Celebrating the Fourth

Happy Fourth of July! I’ve always liked the story about how the Founding Fathers were all, July 2 will live in infamy! but then they couldn’t get their collective act together so it ended up being the Fourth. “Second of July” just doesn’t have the same ring to it, although I guess it would if we didn’t know any better.

Moving RIGHT along.

For those who don’t live here, this is a day generally celebrated with barbecues and fireworks and parades. There’s always a huge parade in our town, and we generally avoid it because we don’t like crowds. Actually, that’s pretty much why we avoid everything. Crowds cause me mild panic attacks, but I’m going to have to get over it, because Abby is in the parade this year. Depending on when you’re reading this, she might be sitting in a convertible waving to the crowd in a pioneer costume RIGHT NOW. (Historically accurate, no. Completely awesome, yes.)

So … Eric and the girls are members of the Sons and Daughters of Oregon Pioneers Association (I’m just a “friend,” since my people had the good sense to hang on and wait until there were, like, roads and stuff). And Abby is this year’s Miss Pioneer Oregon. To be clear, it’s an essay contest and a few appearance requirements, but we did have to come up with a pioneer costume three weeks before her installation ceremony in February (that wasn’t stressful AT ALL) and have portraits taken (which I did myself. In our backyard):

"Minimalist Pioneer." I like to think Laura Ingalls Wilder would approve.

“Minimalist pioneer.” I like to think Laura Ingalls Wilder would approve.

Since we didn’t have a pioneer outfit already hanging in the closet, this was a bit of an ordeal. Goodwill came through with a size 18, red gingham sack of a dress with cool, very pioneer buttons. It was like 10 sizes too big, but whatever, I was gonna refashion that sucker into something gorgeous. I read ReFashionista! What could happen? Then I remembered I can’t actually sew. But hey, we have an alteration shop in town, and for $20, we ended up with something fitted and vaguely what I like to call “minimalist pioneer.”

My favorite mother-in-law (hi, Joni!) had a bonnet we could use, and Abby already had ankle boots that looked mildly pioneer-ish, so all we really needed to close this deal was an apron of some sort. During that same Goodwill trip, we found what was maybe a bed sheet with a nice crocheted edge. Then my favorite Mom (hi, Mom!) took mercy on my soul and made it into an apron so I didn’t have to.

And then on the day the portraits were due we basically tossed Abs outside and took photos until we came up with one that she liked. (Not the one above, but I wanted to show the entire outfit.)

So that is Part I of our zero waste tale.

Part II is parade paraphernalia.

Good news: Our parade organizers discourage the throwing of candy as it distracts from the purpose of the event (insert collective groan from all attending children here), so I wasn’t expected to buy any plastic-wrapped treats. More good news: Eric brought home used poster board and a couple of large paper maps to turn into display boards, and he and Abby worked on the lettering together:

He even borrowed the glue.

Covering the poster boards with old maps. He even borrowed the glue.


These two are very patient.

And then Eric borrowed a co-workers’s Camaro. He didn’t actually mean to and I’m not even sure how it happened. Um, this part isn’t zero waste because of gas and general pollution. Abby was planning to walk … but even I have to admit that this is pretty awesome. I’d totally ride in it myself if I didn’t have to cover said parade for the paper.

So I don’t have photos of that yet, since I’m writing this before the event. But I will post a photo later, just in case anyone is curious. Or enjoys the irony of a pioneer riding in a Camaro.

Next up: There’s a good chance it will involve iced coffee.

P.S. You guys are seriously the best — thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your comments and ideas on my deodorant / stink issue. (And for not making fun of me!) I am now feeling hopeful rather than hopeless. Updates soon.

Updated July 5: As promised, an Abby parade photo:

She was a particularly big hit with the little girls in attendance. Because kids can really appreciate a refashioned prairie dress, obviously.

She was a particularly big hit with the little girls in attendance. Because kids can really appreciate a refashioned prairie dress and repurposed signboards, obviously.

3 Responses to Celebrating the Fourth

  1. Not a zero waste comment but we’re enjoying our first ever trip to the US (son marrying an American) and watched in the July 4th fireworks in Annapolis! (Could have done without the rainy uk weather tho!)
    And I’ve been in a Target – that is one big store!!! General holiday fail for zero waste I’m afraid, but we blew bubbles instead of confetti at the wedding!

    • Hey! Welcome! You need to come out west, we’ve got the sun this summer. 😉 Your Target comment made me laugh — it is a huge store! (For some reason, everything has to be big out here. Maybe it’s because we have so much space.) Hope you enjoyed the fireworks and that the wedding was a success!

      • Yep- everything here is super sized, but I’ve loved this east coast trip and think everyone is very welcoming and courteous. The wedding was soooo beautiful. I definitely want to return and explore more

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