Sunday, July 5, 2015

A very quiet July 4

This July 4th holiday was the first time I have in the United States since 2006! From 2007 - 2014 I have been in Poland teaching English. However, the American volunteers from Global Volunteers always celebrate this holiday in Poland. I remember one year when we decorated the columns at Reymontowka with banners and bunting in red, white, and blue. Then they stayed there for the next camp because this camp had students from France and Germany in areas that sister counties for the County (powiat) Siedlce. The French students used the same decorative colors to celebrate July 14 which in English we called Bastille Day.

However, this year due to my sore leg I had to stay home from the Zakopane language camp because there was no way I could handle the stairs at the hotel used for this camp. Also in April I encountered a troublesome tooth as well. On June 30 and July 6 I am working with a specialist dentist for this with another appointment on July 20 which wrecked my participation for another language camp.

Also this was not to going to be a family event. My older daughter, the one with disabilities, was getting ready to go to a camp for a week so she needed to stay at her home to pack and then get a good night's sleep. My younger daughter had a plan to first have me join them for a barbecue at a nearby lake. But then her husband got offered the chance to work on July 4 and I'm sure he earned double if not triple overtime pay. Too much to pass by. My daughter is taking a summer course for her graduate degree and decided it would then be a good day to do homework for her class.

In Saint Paul this is always a quiet day. Other cities and towns often have parades and other events, but this doesn't happen in the Twin Cities. I think is because so many people leave the Cities to go "up north" to lake homes.

The day started with very a hazy sky.

This is smoke coming to Minnesota from wild fires in Canada.

I turned out to disappointed with the TV program of the music in Washington D.C. It was too much pop music rather than traditional music for the July 4 holiday.

About the time darkness came to Minnesota, a few minutes after 9:00 PM, I started out hearing fireworks. I went to my balcony and noticed I could see fireworks from about 4 or 5 locations at one time. My view is from the what Americans would call the 7th floor, floor 6 in this building, since this building numbers the floors in the European manner with ground floor being Floor 0.

The official Saint Paul fireworks were to come from the nearby new baseball field. This is because the Capitol building in under renovation so it could not a site for fireworks this year. I have seen fireworks from there now on several Friday nights at the end of the baseball game, so I knew all I had to do was stand on the balcony. The fireworks were expected about 10 PM.

While standing there waiting I saw a helicopter fly into the area and land at the nearby Regions Hospital. This happens about 3-4 times a week -- maybe oftener, but that is how many times I see this. Regions Hospital is designated as a high level trauma hospital and also serves as a burn center for several Midwest states.

Finally the fireworks started about 11: 00 PM. I learned today the fireworks were so very late because the baseball game went to 11 innings rather than the usual expected 9 innings.

Here's a bit of video for this:

Unless miracles happen during the coming year I will probably also have to skip the Zakopane language camp. Perhaps I will do something different next year for July 4.

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