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9:52 a.m. - December 06, 2005
One More Parade
The Arctic chill has descended upon the heartland. Its timing was perfect, as it coincided with the annual Christmas parade here in C’ville.

Yep, there’s nothing like standing around in the streets of BFE Indiana watching 80 floats, bands, and dance teams walk by Main Street. Many stopped at the courthouse to perform their little routine or skit for all to see. Many threw hard candy out to the masses, where kids all over grabbed them in a furious display of sugar jonesing.

This was Sunday, and the Colts were playing, I had cold beer and a warm (ish) house, so why was I outside in the tundra?

Katie was on the float for her dance school, that’s why.

The weekend had started out fairly well, well, except for my iPod going paws up. I had written a couple of good stories for the paper I string for (and I saw my high school dispatch its archrival with some ease on the road, which is always enjoyable). We got our Christmas tree, and it’s a big one. Though I fear we may have to get another stand, as it’s leaning slightly more each and every day.

Then on Saturday night Liz and Katie met up with Niece Nurse and their whole family for the Disney on Ice showing of the Incredibles. That meant Kristin and I were home where I could watch college football and other manly pursuits while enjoying some Molson Candians.

I knew it was cold when we got our tree, but being ensconced in the house I did not notice that the precipitation I saw falling outside was not snow, it was freezing rain.

It took Liz almost two hours to get home from Indy, and Katie was sooooo tired she was hysterical.

Sunday, we went to the Hanging of the Greens service, and our family got to decorate a window. (Basically, just string a string of greenery along a window sill and put a candle in the middle of it, whoop-de). Katie also helped to decorate the Christmon tree and a lot of Carols were sung.

The only bad thing was that Katie fell as she was running too fast on the sidewalk after church, and scraped her knee and ripped her tights. That girl goes through more tights, I swear. Why do they even think that girls of her age can wear them without getting them messed up. It’s a racket, I tells ya!

But the big event of the day was the parade. It actually started at 2:30, but Katie needed to be at the dance studio at 1:30 to get ready and get her dance studio sweatshirt.

We got halfway there and Liz said, “I forgot the camera!” So I dropped them off and made my way back home.

They were already blocking the streets to get ready for the parade, so I had to to navigate my way carefully. When I got back to the studio, they said they had started to walk down to where their float was being staged.

That was probably a mile away from the studio. Liz had Kristin in a baby bjorn and strapped her inside her coat, and she and Katie were trundling off to the staging area. I had to park my car a ways away and then meet up with them.

I saw them walking down the street, and Katie ran up to me and almost slipped, again. But she was so happy in her dance sweatshirt that she didn’t care that she lost a mitten. (It’s gone for good, sigh, but she didn’t like those mittens anyway, she said.)

I noticed that her dance sweatshirt had a number on the back. It was #92. I do not know the significance of that. Maybe Katie is a closet Reggie White fan (RIP).

So we bid Katie adieu and Liz, Kristin and I walked back to my car, and we drove over to near where the parade units were to disperse. We then hiked up near the Courthouse, so we could get a good view of the proceedings.

It was 1:50, and the parade started at 2:30. And what I realized quickly is that the gloves I normally wear to go to work are nice looking gloves, but if you are out in the cold more than five minutes they are useless. It was an almost futile effort to keep my hands warm.

Liz was warm, and Kristin was all snuggly, as you can see:

We ran into a few people we knew, and then the parade started.

Ok, I thought, at this clip it’ll take about 20 minutes or so and Katie will pass by, we’ll get a picture, and that’ll be it.


I did not realize that when there was a dance team, or the troupe of the children’s theater, they stopped and did about a 3 to 5 minute routine in front of the courthouse.

Normally, that would be OK, but the wind chill was getting close to “WTF are you doing outside for an hour?” range.

Units passed by from local businesses, churches and scout troops. One girl, who is representing Montgomery county in a pre-teen beauty pageant, was bravely trying to smile but she looked like she wanted to get out of the float, now, and get home.

(I hope, I pray, that Katie never wants to be in one of those. I saw a documentary on HBO a while back about those pageants. I’d rather have my little girl be a little girl and not some doll. Sigh…)

Finally, I saw the dance team in the distance. And by gosh, as soon as Katie saw us on the street she bounced up and down and said “Mommy! Daddy!”


Here she is, in her pink coat and reindeer antlers:

When the dance team stopped by the courthouse, some of the little kids were offloaded from the wagon (the preschoolers didn’t dance, but were just on the wagon for the cute factor). We took this as a cue to grab the kid and scram, and scram we did.

But the day wasn’t quite over. We are hiring a friend of ours to design a combo Christmas card / adoption announcement card and she was at the house for about an hour to take pictures of the girls.

After about an hour, I think we got a usable shot or two.

What that whole process reminded me is that while I love my daughters dearly, I could never, EVER be a children’s photographer. To try to get an almost-four year old still is bad enough, but throw in an almost-six month old?

Forget it, Jackson.

But all of the excitement of the day made for early bedtimes for all, and even I got to sleep before 11:30, thanks to Kristin cooperating. Then, on Monday, as I took 20 minutes to scrape off my car so I could drive the Ľ mile to work (I realize I could have walked to work twice in the time it took me to scrape my car off – but I don’t mind being an idiot on occasion. It’s good for the soul) I realized this:

I’m so jealous of animals that hibernate.


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