This morning, I was tempted to sit around the house and work on my latest draft. Instead, I suggested we go to the local small town parade. It's important to celebrate and be thankful for this beautiful, peaceful country of ours.
All kinds of marchers, riders, and floats passed us as we stood in the bright Southwestern sunlight. We were part of a large crowd of happy people. Kids scrambled for candy, a huge herd of horses clip-clopped across the concrete, and the local Democratic group even had a real miniature donkey braying for Obama.
A marching kazoo band played "America the Beautiful," and hordes of antique and classic cars rolled by. Veterans and firemen gave out flags, and we all clapped and cheered for them. Floatriders squirted the crowd with supersoakers. Two gigantic draft horses that pulled a big cart were probably Belgians (they were sorrel, meaning light golden brown with flaxen mane and tail). You really have to see these Belgians to appreciate how huge they are. They're bigger than Clydesdales, if that tells you anything. It's an awesome sight to see them from ground-level, up close.
My favorite parade people, though, were the motorcycle guys who led the whole thing. They cruised by slowly, cool as can be on their bikes, with their big biceps, grey beards, long hair, bandannas, and leather chaps. Some of them smiled at us; others just smiled with their eyes while retaining their proud independence. They were an icon of American freedom. It was also nice to see that there were women riding their own Harleys, and that the racial makeup of the group was mixed.
We just made Independence Day cupcakes. Now we're off to our friends' house to eat, let the kids play, and set off a few fireworks. Happy Fourth of July, fellow Americans!