Family Time is a lot different these days than it used to be, if there is any at all. Foremost in my memory are the many MONOPOLY games we played to pass the time during a storm during our quality family time.
My father was usually out to sea, in more ways than one my mother always added with a smirk, hence our group consisted of five women. My grandfather always stayed 'home to watch the store' never trusting dangerous electricity nor heavy snow on the roof during 'snowed in' New Hampshire winters. He was also the only one who could cook as my grandmother had the old porcelain gas stove she was deathly afraid to fire off. But none of us were into cooking then anyway.
If we weren't workin'....
We were either into the sports or board games.
My sister's first job at 10, delivering developed film.
Monopoly was the fave.With five women that happen to all be related, you end up with a lot of bizarre debate time added to the length of an already lengthy game. Straight out of the box would be the grab for the favorite playing piece. My sister always wanted the race car to "speed her to the winning finish line." She was, even then, the queen of puns.
Since they are all gone now , and my son is busy trying to amass his fortune, there is only my daughter and I left to continue the tradition of good ole' quality family time. We decided to combine it with volunteering for the general good, and made it through the certification for the Citizens Emergency Response Team in 20 weeks of some pretty strange training, along with four required FEMA written exams we needed to pass or flunk out of the whole shebang. We passed.
We got some stuff we thought we would need thanks to the hurricane we volleyed for before we were through the class.
And waited. And waited some more. Though there were many threats of dangerous storms headed our way, each time we waited with baited breath hovering over our "bug out" bags, nothing happened. Which was good for the general public but did nothing for our spending any fun time together.
THEN IT HAPPENED.
Another town's Emergency Management Division called for volunteers to ..... wait for it..... assist with traffic control for the Holiday Parade. Well, it wasn't exactly an Alberta Clipper but we needed to break our boots in. Not sure why but we were assigned to the cool job. I drove the truck to the parade venue with the daughter, which also happened to be the best viewing area for the parade and basically no traffic.
Here I stand.
Here I am with the truck. (which by the way needs a lot of maintenance ....)
My daughter is extremely bored by this time and the parade hasn't even started.
So she kept snapping pictures.....
There was a police car positioned directly down the street from us sideways in order not to interfere with the floats that needed to go around the parade venue. While my daughter and I were snapping pictures for lack of anything substantive to do we noticed that certain police car had now turned 180 degrees, it's headlights facing us. My daughter said, "Wonder if he is moving the car." To which I replied, "Nah, he saw the couple of loons down here takin' pictures of each other in every pose imaginable, moved to face us and get our antics on video. Probably take it back to the station and laugh hysterically while they do hilarious re-mixes....." I worked in that field too long and know that sick humor all too well. :}
Yep... still no traffic......
UNTIL..... The supervisor in charge of the volunteers swung around in his Bronco, and asked one of us to go help the cop at the top of the hill who was attempting to direct a busy detour at a ... wait for it... five way intersection. Well I had done that once years ago alone so I figured it was a primo assignment.
Off I trudged up the hill to the intersection.
Well I got three streets to direct while the cop did two, which would have been okay as one of the streets I had was for emergency vehicles only, but it just so happened though the sun was setting behind me, the city fathers had apparently had grandiose ideas and put a 15 foot shiny steel arch in front of city hall, the direction I had to face to watch the cop tell me when to let my lines go, and also reflected the sun off the arch directly into my eyes. Have I failed to mention it was 17 degrees, luckily no wind, when the sun was shining....
It was an enormous parade and despite the hoards of people we were rerouting I did manage to get one picture of the best float EVER.
By the end of the five hour deal I was frozen solid when I spotted the truck coming up the road with my daughter driving. "How was it?" she said. "The usual constant traffic - arm waving thing and I am frozen. How was your end."
"Oh, I sat in the truck with the heat on and watched the whole parade, it was great."
This place is a safety deposit box of memories for my son and daughter, who as adults,never had the pleasure of knowing my family. And for my grandson, who may never see me through adult eyes. A place if you will, for the misc. that does not fit elsewhere.