Monday, July 7, 2008

Holiday Gathering

When we lived at our old house, we were a block and a half from the city park, where the fireworks were held. Our park also hosts our town's annual festival.

Doesn't every small town have an annual festival? Where they have a queen? And a parade? And lots of contests?

Our festival is always over the 4th of July, and they usually hold the fireworks on the Saturday night of the festival, and that doesn't always fall on the actual 4th.

We always had a cookout on the night of the fireworks and half of the fun of the evening was watching people drive slowly up and down the street looking for a parking place while we sat on the front porch. It was also nice to see people walking along the sidewalk, heading over to the park. Often we'd see people that we hadn't seen in a long time and would get to chat for a minute or so.

Some of our guests would walk over to the park a few minutes before the fireworks actually began at 10:00 p.m. and the rest of us would sit on the front porch and watch them, which was sometimes a little challenging, but if you looked between the trees, it was okay.

ANYWAY, we have been continuing the tradition of the cookout on the night of the fireworks, even though we no longer live by the park, nor can we see them from our house. The boys wanted to keep this going, so that's what we did.

We had food out the wazoo (is that a word? I've used it before, but never thought about how to spell it) and I think everyone had a great time. Most of the people went swimming, so that was nice too. There were only about 15 people here, but that was okay.

I went to get my camera to start taking pictures, because there were many photo opportunities earlier...but I couldn't find it! I was looking everywhere for it, but it was nowhere to be found. Later on in the evening, just as people were getting ready to leave...I found it. By then it was too late and only took a couple, but they weren't exactly what I was looking for.

It was a challening time for Ted though. His mom was here and we celebrated her 82nd birthday (which is actually today) with a cake and gifts. She is living in an assisted living facility and is struggling with her memory. She was diagnosed with dementia several years ago, and even though she's on medication for it, it is still progressing. She has trouble remembering names, but still knows her relationships. For instance she referred to Ted and me as her son and daughter-in-law, but couldn't recall our names. She knows that Joey and Alex are her grandsons, but couldn't tell you what their names are. She gets somewhat confused pretty often too, especially when she is away from the facility where she lives. When we visit her there, she seems a little more secure in her surroundings.

It's been rough on Ted, watching her progress through this dementia, knowing that it's basically the beginning of Alzheimers. Hopefully that can be held off for quite a while yet though.

She struggled a little bit here Saturday night. She was outside walking around a little and Ted got nervous because he thought she was going to wander off. He went out to get her and lead her back inside. We had all three cats in our bedroom (with food, water, and a litter box) so that they wouldn't be going outside with the doors opening and closing constantly, and so no one would trip over them. We were afraid that she would open the bedroom door and let them out. She looked for the least little bit of lint or anything on the floor, and would pick it up and hand it to either Ted or me. (with all the food here, naturally there were going to be some crumbs on the floor) She also starts to get really nervous after a little while and says she's ready to go home. We try to get her to relax and stay a little longer, but that doesn't work often. She laughed though, when I asked her if she brought her bikini so she could go swimming. I think she knew what I was talking about.

For the most part though, it was a nice celebration. It's always good when the family gets together. We have a great time and will have wonderful memories down the road.


Jen said...

That sounds like a great holiday party.

Anonymous said...

This brought back many good memories of my Mom and Dad taking us to Tuscora Park for the fireworks. So much to be said for the little town that I grew up in. I miss it a lot. I'm hoping the best for the Mom-in-law. She's a wonderful lady. From your friend,,,,"Guess Who" LOL!!

Paulie said...

We have a big fireworks show here at Fort Vancouver Reserve which is just downtown really. We had our parades on Flag day and memorial day tho. I remember when I lived in Hawaii we had a parade and one of my sons dressed like Paul Revere and I made him a stick horse to ride -- he was a first grader. It was fun.