Small Town USA

One of the best things about living in South Orange – which is an amazing little village for many reasons – is the 4th of July Celebration. It’s small, it’s anything but overwhelming, and there is tremendous comfort in the familiarity.

I’ve actually been coming to the 4th Celebrations in SO since my friends moved here with their little boy in the early 80’s. That boy is now a sophmore at college, and I live here with my own family (things I couldn’t begin to contemplate back in my 20’s, when I was positive that I would never marry, would live in NYC forever – or at least Bklyn – but knew that Frank would be stellar at whatever he did…)

It all starts with the Bike Rodeo at 9:00 (which we miss because we’re sleeping in.) Prizes are given for bike riding excellence. We DO make the Parade of Bikes at 11:30, which ends over by the Duck Pond where everyone is given a medal for participation. Amazing how treasured those medals are by the kids. Then there’s the annual Watching The Firetruck Shoot Water Into The Duck Pond exhibit, which is a great hit with the kids. There are usually some small games (moonwalk – bounce – whatever you call it) and face painting as well as small games of skill (throw a ball into a bottle) all led by the counselors at the kid’s town daycamp, who are treated like Rock Stars by their little campers. There’s a dixie-land type band that plays, and model boat demonstrations on the heavily used Duck Pond, and face painting.

Then we retire to the village pool for some splashing. Fortunately a large part of the grounds are shaded, so we can spend a lot of time there as a red-headed family and not burn to a crisp. Gerry – who has to work today – will meet us there at lunchtime with sandwiches and we’ll hang out until mid afternoon when we’ll come home to change and rest from the sun. We may have some friend over, and then we’ll all return to the Duck Pond/Park area to watch the fireworks at 9:30. A very exciting day, to be sure! I think Gerry will skip the later activities because he has to get up at 3:00 tomorrow morning.

I love living here. The taxes are astronomical, as property values rise there’s a growing sense of elitism that many of us fight, but it’s a wonderful, diverse and very friendly place.

Take Time
In the midsts of the celebration take a moment today to visit Anysolder.com and look up a man or woman to write to (and maybe send a box of goodies…) The soldiers to whom our Brownie Troop 333 sent Girl Scout Cookies have responded with kind letters (one covered with peace symbols!) and I’m hopeful that some of the girls will continue a correspondence with them – I know I will. Both are in danger, both are women, and both literally begged for more mail for their units. Take a moment and write a letter.

Knitingwise
I finished a sample of my circular cocoon in Art Yarns for their use – it worked up much quicker than I had anticipated. I am a fast knitter, but still it only took me about a week. The yarn is fun to use, the colors are very inspiring, and that always makes me work a bit faster. I’m working up a new sweater which I designed years ago, but which no one has wanted (regardless of multiple submissions.) This is how it goes sometimes. At any rate, I’m really happy to give it a new incarnation in Art Yarns, so we’ll see how it turns out.

Jewelry
Some former students of mine have started a website Misbehave Jewelry where they’re showing and selling some really beautiful hand crafted items. It’s worth a look – the pieces are eclectic and engaging, I really love them!

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