by Denise Dykstra
Summer has arrived! And with it, a parade to welcome its arrival!
Here at my home, we are one week into summer vacation. The boys were house sitting for my parents at the beginning of the first week, so I had three mornings of easing into the day without waking sleepy teenage boys and hustling them out the door for anything. It was then I realized just how tired I was!
We spent the week getting vegetable plants and flowers planted, setting up the back yard fire pit for back “porch parties” with friends, and I had to familiarize myself with the lawn mower again. Beau and Cash remain bitter enemies, and we are trying to get into a good summer rhythm over all.
The first week of summer felt off a bit, as if we were forgetting things we were supposed to do, as well as doing all sorts of things we haven’t done since last summer.
But now that we have had a parade through town, it feels like we have officially arrived into summer.
The Pony Express was scheduled to ride right by our house Saturday in a parade they were doing as a fund-raiser for a local young boy. We had no idea what to expect, but I was giddy to have a parade go right by our actual house. I have shared my love of the Memorial Day parade here in town, and it’s just a short walk from our front door to the parade route. But this parade was going to go directly by our house not once, but twice.
I invited all of my family and told friends they could come join us too. “We can sit right in the front yard! We can sip tea from the front porch and wave as they go by!” I told anyone who would listen.
And then I nearly missed the parade.
I was busy shuffling everyone’s drinks, and letting kids know where to grab some camp chairs to sit in, when my phone began ringing. “Get out of your house, the parade is nearly here!” my neighbor ordered. The parade was coming earlier than expected, and she knew my excitement. Bless her for calling me!
My brother, sister-in-law and their two sons, along with us and two dogs all came pouring out the front door. The parade of horses walked close enough to us to touch them, and we waved and chatted a bit with them as they passed.
Behind the horses, was a long line of vehicles caught unaware that a parade would be coming through town on a random Saturday afternoon.
People rolled up alongside us with their windows down. “Do you know what is going on? Why is the traffic backed up?” they would ask.
We began to see familiar faces. A graduation party just down the road had ended and we caught up with friends as they snail-paced drove by. “This is more fun than the parade!” my husband exclaimed happily.
One of Eli’s friends called out to him to see if he wanted to join them at the next party and he had time to hand me the breakfast he had just made himself, run in the house to grab his shoes, and walk one driveway down to join his friends in their vehicle.
My neighbor and her young son walked over to join us in our fun yard. Friends pulled in the driveway, or alongside our yard, to watch the parade come back by and catch up.
Who knew a parade going by our house would be this much fun?
The horses came by the house one more time. The entire event took about fifteen or so minutes. But we chuckled to ourselves for the rest of the day about how much fun we had.
A parade. Catching up with friends. Sipping iced tea. Laughing. Chasing dogs that wanted to round up horses. Eating snacks. Sitting on the front porch to catch up when the parade was done. It all felt so summer perfect, a great way to kick off this new season.
Do you have an event that kicks off summer for you?
(Photos courtesy of Sara DeHaan Photography)