I just started reading a book about the tumultuous election of 1800 (Adams versus Jefferson; Jefferson won), and I was struck by how quickly America became a completely altered place once it was no longer a British colony. By 1800, there were no lords or ladies and the idea of class distinction was challenged to its core when John Adams, a common man from a poor family, became the president just prior to 1800. Also, with the disestablishment of state churches, religious freedom was at a new zenith, although tolerance still had quite a ways to go.
America is a great place. I feel very blessed to live here. Here's some vignettes from my Fourth of July weekend:
Balloon launch, 6:30 AM, Provo. This is one of my favorite parts of the Freedom Festival. We walked out on the field with about 20 hot air balloons while they were being inflated. This is me and my roommate Lindsay:That night, Misha tried lighting some fireworks:
While Lois and I tried to take an action shot of her leaping. For some reason, my camera was stuck on timer and wouldn't go off when I wanted it to. So we never got a good leaping picture, but we got a lot of funny action shots, anyway.The whole camera-stick-on-timer thing actually provided us with some pretty entertaining shots overall. This is my personal favorite:
Although this picture looks rather violent, do not be alarmed. Misha and Lois are in fact quite good friends, as can be seen here, where they pose atop my car:
The next morning, I made Misha and Angi go to the parade with me. They only wanted to stay for half an hour, and the longer we were there, the more they tried to shorten the amount of time. Misha somehow got ahold of my camera:
Please note how patriotic I am with my red shirt and white and blue eyes. Also, just before I finally gave in and took the kids home, the procession of emergency vehicles went past, blaring their horns. But they weren't the only things blaring. Here you can see one of Misha's hidden talents:
And here was his favorite part of the parade: Seeing the Cosmobile on the way back to our car. I did not give in to his pleadings that we hot rod the Cosmobile and drive off in it. As any good BYU student knows, crossing Cosmo is not a wise idea.Going back to the theme of my intro, I spent a great morning on the Fifth of July volunteering at Colonial Days in downtown Provo. I got to wear a colonial period dress and stand in a little piece of a replica of the Mayflower and tell people cool facts about the Pilgrims. It was neat. Also, it was funny changing in a room full of girls who were putting on hoopskirts and helping each other lace up the backs of their dresses. Have you ever read "Gone With the Wind" or "Little House in the Big Woods" or some book where there's a scene with a whole bunch of girls getting ready for a dance in a room together? I now know what that's like. I have experienced a room full of petticoats for myself. It's amazing how feminine wearing a petticoat can make you feel.
Back at the house, Misha and Lois tried to defy physics by riding an old banana bike together:
Then we all gathered outside for a big game of four square! We had six squares and three people rotating in. After some heated debates over which moves were legal and which were not (chicken feet was definitely an illegal move), we recruited Dad to be our referee, and he seemed to really enjoy it. Here you can see him and Tricia looking at the ball closely to determine if it landed on a line or not (lines were redos):
Then, at the conclusion of the weekend, we got out my great-grandma's old mink coat (isn't this how you celebrate the Fourth?) and Lois tried it on. It's the perfect article of clothing for a cat lover: you can't tell if it's been shed on or not!
Misha felt left out, so he found a long wool coat that went down to his ankles and modeled it.
After all that excitement, I was ready to go to bed and sleep for a very long time- except for the 8:30 AM church the next morning. But since that's part of my pursuit of happiness, I'm not complaining.