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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Bored On The 4th Of July, part two







There is possibly a half foot of the Gulf of Mexico standing in my backyard, thanks to hurricane Alex. Oh well, as a West Texan, I know better than to complain about too much rain. If the fireworks are canceled that just means a few less mosquito bites for me.



We have had very few rainy Independence Days but two stand out in my mind.



The first was when my brother, Danny was overseas, so his wife, Shirley and the kids were living here. She tried to be sweet and take some of us to Palo Duro canyon for the day. It was a cold rain, and I'm sure we complained, but we had fun, Shirley was always fun.



The second, and one of my favorite memories, was an impromptu cook out at Joel and Sue's house, my brother and sister in law. The weather had ruined a lot of plans, but we had the best time sitting in a circle around an outdoor fire pit, snuggled up in blankets. We talked and laughed and passed around a mason jar filled with a vodka concoction the neighbor had passed over the fence. Steve played the guitar and we sang Friends in Low Places and Amazing Grace. Yes, I know, ours is a strange tribe. Some call that tribe Redneck. We call it family.



When Eric and Sarah were little, we lived in Borger, Texas. We were all the family we had. On the 4th of July, 1985 I was very pregnant with Lauren. We had been to the lake and I had a backache. Wanting to take a walk to relieve my back pain and possibly start a little labor, we strapped Sarah in the stroller and started to leave. Eric, however, was playing next door with a little girl and wanted to stay there. Her 14 year old sister said she would watch them and we believed her. When we got home, Eric was not there. The sister went inside and the little girl got mad at Eric and told him to go home, so he went looking for us. He was only three. We scoured the neighborhood and could not find him anywhere and wouldn't you know it, the labor pains did start. We finally found him at a grocery store where he had gone through the check out line with a toy. He told the checker his name was Eric Jon Superman and his mom would come by to pay for the toy. I was so frightened, but after we found him the labor pains stopped and that is the story of how Lauren was almost born on the 4th of July.



Lauren marched in the 4th of July parade for many years. First in a line of twirlers and later as the feature twirler. I was always very proud of her. In 2005 she was crowned College Miss Majorette Of Oklahoma. The lady who organized the parade in our town asked Lauren to ride in the parade that year with her sash and crown. Lauren, who was in summer school at the time, reluctantly came home for the big event. That morning while getting ready to go, I could tell she was really dragging her feet. I asked her if she didn't want to do it and she said, " It's one thing to march with a band and represent your school, but this is just shameless self promotion." I was never more proud of her. We snuck out of town and went shopping. It was a great day and as it turned out, our last 4th of July together.

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A wife, mother, and spoiler of small dogs, I grew up in a small West Texas town, with my eyes full of sand, and my heart full of joy.


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