Independence Day and Beyond

Here is it, Sunday, July 6th, and I didn’t wish all of you a safe and happy 4th. Now that it’s over, I trust all who are reading this still have full use of their digits and senses. Unless someone is reading this to you, I trust you at least have the use of some of the important parts that you were issued at birth.

Now, the reason I’ve not been around lately is because we’ve had house guests … Bob, Steffani, and Maryssa … from Idaho. I know, I mentioned Idaho not too long ago, but that’s because we were there. Apparently the three mentioned above decided to follow us home after waiting for an appropriate amount of time, hoping we’d forget we just saw them a short time ago, I’m sure. As soon as they arrived I was forced to give up my garage door opener so they could have unlimited access to our home.

That’s not true, of course. They were officially invited. Really. They were. All of them.

Consequently, we spent most of our time waiting on them hand and foot from last Sunday evening through yesterday morning. Sounds bad, I know, but it was totally self-imposed. They didn’t expect that kind of treatment and, in truth, they didn’t really get it. Since they’re related, they don’t get that kind of treatment. They had to scavenge for any scrapes of food they could get, just like I do. Being the oldest, and slowest human in the building made it difficult to obtain the minimum daily fiber intake which resulted in an overall 10 pound weight increase. Without the need to compete for bathroom time, I’m confident I’ll quickly rid myself of the extra weight fairly quickly.

The real reason our three house guests visited was so the youngest of them, Maryssa, recent Skyview High School graduate, has a boyfriend, Sage, who is playing baseball on a summer league in Portland. All of the young men playing in the league comprise a pool of new talent for all those professional baseball teams out there. If he doesn’t get drafted, he will go to the University of North Carolina after he graduates next year. Sage is a stellar example of what many of today’s youth lack – manners and respect. Thankfully, he was exposed to our small town relatives who also exemplify that example when he visited our home several times during the past week. I did my best to be the best host ever s there’s a chance I’ll get a ticket to see a pro baseball game one of these days.

July 4th started early for me. Not only because the dogs got me up early, but also because I had to stay up and honor a volunteer commitment to help place flags around town with other Lions International members at 0700. Since I had an American Legion obligation to participate in a flag raising ceremony in front of the old courthouse at 0800, I just stuck around down town. After the flag, I helped set up the combined American Legion/Veterans of Foreign Wars booth at which some items were being raffled off to the public passing by on their way to the waterfront area. One was a 20’ flag pole and another was a weekend stay at a beach cabin in either Warrenton, Oregon, or Ocean Park, Washington. The Columbia County Humane Society had a booth next to us and they raffled gift baskets. I donated money to the flag pole and gift basket raffles.

I don’t know what time I left during the morning, but I had to be back at 1:30 pm to participate in a bell ringing ceremony. When I returned, my friend Doug gave me the choice of which bell to ring so I chose the one at the marina in front of the old court-house. The bell is in a ½ replica of the warning bell tower located on Warrior Rock a little ways up the Columbia River from St. Helens. The replica is located near the waterfront gazebo where a very loud band was playing right up until the moment of the bell ceremony so I had a rapt audience for this interruption of their afternoon entertainment. The bell ceremony consists of ringing the bell 13 times, for our original 13 colonies, at 2 pm every 4th of July. All the bells in town had someone pulling their ropes at the same time. It was quite solemn.

I stayed in the area of the information booth until 5 pm at which time I had to leave and attend the family dinner Diane had been working on for the last 3-4 days. In attendance were Diane, Bob, Steffani, Maryssa, Sage, Daniel, Jennifer, Cedric, Lydia, Jeran, Jean, and me. I had to put another leaf in the table to accommodate those in attendance. It was a terrific repast with lots of great food, just like normal for this time of year. After the meal, we all sat around waiting for it to get dark while Sage, Cedric, and Maryssa played catch in the back yard. The ball was missed and lost 3 times in dense bushes. I found it every time because I had long pants on and I’m not afraid of spiders. The last ball went into the hay-field behind the house just about the time Lydia appeared riding Gracie, our neighbor Stacy’s horse. This is the first time Lydia has ridden the horse and it happened about 10 minutes after Stacy met Lydia. Amazing. A demonstration about first impressions and trust, I believe.

While I was diving in the hay for the last lost baseball, my friend Doug arrived at the house toting the 10×10 pop-up I took for use at the information booth. That, and the flag pole I won. How amazing is that? I won the flag pole! And a flag! Now I’ll have to go dig a hole and set it up.

Yesterday we, and our guests, rose fairly early because it was time for them to head back to Idaho. On the way, however, we all attended one of Sage’s baseball games at the University of Concordia in Portland. He was the starting pitcher and I was really looking forward to seeing him hurl the ball. His fast ball is in the 92-93 mph range and he has a wicked curve. Sadly, infield defense wasn’t up to speed in the first two innings, allowing 4 runs on two errors. The pitching was good, but the coach pulled him after two. From there it was a scoreless battle until the 6th when Sage’s team started getting hits and tied the score. In the 7th “our” team had last at bat and held their opponents scoreless. Then the bats got busy and “we” loaded the bases with one out. Next batter, a lefty, swung at the first pitch and hit a line drive down the first base line in a spot where the first baseman had no chance to catch it. Game over, we wind 5-4. Had that hit happened in an earlier inning, it would have cleared the bases, easily.

Then we said goodbye to our Idaho guests, Sage, and, Jack and Wynette, and went home. Did I mention Jack and Wynette were there? Don’t believe I did. Well, they were and they sat directly in front of us. Jennifer and Lydia rode with us to the game.

This morning we got up earlier than usual and went to church, came home and ate 4th of July food.

That’s about it to this point.

Oh, ya. I won one of the gift baskets, too. How about that? Also, our guests took my garage door opener home with them. A police report has been filed.

Here’s some photographic evidence of what happened …

DSC_1515 IMG_0928

DSC_1487 DSC_1484 DSC_1498 DSC_1522 DSC_1533 DSC_1535 DSC_1557 DSC_1558 DSC_1668 DSC_1670 DSC_1712 DSC_1688

One thought on “Independence Day and Beyond

  1. We’ve missed you but so glad you had a good week with your family……AND very lucky it sounds like. Enjoy the heat……(UGH) Linda & Tom

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