Friday, July 6, 2012

4th of July weekend

It was a bit strange having 4th of July on Wednesday this year.  First of all, I called  it “4th of July weekend”, assuming that everyone had Monday and Tuesday off, like me.  Someone told me that this was “retiree speak” since the rest of the world had to work both days.   What can I say?

Another strange thing was the lack of neighborhood fireworks.  There was a fireworks ban in much of the greater Indianapolis area this year due to drought conditions.  In years past, I recall driving through the city and seeing fireworks everywhere you looked.   This year fireworks were sparse, and you wondered whether folks would be arrested if they ignored the ban.

We had a great, long “weekend” in Indy and enjoyed a variety of outdoor activities in this awful heat.  We got in several good bike rides in Eagle Creek Park which may have been a bit crazy in the heat which was generally in the low-mid 90’s in the late morning.  Even with lots of water and the beautiful shaded areas of the park, I could feel the effects of the heat later in the day when my energy was zapped.  We recognize that we need to ride bikes earlier in the morning if this heat continues.  Of course it will be a tough choice between sleeping in and exercising… gotta love these retirement choices!

Biking at Eagle Creek Park

 We spent Saturday morning visiting lions, giraffes and bears at the zoo.  We participated in a “walkabout” where we got to visit the exhibits before the zoo opened to the general public.  I loved hearing the lions roar (for no apparent reason-at least that I understood...) and watching the giraffes “necking”.   Ok, it looked like necking, but upon closer look the giraffes were pushing heads and the necks got in the way.   

 I can’t say that I enjoyed the “desert “ display of lizards and snakes.  I swear that all the hair on my body was standing up while looking at each snake.  Although I can appreciate a certain beauty, I can’t get past my fear of snakes.  Although some would say my fear is irrational, it is borne of my childhood experience of black snakes hanging in cedar trees in a very old cemetery that my family mowed.  Although probably only 5 feet long, from the eyes of a kid they were at least 20 feet long!  And I couldn’t really fully enjoy wading in the creek on a hot summer day due to fear of copperhead snakes along the banks.  And then there was the ever-present snake in mom’s strawberry patch called "Peewee", but that’s another story. So pardon me if I don’t exactly enjoy the snake exhibit!

We enjoyed a great summer evening with friends at Conner Prairie with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra performing the music of Queen.  It was a hot, sultry night with 100-degree temps and 2 rain showers, but that didn’t detract from an amazing concert.  People just pulled out their umbrellas during the rain, and when you are singing along to your favorite Queen songs like “We are the Champions”,  “Somebody to Love”,“Fat Bottom Girl”,  “Another One Bites the Dust” and “Bohemian Rhapsody”, you forget about the heat.

Sunset at Conner Prairie

Mike and John enjoying the music

John, Mike, Stacy Jo, Stacy's dad Rocky, Brian and Brian's daughter Kathleen

The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra

Chuck and Melanie invited us to a barbecue on the 4th of July.  Ribs, corn on the cob, potato salad, and cheesecake…it doesn’t get any better than that!  Their cool house was a wonderful respite on a hot day, even during the power outage that lasted a couple of hours.  They are wonderful cooks and we had a great time talking, eating, drinking and watching a movie!  Driving home around midnight in the Jeep with the windows down, it was cool (only 80 degrees) and quiet in the city.  Without fireworks, it seemed the city shut down early. 

As the norm, you expect Mike to fix things.  He didn't let me down on this long weekend...
He rebuilt a carburetor for his 1973 Challenger.  I never saw so many small parts…

How does this thing go together?

A quick drive in the 'hood after the carburetor was rebuilt

 We are headed back to Iowa to knock out a few more projects.   We are looking forward to finishing up our work soon and making the big move.  Scary but exciting, it feels like change is in the wind!  After a great, hot 4th of July weekend, we are ready for it!


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