Tuesday, November 2, 2010


   Our town loves its holidays.  Moreover, it loves its holiday parades. Memorial Day Parade - check.  Fourth of July - check.  Christmas/winter holidays - check.  Halloween - check, check.
   Like past years, the parade participants consist of children from the five local elementary schools and the various parents/adult supervisors (costumed or not), the middle school band, and the high school band.  We have a couple floats and lots of kids.  This year, the lady who owns the trailer our elementary school uses for the float could not get it to us in time.  The theme for the year at the school is "the power of words", so the kids made signs with a word on it that they felt described themselves instead of a float.
    The weather was not cooperative this year.  It has been unseasonably warm for the past several Halloween Parades, but this year, no.
 It was cold.
 It snowed.
 For over an hour!
 Big, wet, cold sloppy snow.
I was standing at the gathering point with three boxes of signs - all framed in cardboard, with cardboard handles.  They got wet.  When the twenty or so intrepid student marchers came to the parade launching spot - they got their sign and the sign of an absent student.  And nearly every cardboard handle gave way, leaving flaccid, droopy signs.  We carried them by the framing.
    My kindergartener  dressed as a crocodile.

 He was cold, could not feel his fingers or toes, but we marched. Part of the rationale was  that we said we would do it and we need to keep our promises, part was that the car was parked at the end of the parade route so we had to walk that way anyway. As it turns out, he won a prize in the costume competition.  I was amazed, because I never got the whole costume finished.  He went without nucal scutes on his hood, and his snout never got wired, so it flopped forward. I think later, he was glad it did so, because it acted as a snow shield.
    My middle schooler was marching in a dress that made her look like an elven princess from Middle Earth - she had elf ears as well.

She had long johns under the gown, but that did not make playing an instrument any easier with fingers that were red with cold.
      Parading down the street  with our little crocodile and our  wet signs (I had found one that said LIBERAL and knew I had to carry that one!) we were cold, and tired, and not really enjoying ourselves, but I kept thinking about something my dad would say. "This is the stuff stories are made of."  This will make a great story and we will laugh about in  future Halloween parades.  But now - I think my toes are still thawing!
Strapping the croc and his tail into the car

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