When it rains, it really pours around here. In addition to Duane’s recent accident, Grandma Luethje’s death and the monumental task of cleaning out her house, and getting ready for a roadtrip to Colorado for 4th of July weekend, Steven called today to let me know that we apparently have  a leak in the basement of our rental house. And, we’re not just talking about a small bit of water. Apparently it started near one of the outer walls in the spare bedroom, and quickly spread across the floor almost to the door.

Luckily, Steven was able to get everything out of the room before anything got ruined. Well, except for his I Want To Believe and his Megatron posters and my old Nintendo 64. And we’re not even sure any of those are ruined just yet. We’ll wait to assess the damage when things dry out. I know Steven secretly has his fingers crossed that my N64 is ruined so he can finally throw it out, but I refuse to let it go until I finally reach Level 1 in Perfect Dark. It’s going to happen one of these days…probably not long after Cadence starts school.

We are fortunate to have some really good landlords, and Steven called tonight to let me know that our landlord had already come over to remove the carpet and locate the leak. Hopefully in a few days, everything will be back to normal again…well, whatever “normal” really is in our chaotic lives.

In spite of the dismal news, Cadence and I managed to have a pretty good day here visiting my folks in Bertrand. We took a break from the work at Grandma’s house to attend the annual Bertrand Days Parade, held every year during the Bertrand Fair and Rodeo. It was kind of surreal, since I have such vivid memories of going to the parade as a child with my sister Lindy and my cousins Tonya and Shelly. We looked forward to the parade all year, and the bag full of candy that we would be sorting and counting and taking home with us.

Duane was feeling pretty good, and decided that heading out to the parade might be just what the doctor ordered, so he called his friend Danny High to see if he might be able to borrow a golf cart to ride around in. So, Mom, Dad, Cadence and I strapped a stroller and a lawn chair to the back of Danny’s golf cart and drove uptown to claim our spot at the end of the parade route.

At first, Cadence wasn’t quite sure what to think. She’d been woken prematurely from her afternoon nap, and she watched bleary-eyed as the Bertrand Viking Marching Band strutted by. But, as soon as she saw the people on the floats throwing candy and all the other kids running out to retrieve it, she decided that she wanted in on the action and demanded release from her stroller.

Mom and I managed to keep Cadence wrangled far enough away from the tractors and floats and horses that she didn’t get trampled (though I’m not sure she would have noticed either way, she was having so much fun). A few of the bigger kids that were collecting candy around her were kind enough to come over and offer Cadence pieces from their own stash when they thought she wasn’t getting quite enough, but I assure you, she managed quite well on her own.

I had to laugh when I saw her, both fists completely full, still trying to pick up stray Tootsie Rolls from the street. Finally, she figured out that if she came over and handed me her candy, that she could go back for more. By the time the police cars and fire trucks rolled by, sirens blaring to signal the end of the parade, my little maniac had quite the collection.

I managed to get a couple of shots, and even handed the camera over to Mom to get one with my daughter in the midst of the mad dashing to keep her from running into the middle of the street. All in all, in spite of the flood, it was a pretty good day. I just wish Stevie had been here to see his crazy daughter in action!

Today’s 365 Project is dedicated to the great landlords that come to the rescue when things go wrong, and to the small towns and the small town folk who still appreciate the finer things in life, because everybody loves a parade.

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