Highlights of a Small Town 4th of July

Perhaps you were following my grand adventures last year when I shared photos and stories from my hometown 4th of July celebration. This year we spent the weekend in our hometown once again, and although Boy #1 was disappointed that The Knife Game was absent from the carnival this year, the weekend provided many other photo ops and evidence to support my theory that there is nothing quite like celebrating Independence Day in Small-Town America.

Where else but in a small town can you . . .

Shake hands with a can of Spam?Drive a lawnmower in the parade—and not because you’re using it to pull a float? Just because you fancy your lawnmower.

See tractors, tractors, and more tractors? Red, green, orange . . .

        Collect so much candy that you have to hoist your bag on your back like Santa carrying his toys?Compare loot with your cousins?

          See the boy who used to sing Billy Joel’s “The Longest Time” to you in 6th grade now singing to Jesus on a flatbed with the House of Freedom worship band?

            Beat your grandpa at a game of ping-pong-toss-horse-racing?

              Snuggle up in coats and blankets with 30 of your closest friends and relatives at the farm you grew up on to “ooh” and “aah” at the fireworks?

                Witness an angry-looking carnival worker with several facial scars that you’re pretty sure are knife wounds using a socket wrench to get your precious children out of the belly of a teddy bear?

                  Spend $60 Thank Grandma, Grandpa, and Granny for spending $60 so your kids can ride carnival rides that are a WEE bit overpriced AND undermaintained (but the kids think are Disneyworld-worthy)?

                    Walk uptown to the carnival and pass by a chicken—kicking back on a couch? (The billboard we later saw on the square may very well explain what the chicken was doing there.)

                      Completely space off when your dad is giving you a lecture about not throwing a fit when Mom and Dad stop every two feet to talk to someone they know?

                        Ask your husband if he could possibly take the camera for a while so someday the kids will know that their mom was actually THERE this 4th of July—and he then takes this picture of you trying to hoist yourself onto the bandstand stage?

                          Jump aboard the carousel and ride, not on a majestic horse or fanciful unicorn—but the most evil-looking monkey ever, who will then haunt you in your nightmares for the rest of your tortured life?

                            Cheer on your brother-in-law while he rides in an outhouse he built, cleans a toilet with his butt, and wades through a tank of “mystery slop” to find one lone corncob, all in the hopes of winning the coveted Golden Toiletseat? (Yeah, his business’s outhouse got beat out by Walmart’s. What a loser good sport.) End the weekend with a lemon ice cream cone in one hand and a sucker in the other?

                              Here’s hoping your 4th of July weekend was just as memorable!


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