Happy Fourth of July!

We got up late today (about 8:30am), ate a quick a breakfast and then rode to North Ave for the annual July 4th parade.
One highlight this year was the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies. Everett wanted to do three things: 1) see the parade; 2) get a flag; 3) get some candy (he remembered that in previous years they threw candy to the crowd). The first objective was easy enough – we parked the bikes at the end of 81st St this year and within a couple minutes the Boy Scouts walked by and handed out flags to everyone. Everett is not what I would call and aggressive kid and is not inclined to elbow his way to the front, so Chris had to hoist him over the phalanx of lawn chairs that lined the street in order to get a flag (there was also a Mom of two young girls who helped us). A few minutes after that a man came through tossing Tootsie Rolls. Amazingly, Everett managed to grab one despite moving pretty slowly. He certainly benefited from the fact that we were mostly surrounded by adults and few children, so he had little competition. In fact, once the adults saw him they started re-tossing candy in our direction so Everett could get them. Even then, he would not pick the candy up without first asking us if he could have another! Chris later commented that in this circumstance he was being too obedient.

On the way home from the parade we passed the pool and decided that might be the best way to spend a couple hours, especially given the fact that the temperature reached a new record of 102F, but the sun was blazing and even the pool water was too warm. We swam for a while, ate lunch and Everett used his own birthday money from his new wallet to buy an orange PushUp from the concession stand. Melissa had a flat tire on the way to the pool and Chris had replacement tubes for just about every tire size/valve combination except Schrader 27″, so Chris got the car to shuttle everyone home.

It was way too hot for the Hart Park festival in the afternoon. Instead, we napped and waited for Grandpa and Grandma Linda to arrive. Everett woke up just in time to see them drive up to our house in their new rig: a 5th wheel and pickup truck.
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Chris and Gary spent a fair amount of time getting it backed into the driveway while avoiding the tree in our front yard, the neighbors house, etc. For dinner Chris grilled burgers and corn, and Melissa made two kinds of potato salad (one egg, one parsley-caper) and homemade chocolate-mint ice cream. Around 9pm we walked behind the house to catch fireflies and watch the fireworks. This year Chris practiced photographing fireworks.
It hasn’t rained in weeks, which has had a range of effects. One blessing is that there are far fewer mosquitos this year than previous years. However, roads have been buckling due to the heat, and many municipalities have banned fireworks because the ground is so dry, not just for the citizens but also the annual fireworks display. In Waukesha and Oak Creek the fireworks shows were halted after grass fires started. When the Tosa fireworks started they were all behind the line of trees, leading us to speculate that the show had been modified due to the dry conditions. This is the first year Everett is staying up to watch the fireworks and we had built it up quite a bit. We didn’t want to disappoint him so Chris and Everett jumped in the car and drove to Hart Park to see the rest of the show. As soon as we arrived we realized that the show hadn’t started yet and the fireworks we were seeing behind the trees were from Milwaukee. We drove back home, went right back to our spot behind the house and watched the whole thing, at the end of which Everett spontaneously jumped up and started clapping.

Photos from July 4th are here.
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