Saturday, November 12, 2011


Parades are one of those things that I like to be at but I usually don’tParade like going to. The Pensacola Christmas Parade is the exception. I like everything about it: The large crowds, the excitement in the air, the floats, bands, the exhilaration of the children, and catching/dodging all the candy and beads thrown to the crowd. The Pensacola Christmas Parade is a very large parade and even if it is sometimes a little cold, there’s special warmth from the event.

Yesterday was another special parade. Our youngest daughter was in the Veteran’s Day parade as a member of her high school band. This parade draws only a few hundred but it’s gratifying to see the representatives of those who have served as well as those in the ROTC programs who are likely to serve. I get a real sense of appreciation as I watch a breed of people willing to sacrifice so much for the freedoms we love and often take for granted.

I almost didn’t make it to yesterday’s parade. The overnight temperature was in the 30’s and it was still cold when I dropped our daughter off for the parade at 8am. After dropping her off, I drove about a mile-and-a-half to the finish area where I parked the car. I was dressed as warmly as possible with scarf and all. I walked away from the parade direction to a nearby Waffle House for a cup of coffee. The sun was shining, the air was brisk but I was fine. After getting my coffee, I walked the entire parade route backwards to the starting area. I have done that year after year as three of our children have been in the band. By the time I got to the staging area, I had my outer jacket off. Soon the parade started. I waited until the combined high school bands came past and I spotted our daughter. I then kept pace with the band until it reached the parade’s conclusion.

Our granddaughter Lindsay (and parents) got into town Thursday night and we were up really late with them. Then Eileen and I got up at 6am to get things ready for the day. After the parade and lunch, I decided to take a nap. It’s my first nap since getting off all the sedatives. I slept fairly well except for the leg cramps and the increasing arm pain. If that Gabapentin is helping, I would not like to know what it would be like without it!! My arm was hurting quite a bit before the parade; I did fine at the parade; but it sure has been acting up ever since. Even if the parade did aggravate my arm somewhat, it was worth it; this is my daughter’s last year in band.

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