As last year was such a rollicking good time, I couldn't resist going back to Walton again this your for Independence Day. And it seems to work really well in getting all us out-of-towners together at once since it's about halfway from Christmas. Now, spending the 4th in SoCal with beaches and sun and so much to do is great and all, don't get me wrong, but something about north central Indiana just seems so appropriate for the holiday. Backyards, BBQs, room for your own fireworks display... or maybe just the unbearable humidity. Maybe all of them.
And as far as the independent spirit, it's hard to beat a small town parade. Particularly one whose tractors outnumber the population.
Little Riley has officially entered the baseball portion of his life. Given more than two seconds of down time, he will without fail suggest someone go pitch to him (he's not real keen on fielding yet). I expect this phase to pass in 35 years or so when his hamstrings tighten up and he's sore for a week after playing a few innings.
I actually decided to pitch in (kinda) with all the delicious food this year. It was more of a selfish experiment than an attempt to pitch in, but let's not split hairs. I decided to try grinding my own hamburger. And after learning it takes about 20 minutes per pound to grind the stuff, I think if I ever do it again it will be in limited quantity. Burgers weren't too bad - a little dry and lean - but thankfully we had about 80 pounds of BBQ from Gary.
The men folk decided to up the ante a little from last year fireworks-wise. I'm not sure if it was because we were doing them at the Johnsons out of town or if we had to move them because we bought so many. It's a whole chicken and egg thing. Then again, maybe we just got a little carried away at the store. Whatever the reason it was worth it as it was awesome, even if it went a little late for some people.
But all the above considered, the best part is being around family and those I love. And it's not even close. Miss you all.
And a video of Riley.