Folks line up early for the annual parade for the Johnson County Fair!
It was 4PM today when the first lawn chairs were dropped curbside on the yards along our street. We could hear the drumbeats of the high school bands who were here for the big to-do. As families gathered in clusters the chatter became louder and louder. There was loud laughter and everyone had their coolers full of iced drinks and sacks to be filled with the
candy tossed out from the people on the floats.
The neighbor kids were just beside themselves with anticipation. Their cousins came to sit with them and they were hoping aloud the
candy would be their favorite. They nearly came unglued with delight when a neighbor up the street, who is running for public office, tossed out ICE COLD POPSICLE STICKS!
Young veteran men and women made up the color guard that opened the festivities. To see them straight and tall and vigorous after serving in heinous conditions to keep us safe was tear jerking, to say the least. Their pride and patriotism was evident as they carried our nation's flag and marched in perfect order.
The marching bands, although looking withered from the heat, looked sharp and sounded good. They wore their summer uniforms but the hot Nebraska sun was hard to deal with. Lucky us; we had the luxury of shade and every so often we were favored with a cooling breeze.
Floats of every type were decorated in tune to the theme of Making Memories. As the entrees crept by with their waving,
candy-tossing riders, we marveled at the variety of decor and all the handiwork and creativity that had gone into each one.
Our illustrious village Mayor trudged up the way, holding a sign bearing his name. I called to him as he passed, "Mr. Mayor, where is your
candy? We were hoping for good Swiss chocolate!" LaVerne just grinned, shrugged, and kept on moving. The slender septuagenarian was drenched with the heat of the afternoon and he looked mighty warm.
SIDEBAR: The Mayor is a first cousin to The Normanator and they have Swiss heritage. END SIDEBAR.
When the emergency crews drove their ginormous rigs up our hill and around the corner, each Volunteer Fire Department vied with the others to be the loudest. There were horns, sirens, whistles and our eardrums may never recover.
The veterans, frail and aging, rode by on a flatbed truck. They were safely seated and volunteers rode along to make sure they stayed safe and cool. There were ice chests on board, filled with cold drinking water. Our hearts swelled with pride as they slowly raised their arms to wave to the crowd. This is our Greatest Generation.
The horses brought up the rear, pun intended, and we rose to leave the front yard. Groups of parade watchers clustered to visit and view any new babies. There was more laughter than ever as the crowd dispersed. Most people wanted to get to the food stand the Catholic Ladies were managing for some good grub. Others wanted to hurry to the VFW Bingo stand.
As we came into the house to cool off with fans turned to High I thought about what a blessing it is to live in a small town where we know a lot of the people and to be well enough to participate in community life as it plays out here.
Are we relatively stress free? Do we eat well and wisely? Are we sure to keep well hydrated in this oppressive heat? Is our rest adequate and do we get plenty of movement? And are we supplementing our diet with good whole foods nutrition? And just as important, are we performing The Healing Codes to ensure we can keep this lifestyle we enjoy so much? The answer is a resounding 'YES!'
The local nursing home is full and there is a waiting list. The same is true for our Assisted Living facility. Doctors offices are crowded every day. Our hospital is busy. Hopefully more people will come to be open to the ideas we espouse and can remain optimally well during their long life span so as to enjoy many more parades.