A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!
One of the bright spots of an economic down-turn is the return to smaller town values and celebrations. Instead of driving long miles and facing the tense ride home, we stayed in town, along with many others.
Liz and I enjoyed the Wauwatosa parade for the first time since the twins were a lot younger. We parked in the almost-abandonded Hoyt Park lot and walked a few blocks to Alterra, where Liz snagged an iced coffee. The parade had started: it seemed as good a spot as any for watching, so we stayed.
Next to us was a very enthusiastic dad who, I think, had probably had a couple Bloody Marys to start off the festive day. He kept shouting for "Condy." And I kept wondering what the heck Condoleeza Rice was doing in Tosa. Then I realized what he wanted was Tootsie Rolls and the more coveted caramels some of the paraders were tossing to the crowds. Candy. As often as not, his cries were rewarded, proving once again that if you ask, you just might receive.
It goes without saying that everyone enjoyed the Daley Debs and other kids of all sorts, including both Tosa high school bands. If everyone weren't out of money, I'd explain why they, and especially West, really ought to invest in new uniforms. But we are and I won't.
The Wauwatosa Special Olympics float and marchers seemed to be having more fun than anyone.
Liz's favorite was the Dancing Grannies. Hawks' was mine. They had a big dump truck festooned with hanging baskets and a second truck hauling a band.
I also want to know if you have to be Catholic to join the Mother of Good Counsel kazoo band. Those are my kind of people!
The mayor and her family rode in a cart pulled by a pair of dapple grey draft horses. What fun that must have been, and it added a nice, "green" old timey contrast to the fleet of lovingly cared for automobiles you can expect at any parade.
This year, fewer guns were discharged than usual, for which I and the adorable Boxer puppy next to us were heartily thankful. I'd have liked a few more drum-and-bugle lines, though.
Crowds were orderly and subued, and we had no trouble leaving.
Later, we shared a picnic--Grandma's oven fried chicken, modified; roasted Yukon gold and sweet potato salad, and patriotic tossed salad (blueberries thrown in for appropriate color). The kids were fire-worked-out from excessive Summerfesting. So Geo stayed in and taught himself to play the bass guitar, Liz went off with friends, and I watched Waukesha's nice but not immodest display with friends of my own.
All neighborhoods we encountered were quieter than usual. Apparently it was not a big year for the almost illegal firewords vendors all along Highway 41. That's not good for them, I suppose, but I didn't mind the early end to explosions.
Safe and sane, it was. At least where I was.