Sunday, July 06, 2014

Happy Fourth

I think everyone at the Nalle family's Fourth of July celebration agreed that this was the most glorious day we've ever had for our annual shindig. The weather... oh, the weather! The bright sunshine, the low humidity, the light, steady breeze--how unlike the sultry, damp-under-your-shirt, distant-thunder-rumbling, air-conditioning-craving days Virginia usually serves up this time of year.

I didn't get many pictures, but we took these few on Dave's phone...

Graham spent most of the early afternoon on Gran's old Farmall mower, until he had to take a nap.
photo 1

While he slept, the traditional water fight ramped up. There was a dearth of functional water guns this year, so many of our soldiers made do with red plastic party cups.
photo 2

This was primitive, but still effective at close range, as Ari (in green) demonstrates here in a surprise attack on Uncle Dave.
photo 3

Vengeance is nigh, Ari! Run!
photo 1 (1)

Aaron and Meg man the refueling station.
photo 2 (1)

Not pictured are Uncle Rob, Ben and Spencer, who also joined the fray, often wielding the lethal five-gallon bucket as weapon of choice. The resulting splashes were, as always, downright spectacular.

After the battle...
photo 2 (3)

photo 1 (2)

Meanwhile, Graham took a solid nap, woke, ate his dessert, and promptly returned to his former occupation of mower-climbing. A boy and his tractor are not soon parted!
photo 2 (2)

photo 3 (2)

photo 4 (1)

And now, for my own future enjoyment, some of the day's unphotographed memories in words...

-long tables laid out in an L-shape in the dancing, dappled shade of the maple tree
-kids eating lunch on blankets under the canopy with Dad, Mom and me
-the kids crowding to watch as the neighbors vainly tried to pull a tree stump
-Wallace to the rescue, the knight on his shining blue tractor
-Meg taking a whole Uncle Rob bucketful of icy water and emerging with a silver peal of laughter
-long, lazy afternoon of quiet conversations indoors and out
-Mason with "Jesus hair" (his mother's choice of phrase)
-holding 3-month old Charlie, the softest, most velvet-skinned baby ever made
-enjoying ice cream, pie and Carmelitas together
-Meg watching the four big boys play chess
-Aaron, Meg, Ari and Matthew playing the same same Sorry! game I used when I went to Gran's house as a child
-the whole family gathering on the patio to hear Rob, Ben and Elijah sing their Boy Scouts parody of "If I Had a Million Dollars" (Elijah just became an Eagle Scout last week)
-Matthew and Ari kicking the soccer ball, running and laughing and running some more
-little kids gathered around the dining room table for a supper of leftovers
-walking Gran's lot at dusk with Jacque and Lena
-Matthew racing across the yard to me in his blue shirt, luminous somehow, light-footed, legs flashing
-Esme playing outside in her princess nightgown
-our first ever family fireworks that actually went up into the sky--a delight to most of us, terror to a few
-those fireworks that spun like dervishes, glowing hot with changing colors, then suddenly shot up in the air in a shower of sparks
-Aunt Julia to Graham: "Did you like my fireworks?" Graham: (long pause) "We go in da car now?"
-sparklers and patriotic songs in the driveway in the deep dark
-bright stars over Palmyra as we rolled into the night and homeward

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