Sunday, July 5, 2015

Life Is What You Make of it

Yesterday was a national holiday. Many people sported red, white and blue. Events and fireworks were advertised across the country. What to do?

We decided to go to the events in Nederland Colorado. They started with a parade and listed a variety of fun activities and music throughout the day. The sky was full of fluffy, light gray clouds. We took water, chairs, blankets and rain gear. Colorado weather changes quickly, given a few minutes you could have freezing rain and sweltering heat competing to see how extreme they can be.

Nederland is not a large metropolitan area, it's a small mountain community accented with pine trees, Espresso shops, and friendly locals.

We arrived, suprised by low attendance. There was a variety of great summer activities available to try. Life sized connect four, a giant inflatable to climb around on, life sized Jenga, and human foos ball. People had ramps for radio controlled cars to play on. A master wood carver worked to detail a sculpture of two eagles.

There were around forty people. The clouds might have looked an innocent gray but they rumbled like an aggressive dog. Icy rain and hail pelted us. We dodged under shelter. I realized why attendance was sparse. I feared it would dwindle with repeated bouts of cold, rude rain and jagged stabbing bolts of lightening.

I was delighted when few left. Everyone there was having fun and smiling. We all raced out, milking each rain free moment to play games. Human foos ball was excellent! It was comedic to play and break and play and break. Like playing red light green light with the weather calling the shots.

The power went out throughout the town. Nederland determination turned up a generator, the music played on. No one complained about the weather, we all ignored it together. In a drizzle I played jenga with two amazing kids. Brayden and Kayisha, whose names I've probably mispelled, wore smiles and went from game to game in high spirits.

The fireworks came with smoke, bright explosions above Barker Reservoir and large crowds that seemed to come from nowhere. The display was great, not the largest I've seen but among my favorites because of the whole day. The spirit of the locals, the smiles and positive attitudes. Few people I saw were chained to a smartphone inches from their faces, most danced, talked, played games, enjoyed the food or watched family and friends play games.

Seriously, if you ever get the chance to get out of the big crowd, to go somewhere like Nederland and enjoy a holiday- DO IT! The musicians were great and played despite the weather. The kids and adults made great memories that will last a lifetime- that's worth more than just going to a high budget huge display. I just wish I could have gotten there early enough to cheer on the folks in the pie eating contest.

Life is What you make of it. Yesterday forty plus people chose to make their holiday a great one, they chose not to use unpleasant weather as an excuse to be miserable. They didn't choose to stay home. I was among them and we had a marvelous time. Next time you find yourself glooming, instead consider what you can do to spin things around and bloom. Folks in Nederland Colorado do!