Just finished another walk – 2.2 miles this time. I started taking these walks a few days ago as a way to tackle my poor physical health (re: Mr. Tubby), but I’m discovering that they’re having a more immediate positive impact on my *mental* health. As I stroll through residential streets, the sights, sounds, and smells of Spokane suburbia are like a bellow to the embers of America that I’m moderately surprised to discover still existed in my soul. Big, blue skies. Expansive parks (with softball fields!). Freshly cut grass. The sound of a soft wind blowing through the pine trees. Dumb adolescents talking about dumb, summer-vacation things (like a dumb, adolescent Scott once did). Lawn mowers and edgers. The scent of pine needles and bark and freshly-lit Kingsford briquettes (though not all at once, mind you).
One of the great things about being back in the States is watching my daughter participate in a variety of “first” experiences for her. For example, this was Maia’s first 4th of July in the U.S. and she loved pointing out all of the American flags she saw as we drove down the street. “Look, Papa! There’s another American flag!” She called the outfit she is wearing in the photo her “American flag clothes”.
After posing for the above photo, Maia, her grandmother, and I drove over to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho for the resort town’s fireworks show.
This photo notwithstanding, I actually thought the fireworks were a bit of a disappointment … especially considering the bumper-to-bumper traffic we had to endure for about ten miles on the trip back home. Next year, if I’m still in this part of the country, I’ll know that we should take part in the entire day’s activities (parade, festival, fireworks) to make it worthwhile.
Maia ended up being frightened by the loud explosions, which is the primary observance that I’ll take from this day. It jarred a memory from way back in my own childhood – a time when a three- or four-year-old Scott was also put off by the booms of exploding rockets. In fact, I’d say it now qualifies as the earliest life experience that I can recall.