins to play with (there are sooooo many kids their age!  It's wonderful!) and they were such social butterflies.  They were friends with everyone!  Even clingy little Russell went around giving everyone high fives when it was time to leave.  Here he is with one of my favorite aunts (making a hilarious yet unintentional face) and my cousin, and a few of my cousins' kids:

Russell enjoyed bouncing on my sister's lap:

Some more favorite uncles, my cousin, and my dad:

Part of the way through the picnic, Nate took the boys to my mom's house for their naps so they could stay up late to watch the fireworks without turning into monsters.  So I walked from my dad's house to my mom's house (it's about a mile away) by myself that afternoon, and I was in heaven.  I used to ride my horse, Hank, on this trail every single day.  It's the most beautiful place that I've ever seen in my life, and I miss it desperately!  We decided that day that we would be moving back to Minnesota at some point in the next year.

Isn't it like heaven on earth?

I came upon this hole in the ground where turtle eggs were buried and hatched, leaving little egg shells in the dirt:

I'm guessing the turtles made it safely to this little river, which was only a few yards away:

The hay field where I spent many hot, hot, horrible afternoons baling hay in my youth.  I don't look back on those memories fondly.  It's not fun work.  But I do look upon this field fondly.  It's so beautiful!  And the clouds in Minnesota just can't be beat:

Sigh.  I really can't wait to get back there!

1 comment:

Alice Anne said...

Within the next year?! Nooooooo! Ha ha. It looks absolutely beautiful there. I'd be homesick too. ;)