It's such a different scene this year from all the other years I've lived here. There's always been the parade which goes down our street, and I can either go out and wave or actually join the parade itself and head for the Community Park with all the bouncy houses and good food and crafts.
The Win-Bins always have celebrated with their friends that evening with more good food and fireworks and kids playing. They have a perfect view of the community fireworks from their yard, and I can come home and enjoy them from my balcony. Such a busy and festive day.
Today, I've heard a few anemic fireworks somewhere nearby and heard the sirens and music from the First Responders' Parade. I saw a video of it, and it truly made me cry. A police car, a fire truck, another van of some type and a school bus. So sad. But it's winding its way up and down most of the streets here. There is happy music and sirens and people on sidewalks waving flags and yelling. Hopefully, we'll be back to normal soon, and it is good that we get to reflect on and appreciate the things we always took for granted, but it still makes me so sad.
My big day was yesterday when I got to be with the girls all afternoon. Emily and I are still not happy with so much time together, but we miss each other, and we really don't know what to do. It seems so innocent to spend time outside with them, but we didn't wear masks most of the time, and now we have that little worry that maybe we shouldn't have done it.
It was a lovely day and more precious because we haven't been together for so long.
Katherine and Graysen planned the day, and they really, really wanted McDonald's Happy Meals. Since they usually eat really good meals at home, I felt like I could treat them to the joy of chicken nuggets and milkshakes.
On the way to North Bend where the closest McDonald's is, I had a special treat.
The elk were out in their field.
I have to get used to driving all over again, but it was nice to be out enjoying the day. I picked up the Happy Meals and headed to Steller Park and set it on on a thoroughly cleaned and covered picnic table. Step One. Not very festive, but it worked!
I could see the girls when they came out the front door, Emily got them across the street, and they came running as fast as they could. Graysen couldn't wait for Katherine and was telling me what she had in her backpack and all sorts of news, but she was glad to go back and run with Katherine.
Emily decided to forego her freedom for a little bit and joined us for lunch. It was so much fun to sit and talk in person for a change.
Graysen had lost that front tooth that's been so loose for so long, and will probably lose the other one soon. We practiced all the cute lisps that come with having a front tooth out. Sis-ther! Such cuteness!
These photos were taken back at the apartment where we went long enough for a bathroom break. We try to avoid closed spaces, but it was a necessity in this case.
And they rediscovered those obnoxious Pomsies that drive everyone crazy and wanted to take them home. I was not about to refuse them!
They wanted to see where I had seen the snake last week, so I showed them the spot, and then a chubby bunny was noticed sitting there watching us.
We passed by some nicely decorated houses on Douglas, and they stood in front of Chloe's and Everly's houses, hoping they would be spotted, but no one came out.
We stopped and talked with a nice guy and his kids who had just sold his house and was moving to Texas. We talked SEC football since he had gone to school in Tuscaloosa and had a Georgia fan next door. Very rare to see SEC flags around here.
It was fun to walk downtown and look in all the windows. We saw a daycare center and a martial arts center (empty). The pottery place and the yogurt place were open, but I had forgotten to take any money, so we were just forced to look in. We're reserving a yogurt visit for next week when we take the library books back.
We stopped at the apartment and played about 5 minutes and then went on with our walk.
I loved every minute of this afternoon. It couldn't have been sweeter. I love how it doesn't take much besides imagination to make them happy. They just chattered and found joy in such simple things - spotting a corgi, seeing the clouds on the mountains, finding sticks and rocks and making sounds banging them on things. I'm so thankful for small pockets of time like this.
Thursday, I played Mah-Jong with an online group. It took so much time trying to get my video connected. The others had played together already, but they could never get me hooked up. I didn't hate that! We did have time for two games, and it was fun. They could message me through the web site, which was about all that's necessary to me.
It has otherwise been a lazy week. I've cooked a few things for the family, video talked, and listened to another couple of audio books. I'm still not out walking every day but hopefully will get more serious about that next week.