...but I know it wasn't 4th of July. Yes, I left a "the" out, but all those words didn't fit the rhythm, and now that damn song is stuck in my head for the rest of the day.
With the fantastically warm days we had last weekend, we took advantage of the weather and, along with the rest of the free world, went to Gypsy Hill Park for the afternoon. In addition to the strong sentimental feelings I have for Gypsy Hill, which I refuse to wax nostalgic about at this point, it's an awesome park, dude. Try it sometime. But wait until the Gypsy Hill Express opens for the season.
Andrew...I mean, Captain Andrew of the "Fort Vegas" Fire Department, Engine 55, is a big fan of the fire pole on the big kids' apparatus. Up until Saturday, however, he wasn't big enough to slide the whole way down, so we'd lift him as high as we could and let him slide down a few feet, being ever watchful that some random nine year-old wasn't hurtling down it at warp speed only to land on our heads. On Saturday, though, I wasn't feeling it--he's getting heavier, or I'm getting weak in my old age, or both, but I could only lift him up a few times before I'd had enough. So I, chickenshit extraordinaire that I am, sent him to the top. Gulp.
Okay, it's not THAT high. I'm 5'8", and that platform's about a foot above my head. But... ...it was quite a stretch for the little guy. He had to lean WAY out with one arm, then the other, all the while teetering on the edge of the treehouse platform, fair game for some rowdy big kid to knock right the heck off of there. Then he had to LEAP into the air, with nothing under him except an uncoordinated mother and a couple inches of mulch, and wrap his legs around the pole. It all took a lot of concentration, and you can tell he takes his pole-sliding very seriously. He is, after all, a Sprout Jr. Firefighter under the tutelage of Fireman Sam and Firefighter Dayna.
He must have gone down the pole thirty times before his hands started to hurt, or before he admitted it, anyway. I could tell he was tired when he took my hand and said, "Mommy, let's go feed the ducks."
By the way, before I forget---Mr. Mean Guy at the Texaco station on the corner of Churchville Avenue and Springhill Road in Staunton, Virginia, quit being such an ASS! You KNOW the duck/fish food machines at the park only take nickels, and you KNOW you're the closest place to walk for change. For the love of God, get some extra rolls of nickels when you know the weather will be nice. The duck Nazis won't let us law-abiding citizens feed them leftover hot dog buns anymore, so we're forced to buy overpriced water and Gatorade from you in order to get change. You don't even sell sandwiches or other picnic supplies, and who the HELL would get gas right there, so what do you have to offer? I'll tell you--NICKELS! If a loving father requests a few extra nickels for his exhausted son to buy duck pellets with, give them to him, instead of your lame-ass "I won't have enough to make change" excuse. We'll give you one more chance, but after that, I smell a boycott brewing.