It is a warm 90F today, but the humidity is low, so I felt up to going out to lunch with Elsa. The plan was to get to Newtown by 1:30 p.m. - 15 minutes before a favorite restaurant's last seating - but a surprise last minute detour by yours truly to the bathroom saw us leaving 10 minutes late.
As we neared Pat's and the car clock edged closer and closer to 1:45, Elsa prepared me for the potential worst. If Pat's was not seating, we could go to the Blue Fountain Diner. I like the Blue Fountain, but it is no Pat's. We pulled into the parking lot at Pat's at 1:43 p.m. - Elsa jumped out of the car and tore to the front door to check it out. We were in!
We were in, but our dear Judy, who is our favorite waitress, told Elsa she got a demerit for being so late. Who cared, we were there and waiting happily for our heaping portions of Lisa's Salad. And our favorite couple were there with one daughter's 2-year old son and another daughter and her husband and their 3-month old daughter, all of us sitting in what I call the "veranda room" because that is what it feels like to me. When another couple popped their heads in the front door, Ginny, another waitress, summed up the feeling of merriment we all felt, telling them, "Sorry, we're closed. This is a private party."
To top it off, Elsa drove home via Tanner's (which is actually not on the way home at all) for some vegetable's but really to get me some pineapple ice cream. Oh, it was good!
Some day, I will tell you about the Reynolds' deep-rooted love of ice cream and memories of Joyce Cooper at Tanner's, but not today.
We have been talking a lot about past 4th of July celebrations. Elsa has been pumping me for memories from before her time. It is hard, without one of the kids around to help trigger memories. One of these days, maybe all of us - Peter in Hatboro, Mim in Point Pleasant Beach, Mike in Australia and the two of us here at Squirrel Haven - will have regular "real time" hoe downs on the Internet, sharing memories and happy, happy times from way back when. Until that happens, those memories seem few and far between.
* Walking Mike in a decorated baby buggy with Peter accompanying us on a decorated bike. I think we walked up South Avenue or Alnwich Road to the Benade Hall "triangle" because I seem to recall going past some older ladies watching from their porches. Is that possible??
* 5-year old Peter being knocked down in a race by a bigger kid and how helpless I felt, he felt so humiliated that he had not finished the race. That is still a pain in my heart, that I did not, could not protect him from such sadness. When you are 5-years old, the moment is everything, good or bad.
* Water sports at the pond, especially the greased watermelon event. How does anyone hold on? It seems to you that it would take two people, working together.
* Fireworks at the cathedral. The only other place that comes close to the cathedral hill for perfect location for fireworks was Independence Hall mall on 7/4/1976. Every other place is a distant 3rd. To sit on that high hill and have the fireworks set off in the valley below made them seem so close when they burst over us. It has been decades and decades since they set off 4th of July fireworks at the foot of the cathedral hill, but I can still see their glory as if it were last year.
I wish I could remember what the celebrations were like during the war years or what it was like the first year after victory. I wish I could remember more of what Pete and I did with the older kids for the parades. Seems sad that my only memories at the moment of those early family times are of fireworks, the pond, one parade and a heart-broken little boy.
Oh my goodness - this note started out so cheery! Whatever happened?? Oh, the perils of stream-of-consciousness writing ~ you takes what you gets.
I promise to be more "chursie" tomorrow! Love to all - Ma Lockhart