I care very little if I am judged by you or any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself.
1 Corinthians 4:3
Yesterday felt wonderful. I cannot express the delightful difference between going back to work on Monday and staying home. I took a bath in the morning and read my book; then about 11:30, Ian and I walked down to downtown Marlborough to watch the Labor Day Parade. Let me say right now that I must have been six years old the last time I attended a small-town parade.
Ian and I found a nice shady spot right at an intersection behind a metal fence that I could stand on to get a slightly better view, and we watched the proceedings from there for several hours. We felt lucky finding such a good spot, because the entire street as far as you could see was lined with chairs people had brought, blankets, and people sitting on the curb. First we just watched the hundreds of people sitting and wandering, waiting for the parade to start. It looked like all of Marlborough had turned out to sit on the side of Main Street (which was prettily bedecked with flags) and watch various floats pass by. A man all alone on an old tandem bike rode down the street at one point, taking pictures with one hand and steering with the other. The stop light at our intersecting, amusingly enough, continued its regular cycle, totally disregarded by the meandering crowds. People sold fried dough, hot dogs, fresh-squeezed lemonade, sausages, cotton candy, stuffed animals, face-painting, and balloons. One church had set up in the park downtown and were selling whole chicken dinners; one of their group with an amazingly carrying voice periodically called out the menu. A couple girls with home-made signs advertising a restaurant downtown walked by. The parade started at noon, but it took until about 12:30 for us to even hear the sirens of the leading vehicles.
First came the firetrucks — all of Marlborough’?s firetrucks made an appearance, I think. Then came several marching bands and what looked like hours of veteran’s groups. The League of American Veterans from all over Massachusetts and New Hampshire made appearances, as did the Veterans of Foreign Wars and lots of other military-related groups. All the people in uniform got lots of cheering and clapping. Then came the Marlborough High School Marching Band and several other marching bands, including a Scottish band that seemed to make Ian feel like his presence was justified. The highlights for me were a team of six Clydesdales that pulled a bright orange wagon, a very old man in one of the ex-military groups who was walking his drum on an interesting wheeled contraption instead of carrying it (the drum probably would have squished him flat had he tried to hoist it like everybody else), and an old Shriner (wearing the hat) playing an organ with faux-bamboo pipes in a trailer pulled by a pickup truck. We also saw quite a few floats made by various groups. We left about 2:15, although the parade continued until 3:00, I think. By the time we made our exit, the parade had degenerated to people walking with political signs — NAVIN RINK, Counselor-at-Large; Patrick Hogan for Mayor; etc — and other companies advertising themselves. I still have to figure out what an orthodontist’s office has to do with gigantic fish balloons. Also, I do give the mayoral candidate credit for creativity: he hired an airplane to fly around the Main Street area throughout the parade pulling a sign encouraging us to vote for him. The local newspaper did a short write-up of the parade, which you can read here.
On our way home, Ian and I took a short detour to Dairy Queen, where we obtained some deliciously cool blizzards. Then we walked back home, tanked up on water, and went to Best Buy to look for a keyboard and mouse. Alas, there we found only a really lousy selection of those items, so we left empty-handed. On the bright side, we did stop at Price Chopper on the way home, which meant we have food to eat for this week. I also whacked out the rugs in our car and that has convinced me to somehow rig our vacuum cleaner so I can vacuum out the car. What a mess! Then before it got dark, we went swimming for about 20 minutes, since the pool closed for winter after Labor Day. While swimming, I cleverly ran right into a wall with my shoulder and the side of my face near my left eye, so when I woke up this morning I had a couple rather noticeable contusions there. Ouch. Plus I look stupid. To round out the day we rented and watched A Prairie Home Companion, which I enjoyed but found rather schizophrenic. I kept wondering Why is this happening? and even at the end I really failed to understand the plot (if there was one).
All in all, we had a really delightful Labor Day, and I woke up this morning feeling rested and ready to start another week of work. Good times.