Family on the 4th

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The 4th of July is turning into my favorite holiday.  And not just because I grew up in a military family, which made me patriotic to my core.  It's because it has turned into a day that we spend together as a family relaxing and hanging out, waiting for the grand finale to the evening . . . fireworks over the Willamette River in downtown Portland.

Crowds of people turn out, and for at least this one day of the year, we all seem to get along.  Liberals and conservatives, red voters and blue voters, people of all shapes, sizes, colors, and people with fur . . . we all seem united on this one day of the year when we come together to celebrate.  It feels to me a nice break from the acrimony that often rules the day . . . especially in an election year.  Today, I'm not thinking about that.  And I wasn't thinking about it yesterday either.

George celebrated by putting on his blue shirt.  And with his red hair, who could defeat him in his patriotism?  He seems to have made peace with his shirt for the time being at least.  And his skin is improving for it too, although I wouldn't go so far as to say that it is healing.

He figured out that what his shirt really needed was a good roll in the dirt.

Ahhhh.  That's better.  Now he can act like a kitty.

We owe a good share of our day's entertainment to Erik, Mae, and their friend, Brad, who always go down to the waterfront early in the day to stake our claim to prime waterfront real estate in order to get the best vantage point for seeing the fireworks after the sun goes down.  Mae wasn't able to join us yesterday, unfortunately. Her back has been giving her trouble.  Erik and Brad had it all set up, and Erik texted us that base camp had been established.

We picked Matt up at Union Station.  He came up on the train from Klamath Falls yesterday . . . a train ride of around 7 hours.  He hasn't joined us on the 4th for a few years, and so it was great having him here.  In this next image, The Stanbro Men are enjoying a brewski together.

Erik was enjoying a day off from work, and a short work week this week.  

Matt and his Dad were looking cool for the day.  Matt keeps threatening to cut his hair.  I keep threatening to pay for his haircut.  One of these days he'll actually do it, and I'll post a picture so you can see how handsome he is under his mop.  For now, he's an excellent student, a gainfully employed musician, and a happy kid, and so I'm thankful for him and his hair.

The Waterfront Blues Festival is an annual tradition celebrating it's 25th year this year.  It is a benefit for the Oregon Food Bank.  We listen to the broadcast on the radio and watch it from the opposite side of the river.

The Portland waterfront.  That building on the right with the slanted roof is a new addition this year.  We kind of think that slanted roof might be a huge solar panel.  BTW, I used to work in that red brick building just to the left of the slanted-roof building.

Erik brought his barbecue and barbecued burgers and brats (the hot dog kind, not the irritating children kind--have I mentioned that I seriously need a grandchild?).

One person' s banquet.  I made the dill potato salad with home grown dill from my greenhouse.

When the Portland Fire Boat makes its appearance, the show is getting closer.

It's a long day waiting for the fireworks, and as the sun sets, we start getting antsy for it to start.  I amused myself by trying to capture a good image of the flag on the opposite bank.  I kind of liked the way it looked with the setting sun shining through.

See the large complex of buildings on the hill in this next image?  That is Oregon Health & Science University  . . . another place I worked at one time.  The city is just filled with places I worked at one time.  

This is the US Bank Tower, affectionately known to us in Portland as "Big Pink".  I worked there at one time too.

But now, I'm sitting on the east bank of the Willamette River waiting for the fireworks to start.  I'm hand-holding the camera.  I thought about bringing my DSLR and a tripod, but then it seemed like a lot of trouble. Besides, I did that one year, and I was terrified that some fireworks watcher was going to kick over my camera and I would watch horrified as it tumbled down the rocky river bank into the water.  Hand-held is good when I think of it that way.

And then, when I saw how blurry my hand-held image was, I got all excited and started intentionally blurring my images.  Cool!

Repeat after me:  "Photography is Phun".

Or, if you prefer, "Fotography is Fun".

And so are fireworks!!!!!!

Hand-held fireworks pictures!  Cool!

Time to start setting up the base camp for next year.  We want to have good seats, you know.

I hope your day was fantastic.

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16 comments from clever and witty friends:

SewCalGal said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful 4th of July. Great job with the firework photos!


Kate said...

Looks like a fun day. Love your fireworks shots. My handheld ones didn't turn out real well. Still it was fun watching them.

LynCC said...

mmm - Barbara, your dill potato salad is making my mouth water - how do you put it together?

And yeah - The 4th is becoming a favorite of mine for the same reasons. :)

Mrs.Pickles said...

great pictures!

Teresa in Music City said...

Wow! What fun! Thanks for sharing all the cool pics! We have amazing fireworks on the Cumberland River here in Nashville, and Don and I love it! This year however we were not able to go. Now I can say I saw the Portland fireworks this year ;-)

Needled Mom said...

What a great tradition! It looks like a spectacular show too.

Anonymous said...

Nice firework photos, thanks for sharing.

Denise :) said...

Barbara it looks like y'all had a simply marvelous day!! What fun memories! I'm crossing fingers that a grandbaby comes your way SOON! LOL!! :)

Dirt Road Quilter said...

Being surrounded by family is the best way to spend any day! Looks like y'all had a prime viewing spot and some good grub!

Diane Wild said...

What great fireworks pics. I wanted to see fireworks but couldn't stay up pass 9:00. I'll have to get in condition for next year.

Anonymous said...

Great fireworks pictures! The family part sounds fabulous.

Anonymous said...

Great fireworks pictures! I love watching fireworks. Every year I want to go into Eugene or some place to watch, and every year Ray says "NO!" I'm thankful for a damp June this year, because we're always afraid our stupid neighbors are going to set the woods on fire. Maybe some year I'll just have to go watch fireworks by myself. Sharon - ssauser@dishmail.net

quiltzyx said...

And Phamily is Phun too!
Love the hand-held shots - I watched the fireworks show out my window, while reclining on the comfy couch. Too lazy to get up & take any pics.

Celtic Thistle said...

Great photos sounds like a great day was had by all!

Sand and Sunshine said...

Sounds like a great day.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Glad you had a good time! Funny how our accents are. You said brats and not the children kind. I sat there wondering what type of brats were particularly enjoyed by children. Then I realized you all pronounce it differently, rhyming with fat. Brat/fat. We say it rhyming with hot. Brat/Hot. Oh, and George looks great in blue too!