Sunday, July 5, 2009
4OJ Family, Friends and FUN - Chapter 3- The Rodeo and Fireworks
After the parade, we brought Sissy home for a nice long nap. The plan was to go hit the movie with her. She is a fan of the Ice Age and I thought that would be a good one for her first movie theater experience. However, the fatigue in her won out, and a nap was hers. And mine. Yeah..... a nice long 2 hour nap.
Her Mom came and picked her up for the rest of the weekend, and with Tuffy working, it was just Splenda and I.
Had some time to kill before the rodeo so we did the mundane things like grocery shopping and eating dinner. Finally at 7:30, we loaded up a jacket, a blanket, the tickets and headed to the park for the rodeo and fireworks.
Now, I grew up going to rodeos. It's what we did. A lot. I even remember a rodeo one year at the Utah State Prison. My dad was appointed to the Board of Pardons by our then Governor Scott Matheson. So he worked out there doing parole hearings and other various duties. I remember one year we went to their annual rodeo. The contestants are the inmates and since they have nothing to lose, they are pretty crazy! If I remember right, there was even a greased pig chasing contest! Good.Times. I actually remember more, the different inmates approaching us, all friendly like to my Dad and trying to have conversations. Those, he explained, were the dudes coming up for parole. They would look for any opportunity to schmooze.
But I digress......
Splenda had never been to a rodeo in his life. NEVER! I know, can you believe it? I tried to remember the last one I went to, and I think it was before my Dad died, so basically, this was going to be a real adventure for the two of us.
We got our seats, and settled in just as they began. I immediately remembered why I loved them! First of all, there is a smell. Not a strong one here, in this particular venue, but there is a rodeo smell. I love it.
Second, the opening ceremony. As they introduce the royalty, other dignitaries, and then the beloved star spangled banner.I got goosebumps watching that rider carry the flag and gallop around the arena. The sight of the graceful horse, the cowboy who rode proudly, and old glory waving strong brought tears to my eyes. I could hardly see while the audience rose, the men removed their hats, and the beautiful young woman sang our national anthem. Acappella. No floating grace notes, just sang it as written. It.was.beautiful.
I pointed out to Splenda that while there were riders on horses circled all about the arena holding a flag upright, as soon as the American Flag passed by them, they lowered their flags. Such respect. Such dignity. I was in awe.
And then, YEEHAW! The events began! Now, I'm not gonna bore you with all the small details of each event. If you've been to a rodeo, you know the drill. You know the different competitions. The only one I am going to elaborate on is the mutton bustin.
Yeah, you heard me, mutton bustin! Little kids don helmets and see how long they can ride a sheep. It.is.hysterical! Those little kids are the greatest! Most of them did very, very well. One boy, the winner, held on while his sheep covered the distance of the entire arena, and even then was disappointed when he was "bucked" off.
Each participant got a trophy and rousing rounds of applause.It was awesome!
They finished up the event with the bull riding, and while there wasn't a single spectacular ride amongst any of the competitions, I was still moved by the athleticism of the cowboys, cowgirls and their animals. It really is a sport, and they are all tremendous athletes.
With the rodeo over, we made our way out of the stands and headed home. We passed the park that the fireworks were to be let off from, so we found an empty patch of grass, laid out our blanket and plopped down. Within minutes, the show started and WJ did itself proud! Great fireworks show! We were so close, we could feel the boom on the ground that were were laying on. They went off right above our heads. It was awesome!
When we finally made it home, we were exhausted from a long day of fun and adventure.
It was a great holiday, with lots of time to reflect on it's meaning and purpose. We are so blessed to be able to live where we live and to enjoy the freedoms we do. I certainly feel a renewed sense of patriotism and feel a call to be more diligent in doing what I can to protect my freedoms and our country's precious Constitution.
Wish I could say that all our family members enjoyed this day. Sadly, Kasey did not. He is as terrified of fireworks as Sissy was of the snappers. He had to spend some time in his own "safe, happy place"
*disclaimer: Other than the pic of Kasey in the tub, all other photos were lifted from google searches - still waiting for my camera....**