I love my Neighborhood

Sometimes, I feel like Jessica
towards my neighborhood.
If I were standing on my sink one morning,
in my white gown, of course,
I’d say:

“Look! I can be a (Mako) s(h)ark!  Now … my whole neighborhood is good. I like my house. I like my yard. I like my pool. I like my lifeguards. I like my swim coaches. I like my neighbors. I like Mrs. Molly. I like my friends. I like our ball field. I like our bike parade. I like our Fourth of July celebration. I like our Grill Master. I like our fireworks. My whole neighborhood is great.”

Our celebration begins the night before while men overnight to grill meat for the following day. There is water polo in the pool …

and there are fireworks at sundown.

With Jeff Barrett manning the grill … the way only he can …

and simple and delicious veggies, salads and sweets lining the picnic tables ….

we dined and celebrated our way through July 4th.

With festive wagons  ….

and decorated bicycles

at least fifty children made a circle around our block in our annual bicycle parade.

My friend, Tracker, even got invited to this event. He is one of my neighborhood favorites.

There were goldfish catching contests for the teens down to the toddlers ….

and a greased watermelon contest (of course, you can’t SEE the watermelon because it was being guarded and fought over amongst this gaggle of bodies).

We even have a wet t-shirt contest … in a relay form.  These folks swim in a t-shirt to a team member on the other side of the pool. Then they quickly transfer the shirt from one swimmer to another. After four swimmers have gone the length of the pool, a winner emerges. It’s quite a funny show to watch as the t-shirt seems to become more difficult to transfer with each swimmer.

Our pool is rarely so full that we need guards in both chairs and still one at the end of the pool, but July 4th always has great attendance with children, parents, grandparents and cousins coming from near and far for the fellowship, food and festivities.

I’ll have to admit that there was a point when it was hard to be at the pool.  Now that the family has four rather than five members and James was at Mistletoe camping with friends, only Joy and Glory were with me. Glory stopped by for lunch, but was a little too red for a bathing suit as she spent the weekend at the beach with friends. Joy evidently ate a little too much and got a wee bit too hot, so she went home to rest for a few hours.

So, there I was … alone in a crowd at the pool. Don’t get me wrong! Part of the reason I love these type gatherings is because there is a chance to catch up with people whom I love, but too seldom see.  And there’s that grisly honest friend who is married to handsome, able and helpful … who tells me that she is jealous of me, at times, because I don’t have to worry about marital problems any longer.

But, I would go back and …. do it all over again.
I would do whatever was necessary …
It’s hard.
I still feel a failure
at a loss for direction or purpose.
After twenty-five years in training,
it takes a while to gain your bearings.

But, no matter my personal situation, our neighborhood is wonderful. I appreciate every ounce of work that goes into each well planned and thought through activity. I am thankful for every spoon of potato salad, star-spangled balloon and sweep of a skimmer to clean the pool. I  appreciate patriot songs over the speaker system, pulled pork and fireworks.

I love my neighborhood.

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