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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Small Town 4th

 Today is Independence Day! The day in 1776 that the Declaration of Independence was voted on and approved by representatives of thirteen English colonies. That act created this wonderful nation that we call the United States of America. All of the USA spends the day grilling, celebrating and parading.

Williamsburg is no different. The parade route goes right in front of our house.  Dad and I went out to the front porch at about 3:00pm to wait for the festivities to begin.

When we got out there we found that people had already begun gathering on our front lawn to watch the parade. When Willie got there he asked me if any of them had asked if we minded that they sit there. I said no, and that I think in small towns if you live on a parade route your lawn is considered community property during a parade. That's how it was in Rossville last year, too.

Bazinga, of course, didn't want to be left out of the fun. We brought him out on his leash so he could party down in his own favorite way, chewing on sticks.

While we were waiting for the parade to start, some of the kids also waiting, came up and played with Bazinga. Being a little attention hog, he loved every minute of it. They kept bringing him sticks to chew until he had quite a pile next to him.

Finally, we saw the color guard coming down the street. Everyone stood up and most of the men thought to take their hats off. The crowd erupted into applause as the flag went by. Town pride turned into a more engulfing pride of country. A thankful community wanted to let the soldiers know that we knew who keeps us free and the sacrifices it takes to keep us free.

The color guard was closely followed by the Veterans of Foreign  Wars. Some walking proudly behind the color guard and others on a float. The applause continued until these small town heroes passed by. The faces of wars past. The faces of courage and endurance. Faces that have seen the best and worst this world could throw at them. Faces like my father's.

Of course no small town parade would be complete without a high school marching band. Not in their most pristine uniforms, but marching just the same. A little rusty maybe, the seniors of last year gone now, and the new freshmen of next year not as practiced as they will be. They still sounded great.
How can you have a  parade in Iowa without tractors?
 And fire trucks blinking their lights and blowing their sirens. Driving the local dogs absolutely berserk.

 And funny little tiny cars.
 Of course there must be a queen and her court.

You know this guy was glad it wasn't a normal hot and humid Iowa July 4th.
 There were big tractors.

There were little tractors.
Annnnnddddd...... There was even Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus. On a Harley. In July. At the end of the parade. I'm pretty sure they were happy it wasn't a normal July 4th day, too. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Happy Flowers

Just some flower pics that I've taken.

 And a few of others.


Dad has been living with us for two weeks now. Since he got here a lot has changed already. He seems to be getting stronger everyday, whether he likes it or not. When he came home he was pretty much using his wheelchair to get around almost exclusively. This was really pretty hard on both of us. He would have to transfer from a chair to the wheelchair, then transfer from the wheelchair to where ever his destination was, tub chair, toilet, bed. We were both getting utterly exhausted. The extra time it took for him to get to the bathroom, was creating problems with incontinence. This of course would mean having to change clothes which also wore him out. Some days we would have to change his clothes four or five times. 

His doctor at the VA Hospital ordered Physical therapy to come in three times a week. He has made great improvement with her. He doesn't like it when she is here, but I think even he has to admit that it is helping. He has a very hard time admitting it though. She does work him pretty hard. She has him walk around the inside of the house. He tries his best to talk her out of it every time. She listens patiently, even as he contradicts himself in the same sentence. He will tell her "my leg is telling me about it." She listens more. Then he tells her it's his other leg that hurts, or his shoulder, or his neck. He tries hard to talk her out of things. She sits and listens. Then kindly and relentlessly gets him up to walk anyway. 
It has made a wonderful difference! While he still fights me when I try to get him to get up and walk on the days that PT doesn't come, he is walking to the bathroom and back. This has made all of the difference in the world. Accidents have dropped down to maybe one a day, sometimes none! I know he is happy with that. He hasn't asked for his wheelchair for a week now, at least to get around the house.

He will never be able to go for a walk around the block, but he can get around in his own home. Hopefully, he will get to the point where he will willingly walk out to the porch. Just to enjoy a beautiful day.

Sandbox Silliness

Kahlen and Paxton came to visit for a few days this week. Always a fun time. The weather was absolutely beautiful. The sky was blue and clear, the air warm, but not hot. Best of all, no humidity.

 Willie decided it was time to get the sandbox set up. He and Kahlen went into Lowe's and bought the sand. The got it home and Kahlen "helped" carry the sand to the box. They opened the bags together and dumped it in.

We brought Paxton out and plopped him in. He first had a look of utter confusion. He looked up at Willie and I like we were a little nutty. (Eh, we're used to it.)

Then he discovered something very wonderful. When Willie would cover his little toes up, they would magically reappear when he would wiggle them. He was mystified! It was The best thing he had ever seen in his WHOLE ENTIRE life!!!

Kahlen, as usual was very hesitant about getting in the sand. She sat up on the edge. Carefully, scooping sand with a shovel, trying to keep her hands clean. She did put her feet in the sand, that is quite a step forward from last year.

Kahlen is never going to be one of those kids who come home covered in mud from head to toe when mom had told her to not to get dirty. She is a lot like her grandpa when it comes to getting dirty. If it is for the right reasons, she might let herself get dirty, but only for the right reasons.

And apparently, Paxton doing it first is a right reason.