July 4 2007
This year's Fourth of July was, without doubt, one of the best we've ever had as a family. We had a calm, quiet morning puttering around the house. The kids were a little restless, but were able to stay relatively calm as they waited for the day's events to unfold.
At noon we drove to the Short North and met Tim for the Doo Dah Parade. In its 24th year, this parade is Columbus' tribute to the freedom of speech, celebrated with political irony, raunchy innuendo, and a large dose of tongue-in-cheek humor.
Be sure to check out all of my Doo Dah Parade 2007 photos!
After Doo Dah we had some quiet time at home. We were planning a sizable cookout, to really break in my new grill, so Carina and I spent some time doing last-minute tidying while Tayler played games and Tyler rested. We had invited folks to join us any time after 4:30. We were all more than a little disappointed when a torrential downpour began at 3 PM. It rained hard, with a lot of lightning and thunder. At 3:30 I started to get worried that we'd have to cook inside, assuming anyone bothered to join us. My dad called to helpfully suggest that we might want to consider postponing the cookout.
To our delight, though, the rain subsided and the sun returned. The remainder of the night was extremely pleasant: not too hot, not too muggy. The cookout was back on the schedule, and guests started arriving right on time. Carina and I had marinated a whole bunch of chicken and pork chops, and the aroma from the seasoned meat on the grill was phenomenal. The flavor of the meats, once cooked, was superb. This was very probably the best meal I've grilled yet. We also had a large collection of vegetable kabobs, which proved equally delicious.
Bellies full, we all sat around chatting, waiting for night to fall. The conversation was great, filled with deep belly laughs and infectious giggles. Our kids were in good spirits, and enjoyed mingling with everyone. Brooke and Matt brought their kids over, and they seemed to have a good time, too.
At nine o'clock we finally prepared for the walk to Whetstone Park. We all donned silly headbands with light-up feelyboppers, glow necklaces, and temporary tattoos. Laughter filled the air as we walked, and a feeling of deep satisfaction filled me: we are so fortunate to have such terrific friends in our lives. It means a lot to me that I can share an event like Fourth of July fireworks with my family and friends together.
The fireworks were, as always, great. The walk home was as much fun as the walk down, and we all laughed our way up the steps to our house. The twins were worn out, but not at all whiny or cantankerous. They kept up with us, making jokes and laughing with everyone else. We capped off the night by watching a few scenes from the 'Saturday Night Live: Best of Will Ferrell' DVD that I received for Father's Day. With our sides sore from laughing so hard and so long, we finally said our goodbyes, and watched our friends drive off.