Mon Jul 4 – Happy July Fourth, everyone!

After a lazy morning with Dayle, clean clothes, clean linens, and car packing, I headed over to my sister’s house for the family holiday. She is our awesome party hostess, and it’s always a pleasure to hang out there for get-togethers.

One of my Ohio cousins has had his first child, and his parents were able to fly out to see their first grandbaby. Then my cousin’s wife had several of her family friends come, too, plus some of my sister’s friends from work showed up, so it was a wild blend of people who’ve never met each other but who all enjoyed having the kind of family that just invites everyone in. There were a half dozen kids running round the pool, dozens of adults gathered around the buffet or the barbeque or the living room, and of course a brand new baby to ooh and ahh over. And probably 3 or 4 digital cameras all going off, paparazzi like, and we all had to exchange business cards to promise to send each other photos.

What did we ever do back in the day of film cameras? *laughs*

It was *fantastic* to see Joan and Luke (my aunt and uncle in from Ohio)—both because I just love seeing my family, and because Joan was really sick over the past several years. And so it was just that much more precious to see her healthy now. She teaches Biology or Anatomy or something like that, in the local college in my childhood hometown, and it turns out that many of her former students worked at the hospital where she was admitted. So the word got out and students kept visiting her, telling her how much she motivated them to get where they were now. I’m amazed at the educational streak in our family, and this was just another time to feel proud of my family.

After spending the day with Jan, it was time to drive back to the shire for fireworks at Caelfind’s house. I found a wonderful tiramasu at Whole Foods, for my buffet/potluck donation, and got there just in time to see most people hanging out with the last of their dinner and/or dessert.

Most amazing, however, was seeing all my heavy weapons sword-fighting friends geared up for fencing. There are not a lot of places where heavies fighters will do rapier fencing, or where rapiers will do heavies, but our Shire is one of those places. I’m continually impressed with their efforts to break down the walls between different sword forms, and it warms my heart to call these guys (and gals) my family, too.

As it moved from sunset to dusk to dark, I ended up holding an impromptu spinning class with some of my friends. (That would be “spinning” as in yarn and fiber arts, not stationary bicycling.) It was very fun to be able to impart some new ideas to Morgana and Lynn, and even Mary Taran is looking forward to giving it a try again sometime soon.

The fireworks, themselves, were lovely…although it was really weird because there were so many (illegal) fireworks going off not only in the immediate neighborhood, but in three *adjacent* neighbor yards. The kids actually were more interested in the glow sticks and creating a glow-in-the-dark game of Quiddich on swim noodles for brooms. It was almost more interesting to watch the kids than to watch the fireworks from the harbor. Plus the fog ceiling just continued lowering throughout the show, obscuring some of the fireworks completely in half.

But all in all, a wonderful day.