4th of July in Garfield
July 03, 2010 - July 05, 2010
My dad's cousin was getting married on July 3rd this year in Garfield, WA where lots of my dad's family is from. Every year on the 4th the family holds a picnic in the park there. We decided to make the trip to attend the wedding and the picnic, but mostly to see my 95-year-old great-grandpa.
This is Garfield as it looks from outer space: about two dozen city blocks. Don't blink or you'll miss it! Just about every way you turn you are faced with stunning views of the rolling hills of the Palouse. It seems like every house has at least one view of fields, pastures, and open spaces.
The man himself: my dad's mom's dad. When we first arrived at the old house he grew up in he was resting in bed, not much more than a pile of wrinkles. It looked like you could send him through death's door with a sneeze. We all said our hello's and reminded him who we are and then went to the other room to let him get on with his resting. But pretty soon he was shuffling out with his walker to join us. He didn't want to be left out of any party!
Grandpa's yard is a four-year-old's idea of heaven. Hundreds of old cars in various stages disrepair sit untouched as the yard grows over them. Joshua found a couple with seats still mostly intact and went away with grease on his wedding clothes.
The wedding was a beautiful 1920's themed affair and the reception took place at my Grandma Judy's sister's historical 1895 home. When we visited when I was little I was a bit afraid of this house—it was so big and old and there were so many staircases. But I love it now. It has a window seat on the landing of the front staircase. What more is there to say?
There were these colorful bunches of flowers everywhere for the party.
Aren't they gorgeous?
After attending Trinity Reformed Church Sunday morning (which just happens to meet in the hotel we were staying at in Moscow) we went back out to Garfield for the 4th of July picnic.
She's queen of the world!
"Little miss firecracker!"
Below is our attempt at getting a family picture taken...
After lunch at the park we went back to Aunt Donna's house. Someday I want a playhouse like this one. The kids loved it!
Esther with her uncle Jonny.
This antique tub has been in the yard for years. They used it to keep the drinks cold at the party.
While we were there Grandma Judy surprised Dad and Mom with a cake in celebration of their 25th anniversary.
It's been 25 years, six kids, one son-in-law, one daughter-in-law, three grandchildren...and they're still going strong! God is writing a wonderful story for them.
A family at church that we've known for years invited us to their house for dinner so after a picnic at the park and an ice cream social at the old house we went to another party there. James and Ruth Hill have four little kids and our three tots loved playing with them. The sun set and we watched the neighbors setting off fireworks as it got darker and darker and the kids were still running around like the day would never end. Finally we said our thank you's and goodbye's and the kids were asleep sixty seconds later.
The drive home takes about six hours without stopping, but we took it easy. There's not much radio reception in the Palouse and we only have a tape deck in our car so I wasn't excited about facing those long hours again without entertainment. When we stopped at Bucer's Coffee House and Pub before leaving Moscow we browsed their bookshelves and I was ecstatic to find recordings of Jeeves and Wooster books on tape! "Look, Eli," I said. "Tapes!" Those helped the time pass as the miles rolled under our wheels. We made a wrong turn going through the great freeway exchange in the Tri-Cities but when we ended up at a gorgeous park on the Columbia River, we stopped to stretch our legs and relieve our bladders.
I wished we were staying there for the afternoon. It was lovely!
Eventually we made it home safe and sound. I'll leave you with these pictures of Esther. If you're ever feeling blue, open up this page and look at them. They'll make you feel better. I guarantee it.
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