The fourth of July is a big deal in the Meltebeke family: Mom's birthday, Dave and Carol's anniversary, and of course, Independence Day. This year the boys and I got to be in the States on the fourth and got to help mom celebrate her 70th! The boys were infused with American patriotism from church in the morning until the dazzling fireworks at night. It was exciting to see them experience all this excitement in one day. We had a wonderful picnic lunch with family out on the gazebo where Dave and I got married almost 17 years ago! I wish he could have been there. It was so, so beautiful. Mom's roses were blooming and the canal was so inviting, and the weather almost warm for even Carol. She and my brother Dave celebrated their 23rd anniversary. Drew was the only other one missing as he was in California. Daniel and Julianne have been working at Camp Harlow this summer. It really brought back a lot memories hearing them talk about it.
After the picnic, we played volleyball and badminton, then we took off for a park across town by the Study Center (now Gutenberg College) where my nephew Adam played his saxaphon in the Eugene Symphonic Band. He did great. Again, more patriotic songs, beautifully arranged; many of the same ones we had heard in church.
Poor Donovan was a bit under the weather with a cold, but it didn't stifle his insatiable need to watch "Amercia's Funniest Home Videos". He and Weston laugh and laugh, and Grandpa even saves some on his TV, so there's a stockpile. It took some big BOOMS to finally get the whippersnappers away from the TV and out to the deck to watch the fireworks show over the Autzen parking lot. Oh, those booms thundered in our chests and we snuggled under the blanket. Poor boys, they were so torn because they so wanted to go get the video camera to capture all this magic for Daddy. They couldn't stand to think that he was missing something so amazing. I tried to assure them that it was alright. That Daddy had seen something similar before, and would want them to just sit and enjoy it. Those boys slept well that night.
I was really proud of mom for arriving at 70 so capable, healthy, and beautiful. She actually did a lot of the food prep for the picnic, which I wish wasn't the case, but she said she liked being productive. And I know she enjoyed having everyone around. I think it was wise that it was just us rather than trying to find meaningful connection with Mom amidst the masses out at Harlow for the First B. picnic. I would have been too distracted and worried about the boys...
It was a perfect day for storing up memories of Oregon in its splendour.