Sunday, July 5, 2009

My First 4th of July

In the summer of 1991, my family moved from London, Ontario, Canada to Raleigh, NC for my dad's job. We were the first of all of our extended family (both my mom and dad's side) to leave Canada and although it was supposed to be for a 3 year work position, it has turned into 18 years! We're permanent residents and hopefully, as of this fall, I'll be a U.S. Citizen! YAY!!! I absolutely love living here, am more than proud to fly the U.S. flag on our house and I can't wait to vote! :)
Anyway, we moved to NC at the very end of June and we got a flyer advertising a neighborhood bike parade on the following Saturday. I guess my parents didn't connect the dots, but it wasn't just any bike parade, it was the 4th of July bike parade. I can remember going to WalMart and my mom letting me pick out the streamers and such for me to decorate our bikes.
Now, I'm not sure if they were out of the patriotic colors, or if I was just more of an out-of-the-box thinker even back then, but I opted for yellow, purple and pink.
I woke up that Saturday and wasn't going to let a nasty case of pink eye get in the way of my bike parade debut to the neighborhood. I eagerly got to work, attaching a giant dowel rod to the back of my bike and then adhering TONS of crepe paper streamers to it so that they would blow in the breeze. I had colored "spokey dokes" (if you're completely uncool and don't know what spokey dokes are, they are these little plastic thing-a-ma-bobs that you attach to the spokes on your bike wheels and they make noise when you ride) and I even wove the streamers through the tires. It was awesome.
We rode our bikes to the community pool to meet up with the rest of the parade, and I can remember the shock of seeing everyone else's bikes decked out in red, white and blue and not understanding how everyone could be so uncreative. :) My parents explained the holiday to me and from then on out I was as patriotic as the rest of them, but I still think that my sparkly blue huffy with the rainbow-colored banana seat looked the best in pink, purple and yellow.
I looked for a picture of Mark and I with our bikes, but I think that it must be at my parents house, and so instead, I'm offering up a picture of Mark and I from close to the time that we moved to N.C. It was our Olan Mills church photo and I don't think we've ever looked better...

Mark: I'm loving the way that you're tenderly holding my arm, almost as much as I love your spit-slicked hair and sweet turtleneck. I'm sure that as soon as this photo was taken we had a pine cone war in the backyard and then spent the afternoon eating macaroni and cheese with cut-up hot dogs in it watching Doug. I also could bet that you were wearing cowboy boots and had a pocket-knife somewhere on your person. :)

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