Nancy and I scramble for two days prior to the big day, preparing for the annual Family Fourth of July at the Fredrickson Farm, a celebration we've hosted since 1987.
Next, the shed has to be emptied of 6 tractors, 3 lawnmowers, 1 trailer, and whatever else collects over a year's time. We decorate the shed with a flag and red, white, and blue bunting.
A trip to Pekarna's Meats in Jordan for their fabulous old-fashioned wieners and another to a bakery for buns completes the standard menu. Guests bring the rest of the food. Everyone brings a dish to pass.
On the big day we wake early. Nancy says, "I have to start cooking the wieners and putting up signs outside."
I add, "I have to set out trash and recycling bins, pails for cigarette buts, and then fence the horseshoe pit"
We agree we have plenty time to finish it all by 10:00 AM before we clean up and ready ourselves for guests, who usually start coming at noon.
No invitations have been sent but the relatives know the party is always on July Fourth. Cousins, aunts, uncles, sisters, nieces, and nephews from five generations begin to arrive, bringing food, smiles and love.
Nancy takes lots of pictures while I sign people up for the horseshoe tournament and collect the fee, which goes toward buying the trophy and paying cash prizes for the winners and runners-up. Male and female players draw names for partners so no special teams have an advantage.
Kids play in the sand box.
Score for Final game : 21-18
Bob Tornio (right-center)
Rena Bjerke (right-center).
We award the trophies and cash prizes. Everyone agrees. "It's not the money; it's the glory."
Courteous guests make cleanup easy. Most of the after-party work is putting stuff away in an orderly fashion so we can set it up again next year.
For tonight we cleanup only a little before we relax and go to bed, our hearts gladdened by a wonderful day of fun and visits with family.
Tomorrow we will return things back to normal.
I'll just add two more photographs. Before the horseshoe tournament begins we take group pictures of all the women and all of the men:
Photographs by Nancy A. Fredrickson, except for the one with Nancy by the tables in the garage.