Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Independence and Pioneer Day Celebrating

We went to see fireworks at Thanksgiving Point again this year for the 4th of July. Now that we're a year wiser, we picked a perfect spot to put our blanket and chairs. The kids each had a bag of popcorn and another bag of taffy. I don't know why, but Brian and I were surprised that the taffy was gone at 9:05 and we still had 55 minutes before fireworks. No cooperation. But! The kids danced and ran in circles like the crazy people they are, then two out of three thoroughly enjoyed the fireworks. (Emil: "Is this going to take so long?")
Oh, and we let them wear pajamas. 
Taffy! It was pretty much 100% better than getting taffy thrown at you during the parade.
Bridget is rocking out.
There we were.

A few months ago my Dad was asked to speak at the Pioneer Day program in Oakley, Idaho. My family lived in Oakley from 1978 to 1984, but my Grandpa Curtis Lee grew up there and my great grandparents lived there as well. Dad taught at the LDS Seminary while we lived there. I'm the luckiest because I still have a best friend from our years in Oakley, Kellie - and Kellie's parents still live in Oakley. When we found out Dad would be speaking, we decided to celebrate the 24th of July there. The first person I called was Kellie and we made a plan to take Bridget on a tour of our childhood friendship. First, though, we acquainted the boys with Nick and Max's Grandma's House.
The tiny, battery-operated four-wheeler that the kids can drive all by themselves. Which they did until the battery was dead, dead, dead. Kellie and I left with Bridget (with an errand from her Mom and Dad to buy ice cream for root beer floats) and the boys took a ride in the mule to see Dead Dog Hollow.

First stop, Kellie's old house on the hill (behind us). It was in the very spot where we're standing that I got stung by a bee. Kellie and I were on our bikes, carrying our wrap around dance skirts to her house to wear while we acted out "Summer Lovin'" which would be playing on the record player. The bee started buzzing around my head and Kellie tried to shoo it away by batting at it with her dance skirt. The bee stung me in the head and we cried the rest of the way to Kellie's house where Mandy (Kellie's older sister) removed the stinger for me. Moving on...
Sitting awkwardly in front of my old house on the poke-y grass. They've taken down the poplar trees in front of the house and painted the upper part white, but the stone still looks the same. Also, I don't think they've painted the pillars on the porch in the last 35 years.
See?! Here we are in the shade of those poplar trees in 1980? Maybe 1981. Clockwise: Sheri, Jennie, Uncle Larry, Danell, Katy, Me, Michael and David.
I closed this door on the people working in the offices so we could get this photo.
And there we are in front of the same door in 1981-ish. Can you see my Grandpa Furniss in the reflection on the door? He was using his Hasselblad camera, that's why he's looking down. I think this was during the Thanksgiving holiday and I remember going on this walk with Grandpa. At the time I thought it was weird to take photos of stuff we saw every day. Now I know it's brilliant.
The famous "Oakley Rock" near the high school. They moved it to this spot, but it's the same rock.

We had a wonderful photo of Jen we were trying to recreate and Kellie was shouting directions at Bridget and making her laugh while I took the picture (with my phone, by the way - yeah, we were 45 minutes into our trip when I realized my camera was at home), so it didn't turn out exactly like the old one.
Can you spot all the differences? :) (Hmm - biggest one so far, no window on the side of the building!)
This is the bridge just before the old grade school, which has been turned into a private residence. Pretty much everything about the sidewalk and the bridge is exactly the same. Bridget is collecting rocks to throw into the canal. Yep, also the same. :)

We got home from our tour and we had forgotten the ice cream. We had one job! Oh, well. I'm pretty sure the kids had had their lifetime quota of sugar between the car ride and Grandma Strauss's house. We visited and played for a little longer, then went to Burley to stay the night in a hotel. The next morning, the kids stayed at Strauss's with Marva while Neil, Mike, Kellie, Brian and I went to the LDS stake center for the program. They honored some wonderful pioneers, had an amazing musical number (Come, Come Ye Saints sung by Archibald women), then Dad spoke. His talk was about turning our hearts to our ancestors. The highlights were excerpts from his journals that he kept while we lived in Oakley. Big laughs, big cries, all wonderful. When we came back to get the kids for the barbeque lunch, this is what we found:
Living large! Emil and Colin's clothes were draped over furniture and on the floor in four different rooms inside the house. They'd been going from the hot tub to the four-wheeler and back to the hot tub while were gone. :) Hahahahaha! I love it. Emil had started calling Marva, "Grandma." It's a good thing we left when we did.
At the lunch we ran into another grade school friend, Cara. Kellie, Cara, Annalee, and I all have birthdays in late December. When we were young, our moms had us celebrate together sometimes. One year they took us to the Nutcracker Ballet in Burley. Afterward Cara asked her parents why they'd taken us to a "rated R ballet." Men in ballet tights was too much information for 9 year-old girls, I guess. :) Annalee still lives in Oakley, but she wasn't at the lunch for our impromptu reunion.
It was hard for Grandma Peggy to catch our boys, but she needed kisses!
There's my Dad, the man of the hour. 
One last flashback photo. My parents are asleep on their feet! This is inside our house in Oakley on the orange couch in the front room with the orange carpet. Orange. That poor, poor couch. 

There you go! Lots of nostalgia for a little more than 24 hours in Oakley. :)

1 comment:

melissa said...

Wow! That was amazing. I love this post!