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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Fun Fourth, Back Yards, Front Rooms & F--L--A

We actually had rain this week -- almost unheard of in late June. It is a wait and see about the grapes . . . but for sure now it is warm. The last few days have been in the 90s. And the sense of "holiday" is all around us. When we lived in the Seattle area,  for a few years our family was on vacation the first two weeks of July because the company I worked for closed those weeks and all employees took at least those two weeks. So, we used to celebrate with the Canadians on July first for Canada Day -- we camped in Canada and I remember our two kids riding decorated bikes in a local Canadian town. And at night we attended fireworks displays . . .


The above are some examples of a previous year's display -- currently we usually just listen to the display in our town -- which is quite significant -- because we are giving aid and comfort to Auggie the doggie . . .

Thinking back to my growing up years in the Chicago suburbs and the celebration on the 4th of July, most of the time it was spent with neighborhood friends and shooting off small "lady finger" firecrackers, waving sparklers in the nighttime -- and then throwing the burning rod through the air and if we were lucky when we picked them up we got the cool end . . . and once in a while we had a "fountain" display and maybe some roman candles. During the day we might burn "snakes" -- which were the black chemical looking items that resembled actual snakes crawling out of the sidewalks which left the burn marks for several days.

We often went to the town's public display of fireworks after dark and oohed and ahhed at the aerial bombs and shakers and ratttlers. So all in all, the 4th was a fun holiday which did not feature gift giving and such.

Thinking of holidays in general that would be the most likely time that we would possibly have "people" over to the house.  If we did, we might actually use what is often referred to as the "front room". It must be a throwback from our ancestors but most people had a "front room" that in our case was not to be used unless "people" were over. The kids were expected to utilize the benefits of the back yard. Earlier this week my wife and I -- on our Auggie walk -- saw a huge water slide set up for kids -- with adult supervision -- these kids could slide down and be sprayed and really cool off . . . our back yard had a three pronged sprinkler connected to a garden hose over which we jumped or ran and cooled off that way -- we would have loved the slide . . .

Summer holiday events for my family when I was growing up never were held outside like most of today's events -- I never saw my father use a BBQ nor did our family even own one. My mother did all the prep and cooking and as I recall it was usually "good eating" things. My Mother, I remember, had a signal -- F-L-A when she served items for example that looked like they could run out. Our guests were to have first choice so F-L-A meant family leave alone which of course was a signal to wait until all guests took what they wanted before the kids in our family could take seconds or thirds . . .

Cousin Connection

This week, I had the pleasure of communicating with several cousins, but one cousin that I emailed back and forth this week is someone that I have hardly ever had any contact with -- and that is too bad -- for what ever reason we just never had much opportunity for contact. He is the son of my Mother's sister Jean:

As you can see we even share a common "middle" name taken from our mutual Grandfather Dayton B.
I believe that the reason that we really never had much opportunity to meet has to do with the fact that I moved from the Chicago area (to California) about the time that he was born. I am hoping that we can make up some of that lost time through communication in the future, we'll see.

Remembering a Favorite Uncle

The Fourth of July would have been the 85th birthday of my Mother's brother, Stewart Bumgardner. I remember Uncle Stew as being a lot of fun -- and someone who brought "good gifts" too. Here is a picture of him from 1958 when he was in my sister's wedding:

 
The picture being b/w doesn't show his red hair just like his sister Jean had as well. His other sister, my Mother, did not have the red hair -- genetics . . . which brings to mind that I attended a webinar this week on the results of  "mtDNA" which follows from mother to mother to mother and the characteristics are given to both males and females, however only females pass on the characteristics. Clear as  . . .

And so goes my week. The holiday spirit is certainly "in the air" as is typified by the following (from Getty Images):


That could easily have been from "days gone by" in a lot of our previous lives.

And now as I prepare for our traditional meal celebration for Saturdays let me include a picture of the typical sliders that we make each week:



We make 5 sliders -- I get to have and consume three -- Gail takes two, her choice . . . they are sooo
good, I can smell the onions now . . .

Have a great holiday and week! See you in a few.

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