Oh my goodness, yesterday was so packed with action and conversation that I fear this post will be very long. These first two sentences don’t help alleviate the problem, so I’ll stop fearing now and just launch into it.
I woke up at 5 am and decided to hike the Y. Little did I know this was the second Most Unoriginal Idea I have had in the past forty-eight hours. (The first was my suggestion that we head to the Payson temple on Friday.) Apparently, a LOT of families hike the Y on the 4th of July. The trail was one long continuous stream of large families hiking together.
Unfortunately–or fortunately, as it turned out–I forgot water. Five minutes into my hike straight UP the mountain, I thought I was going to pass out. After taking a break and considering my options (continue hiking, give birth, pass out and/or die vs. turning around, heading home, and trying some other time with water), I decided to not be stupid and to head back home.
Thank goodness I did! The entire neighborhood below the Y was completely blocked off. On one side there were the mountains, on one there was an impassable street line that was blocked off for a run, on one there was an impassable street line that was blocked off for a carnival, and on one there was yet another impassable street line that was blocked off for the parade. In the half an hour I had spent on the mountain, all exit routes out of the neighborhood had been completely cut off.
I drove to a traffic cop to ask how to get back to Orem, and he laughed in my face. I think he thought I was homeless because I was shabbily dressed, most likely smelly, and in the Subaru, which is packed to the gunnels with garbage bags of stuff we are planning to drop off at DI one of these days. Oh well. I finally crossed the parade line and got yelled at by a cop, but at least I didn’t spend half my day stuck in that neighborhood. All in all, a fifteen minute drive took forty minutes because of all the circling I had to do. (That was nothing compared to our drive home from the fireworks! A ten minute drive took us one hour and a half. We got home at almost 1 am.)
When I got home, Abe was up and getting ready for the parade. He took this hilarious video of himself waking the girls up. In response to his cheerful urgings to get up and ready for the parade, they bury their heads in their pillows and try really hard to ignore him. I thought this morning behavior wouldn’t emerge until their teenage years.
Then we went to the parade and met up with Steve, Blair, and James to watch the parade. It turns out our spot was directly in front of the house where Abe’s dad spent the first five years of his life! It has since become a cafe, but we felt happy to watch the parade from a place with historical significance to Abe. Abe’s grandparents first rented this house when they first moved to Provo so Abe’s grandpa could teach at BYU.
Halfway through Lydia declared that the parade was boring, and I am sorry to say that I had to agree-I had fallen asleep in my chair at least once. The parade had tons of marching bands, politicians, and beauty queens from every single city on the Wasatch front (or so it seemed). Occasionally, a float came along, but for the most part, I was bored too. Disneyland has spoiled us for parades.
We headed home for lunch and naps.
Then Abe went to his Darais family picnic with the girls. Here is a fun video of the girls rolling down the hill. Mary face plants when Abe tells her to run after her long roll. He thought it was hilarious. All the clapping is for Abe’s Uncle Mark, who is playing the harmonica in the background.
I stayed home because I can’t sit on the ground or in a folding chair for hours. While they were at the picnic, I baked a pie, read a book on near-death experiences, and reveled in my alone time.
While at the picnic, Abe saved a little girl’s life. While he was chatting with some cousins, he honed in on a two-year old girl who was walking toward the busy street. He noticed that she didn’t have any adults watching her. He tried to ask his family if the girl was one of the Darais babies, but just as he did, she stepped into the street. He took off sprinting and screamed, “HEY!” loud enough to startle her just before she stepped beyond the parked cars into the zooming lane. That stalled her long enough for him to reach in and pick her up. He brought her back to the picnic to find out if she was a Darais, but two minutes later her dad came running from one of the houses across the street. Apparently, she had let herself out of the house, crossed the busy street (miraculously without getting hit) and gone to the park. She was just about to head home when Abe saved her.
Abe told me that this experience was very reassuring. Today he is teaching on John 16 and 17, and he has been wondering if he has enough of the Holy Ghost in his life. This experience taught him that even if we’re tired (he’s been exhausted all weekend) and don’t feel particularly spiritual, the Spirit can still speak to us and work through us if we want to serve God. He felt the Spirit direct his attention to the girl and work through his thought-process quickly enough to save her.
After all that excitement, Abe and the girls came home, shortly after which Tom and Suzanne visited. We had pie and chatted, and then we headed over to Abe’s aunt’s house to join forty of his aunts, uncles, and cousins for the fireworks.
I have never lived anywhere with a fireworks culture like Provo. In Abe’s aunt’s neighborhood, which is right behind the MTC and borders BYU, every single house had a large family in front and they were ALL setting off homemade fireworks. I honestly felt like I was in a war zone. There was so much smoke and so many loud bangs, and finally, when Abe’s cousins started setting off their own huge fireworks, I took Mary and retreated to the open garage so we wouldn’t catch any falling embers. I’m a scaredy cat. At the same time, I love holidays that get people outside (Halloween!) so we can all celebrate together. I had a great time, but part of me feels like quietly soliciting candy from each other might be preferable to all the loud bangs. I don’t know.
Then his whole family headed down two blocks to a lawn right next to the BYU stadium (where they set off all the fireworks). It was definitely the best fireworks show I have ever seen. There was screaming and pandemonium when the sprinklers went off as we were waiting for the show–everyone started grabbing small children and sprinting off the lawn–but someone turned those off, and the show went on.
Afterward, it took us an hour and a half to get home because of traffic. We came home and fell right asleep (even though our neighbors, whom we regard with great affection, were still setting off fireworks in the cul-de-sac at 1 am). It was a great day. Happy birthday, America! I love you.