Another Sleepy Saturday in a Small Town

6:15 a.m. “If you don’t go to pancakes with Mommy, you can’t go to the Iowa Hawkeyes game with Daddy.”

Pancakes are served by the Kiwanis Club on “Kid’s Day.” They set up a tent on one side of the town square and serve: buttermilk pancakes, sausage, coffee, and milk.

College boy wasn’t sure if he was going to get up and go with us or not. We planned to meet our daughter at 6:45 am before she had to work. They start serving at 6 am and have a steady business until mid afternoon.

It is a time to see other people from town and my husband knew all of them. He grew up in this town of 10,000 and he also knows their kids, parents, and grandparents.

Because I was housebound for several years, I don’t even recognize my friends. Everyone is a little older and grayer. That is what happens after a decade.

The tickets to the Iowa Hawkeye Game were sold to us from some friends who couldn’t go at the last-minute. College boy was already up.

(They also have a parade and petting zoo at “Kid’s Day.”)

9:45 a.m. “Do you want to go to the parade with us?”

I declined because I had just started my daily writing. (Yes, I write 7 days a week for my other blog.)

They met at my in-laws who live near the parade route. There are various floats and children decorate bicycles to ride in the parade. Some kids dress up as characters that fit the theme and walk behind the bicycles.

The horses are last for obvious reasons!

I used to ride in the parade with the kids from the preschool and daycare where I was the bookkeeper. The year that sticks out in my mind was when the theme was “Pajama Party.” Of course, I wore my long flannel nightgown and my boss liked it so much that she made me stand up in the center holding an oversize baby bottle.

I didn’t care because I am such a ham!

1:00 p.m. “We had better leave now for “Relay for Life” because it has already started.”

My daughter-in-law, (4), is very active in “Relay for Life.” Her mother is the organizer and they have a team that raises money. I lost my mother-in-law to cancer and just last month we lost an uncle.

I had already ordered luminaries for them. We arrived just as the opening exercises ended and we were invited to take our first lap. We walked with our son and his family.

Our local credit union had a train for the kids to ride in made from painted barrels. My granddaughter didn’t want to ride alone and I volunteered. We went the length of the road and then turned around in the grass.

I sang, “Bumpity, bump, bump, look at Frosty go” as we went over the uneven ground. My granddaughter laughed because I was singing a Christmas song in September.

Then it was time for games. She had to move water from one bucket to another using only a sponge. When time was running out, Mr. Frugalfish bumped the bucket to dump the rest of her water.

Kortney, the organizer, who was running the kids games, said, “Nice try, Grandpa, but it is the amount of water in these buckets that count.” She didn’t win…even with her grandpa’s help.”

All too soon, it was time to go because the men had an hour drive to the Hawkeye game. My daughter-in-law told me she would run me home if I stayed, but I told her I couldn’t.

2:30 p.m. I am making a grocery list and menus. The best sales are not until tomorrow and that is why I procrastinated until today to make the list. (Dumb.)

3:30 p.m. I turned on “The Prisoner of Zenda” on TCM to watch while I ironed. It took the entire movie. We didn’t have a TV when I was growing up. I am seeing these old movies for the first time. It sure helped the ironing to go faster. (Another chore I procrastinated on doing.)

6:00 p.m. I’m eating leftovers for two reasons: (1) I don’t like to waste food, and (2) I don’t like to cook when I am home alone.

7:15 p.m. My sister-in-law texts me to see if I want to go to the luminary ceremony at “Relay for Life.” (Of course!)

We leave a few minutes later and I am disappointed with the number of luminaries. Everything seemed to be scheduled on the same day: “Kid’s Day,” “Relay for Life,” “Free Movie on the Square,” and half of the town goes to the Iowa Hawkeye games.

The auction was in progress when we arrived. I was shocked when a homemade quilt went for $25.00. A homemade pie sold for $130.00. (Next year I am making pie to auction off.)

There is a lot of good-natured joking going on during the auction because everyone knows each other. An item would come up for bid and people would yell out names of people they thought could use it.

I laughed when the final item came up…a pink bike, with a “big butt seat,” and a basket. My sister-in-law was hunched over furiously writing. (She was balancing her checkbook to see how high she could bid!) She didn’t get it, but we did have a lot of laughs.

There was a short concert and then they played “The Cancer Cha-Cha.” It sounds like “The Cha-Cha Slide,” but with different words. Neither my daughter-in-law, nor my sister-in-law were going to let me sit it out.

I did my best…honest. I just kept stepping backwards when they said, “Reverse.” I had a little trouble with right and left which amused my nephew to no end.

They lit the luminaries and we found the ones we purchased. I took pictures of them and posted it on Facebook for our relatives to see.

They listed the names of everyone in whose honor a luminary was purchased. Then we took the silent lap in honor of those who lost their battle to cancer. It was sobering and I wasn’t the only one tearing up.

By that time, my 4-year-old granddaughter, who had been there all day, was exhausted. I offered to take her to my house for a bath because we knew she would fall asleep on the way home.

9:45 p.m. “I don’t know why I can’t get the pink dye out of your hair.”

The theme at “Relay for Life” was the 80’s. They had those net-like gloves, funky glasses, and several ladies dressed the part. At one point my granddaughter got her hair dyed a few colors.

When her parents arrived, (they ran to the store to buy pajamas for her), I had most of the dye out.

I told my daughter-in-law, “I got the blue, yellow, and green dye out, but the pink is really stubborn.”

She replied, “They didn’t use pink.”

What! I was scrubbing the sunburn where her hair was parted.

Epic. Grandma. Fail.

11:30 p.m. “I’m tired of waiting up for the jocks.”

As I drift off to sleep, I hear the garage door open. The men are home from the game. It’s just another sleepy Saturday in a small town.

Luminaries from "Relay for Life."

Luminaries from “Relay for Life.”