Sunday, July 10, 2011

Summerfest parade and picnic

"I know only two tunes: one of them is 'Yankee Doodle' and the other one isn't." Ulysses S. Grant 

FOR THE PAST five years Paul has put together a little Dixieland group for the Ankeny Area Democrats float in the Ankeny Summerfest parade. I get to ride along and throw candy to the kids along the parade route, only this year we weren't allowed to throw it; we had to walk along and hand people candy. I was so busy trying to keep up, I forgot to get pictures of the band on the float, but I took some at the barbecue afterwards where the band also played.

I was a tired camper because I was up until 3:00 AM cleaning, then up again at 6:00 AM to get ready for the parade. We had the usual crew: Paul on trombone, Dan Stevenson on clarinet, Mike Short on tuba and this time Dave Kobberdahl on trumpet and snare drum. I swear he can play every band instrument there is, and upbeat and fun as he is, what a great addition. 

Dave Kobberdahl, Dan Stevenson, Mike Short and Paul
at the picnic after the parade.

An all-American picnic.

Grilled brats, hamburgers, barbecued pork, baked beans,
salads, watermelon, cantaloupe and way too many desserts
were all served free of charge.

After I ran out of candy on the parade route, I rode with the band, and Dave talked me into banging on the snare drum while they played. I felt too self-conscious to try, but eventually he coaxed and goaded me into it.

It's a personal fault that if I can't do something well, I won't to do it at all. The problem with that MO is that as a rule a person probably isn't going to be that good at something new when they're first starting out, and if you can't survive looking and sounding ridiculous for awhile, you'll never learn anything new!

Dave says that now I have to learn two or three drum patterns and actually play it on the float next year. Eeeek! It would be personal growth if I could. 

My overactive shame mechanism probably comes from being raised by a perfectionist grandmother for whom everything was about appearances and being perfect. Virginia is the counterbalance to that. She's a safe place where all I have to be is me — good at some things, okay at many and really bad at others — like the rest of the known universe. 

Of course Paul has always been and continues to be the ultimate safe place. He's so generous, loving and forgiving that he believes I'm good at everything. I try to convince him otherwise, but he only ever sees the good in me, not my faults and shortcomings even when they're obvious. You can't do better than that in choosing someone to spend your life with.

Paul is off right now at rehearsal for Music Under the Stars, and I'm off to pick up our friend Myron, meet Paul's parents and attend the concert.
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