Fourth of July weekend

Parades, markets, softball games … It’s been an eventful weekend here in the Renaud Empire.

First off, I finally purchased our plane tickets for Bolivia. We successfully used our American Airlines AAadvantage miles to get two almost-free tickets, saving around $2000. We were able to do this because both Yoli and I applied for AA credit cards that offered 25,000 bonus miles if you spent $750 on the card. Those bonus miles were what we needed to get to the magic 40,000 number. The only problem with these tickets is that Yoli has to come home from Bolivia a couple days sooner than she wanted. Another problem, though this is more of a problem with American’s declining number of flights from Lambert, is the enormously long layovers we will have to endure this time around in Miami.

On Friday we took the girls to watch Ferguson’s Fourth of July Parade. It was pretty good, and Jadzia really seemed entranced (Ludi slept through most of it). My favorite parts were the Scottish Rite drum/bagpipe line and the Shriners zipping around in their little minicars. Yoli shot lots of video, which will be included on a DVD soon. After the parade, we made our way to January Wabash Park for Ferguson’s festival. On our way we stopped at the First Baptist Church, where they always have a “cooling station” set up, and got some cookies and visited with some friends. At Wabash Park, I took a minute to look at the war memorial listing names of Ferguson soldiers who died in wars like WWI or Vietnam. None of the activities age-appropriate for our girls had started yet, so we sat on the grass and listened as the Scottish Rite folks played more music. This time we were really, really close and personal. After a bit we got some bratwursts (Jadzia ate a whole one), and finally the petting zoo and pony rides opened. Jadzia was pleased to saddle up for the first time. After such an exhausting morning and afternoon, we went back home, put the girls to sleep, and soon I was off to work. Later in the evening, Yoli took Jadzia outside to watch fireworks.

On Saturday we went to the Farmer’s Market and got some peaches and corn and some free food samples. Plus Jadzia planted some carrot seeds in a little pot, courtesy of the Juicy Juice guys who were promoting a new line of fruit/veggie juices.

This Sunday was our week to serve in children’s ministry at church, so we didn’t get to hear the message. After that we came home and ate some grilled turkey and cheese sandwiches. Jadzia was being very picky and wouldn’t eat most of hers. At 2 p.m. I left to go play softball.

Yes, the sky was clear, the sun was hot, and the air was thick with moisture. But the field was dry, and that was all that mattered. It felt good to get out in the field and take some hacks at the plate. In fact, I got my first official hit! (Last week, after our games were rained out, some of us stuck around and played for fun. I went 2-for-4). Alas, it was a losing effort. Two big innings by our opponents early in the game doomed our cause. After that, our defense improved dramatically and we really shut them down. But we couldn’t generate enough offense of our own. Well, there’s always next week, when we’ll play a doubleheader.