4th of July II (I’m tired)

Haines puts on a great family oriented independence day celebration.  It’s probably my favorite day of the year in our small town.

Haines starts out the day with the Mt. Ripinski Race, which starts at 6 AM, if memory serves: I’ve never been to it, but my hat’s off to those brave souls who get up in time to watch it.  I’ll not say anything about the stamina and the preparation it takes to put forth a good effort in that race.  What could I say? 

IMG_7135cThen comes the Parade.  This year’s parade  was about the best I’ve seen in many years,  albeit with no real genuine IMG_7012floats with chicken wire and paper mache.   There was a ton of entries and Holly was right in there with the best of them: “Catch the reading Bug!” for the Summer Reading Program.  She had kids dressed up as bugs with the slogan,  aforementioned. 

IMG_6895Mark Daniel was dressed up like a spider (I think) and did a great job walking the whole way and smiling too.  Holly Drove the pick-up with the three signs plastered on it.

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Bob & Margaret donated the  use of their little diesel Toyota and helped us get it cleaned up for the parade.  It’s a great little truck for the slow speed walking pace of a parade.

IMG_6853Regrettably, her little ‘bees’ walked a little to close to the entry in front of her truck and her whole entry kind of got lost in the shuffle.  Plus some dude with a pet dog joined her group and reduced it’s focus entirely.  Who was the dude with the dog?

Here’s a Picture Hannah, Lilly, & Haley Boron that I just had to stick in here.

IMG_7145After the parade, this year, they held the drawing ($25 per ticket) for the giant doll house that was built  to support the Venture Scouts who took a trip to climb Kilimanjaro, over in Africa (duh).  Mark’s good friend Megan and her family won the drawing so they had a fun time playing house while it was on the trailer. What I think is impressive is the flowers on the shutters.  That’s a nice touch.  Greg Podsiki does a great job with these doll houses.

It’s a really nice house and Lisa & Gordon are still trying to figure out the best place to put it.  Frankly, it’d make a nice little guest room given some insulation, wiring, sheet-rock, and a little Toyostove. Somehow, I missed buying a ticket, so we didn’t have a chance at winning it.

IMG_7185Then, after the parade, there’s always a HUGE barbecue put on by the Haines Friends of the Library in the Tlingit Park.  $3 for Burger and chips, $2 for a hotdog and chips, plus $1 for a pop (soda).  Those are my kind of prices!  I hated buying those $12 lunches down in Nashville–what a rip-off.  It had rained all night morning, so the grass was wet and we were blessed to find a dry spot on Mark Fontenot and Lenise Henderson’s white and blue checkered blanket!

At the same time the Barbecue is going on, there is a mud-volleyball tournament held in front of the Senior Center Housing (on Church land).  This is quite a spectacle, but I didn’t take any pictures of it because I was walking too fast to get back and forth, plus I didn’t really know anyone on either team that was playing at the time very well.  This year I wasn’t shooting for the paper (just my blog).

Then there’s one of the crowd favorites: the hose competition, hosted by the Haines Volunteer Fire Department, which is held in front of the Presbyterian IMG_7170Church each year.  In this event, K-4 graders dress up in little kid versions of bunk gear (PPEs) form teams and compete on pushing a buoy ball back and forth along a rope held up between two loaders.  I really like this and wanted to get Mark Daniel involved, but he was so busy playing with other kids, I didn’t want to disturb his fun time.  Plus he’s too young to hold the nozzle anyway. That’s Dylan Swinton at the head of the team on the right with his shorts on.

IMG_7237c After the Barbecue comes the field races: Crawling, hopping, gunny sack, Running, wheel-barrel, backwards running, backwards hopping, for all age groups. Actually, my age group was a bit large this year, as I was stuck in the 15+ group for many of the races. 

Mark Daniel is quite a speedy little guy but was in the 5-6 year old races this year, so he was out-sized by last year’s kindergartners.  But that didn’t faze him.  He still jumped in there and did his best in each of the races. Luke was stuck wondering when he was getting his nap, and was so tired he really couldn’t think straight.

IMG_7294c During the races, I left John Caleb with Mark Fontenot (Mark’s namesake) and was able to break free to shoot the field races.  Later on, when I found a spare moment, I looked over and was surprised to see that Mark F. was empty handed.  I was a bit shocked, but not truly worried, when I thought about it. 

I asked him who had JC and he said, Deb Kemp.  Immediately, my mind was at ease.  If she can raise up two kids of the caliber of Iris and Chandler, then John Caleb is probably in better hands with her than she is with me (at least for a little while)! 

That’s one of the things I really love about Haines: there are so many good people here who we can trust and help us look out for our boys, that it really makes me want to stay here forever.  Haines is a great town for families and I’m thankful to be raising my family here.  As divided as we are about any particular topic that may arise, we support each other and help each other.  We really are a great small-town community.

There are many decisions that can pop up in life that have a big impact on the rest of life.  One of the big ones is “Where do you want to live?”  Don’t take this question and it’s answer lightly: Where you choose to live and what type of community you want to be a part of have are important things to consider and weigh.  I think it’s best to take a purposeful approach to many decisions in life, and while I haven’t always done this myself, I’m thankful for the big decisions I’ve made so far, and when I look back, I am amazed at the number of places I could have gone on a very different path.

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One Response

  1. Sounds like a fun day and you did wax eloquent about Haines to sum it up. Heart warming style of writing. You are such a talented writer, Matt!

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