Saturday, July 5, 2008

A Sad Aftermath

Our neighbors across the street---the ones with the 3 rowdy (but good) adolescent boys and a darling little girl---have had one heck of a 4th of July celebration for the past 10 years or so. Complete with probably several thousand dollars worth of fireworks, kegs in the front yard, cars parked all over the place and a huge fire pit in our very residential neighborhood. Sometimes it was annoying but it was over in a short time and during the rest of the year things are fairly quiet around here. So we have always been "good neighbors" and just enjoyed their revelry. And hoped that our house wouldn't catch on fire.

Another thing about these neighbors. The parents are "yellers". Not mean screamers, but yellers. I suppose thats the way they best think they can motivate 3 very rambunctious boys. And I guess it works for them. Anyway, the 5th of July always meant the dad would be out in the street early with his clean-up crew (the 3 boys) "directing" them to clean up the giant mess of shrapnel (well, paper) in the street and in our yards.

Earlier this year, tragedy struck their family. The dad was killed in a motorcycle accident just a mile or so from our neighborhood. I am not sure how the mom is doing it but the little family is strong and the boys seem to help out a lot.

The Mr. and I wondered if the 4th of July celebrations would continue without the dad. Last night we found out. More people than ever showed up across the street and more fireworks than ever, too. A tribute I am sure. And then this.

This morning as I was sitting here at my computer I heard a whirring sound out in the street. I grabbed my camera and went out front. The boys cleaning the street and our yards. No yelling. No bickering. Not even talking. Just dutiful clean up. And I love the arrow on his shirt pointing up to heaven.

Their dad would be proud.

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