July|4|11 in Photos and Stories.

{Long post…. }


We had a really socially full, really fun, July 4 weekend.

Friday night the youth met on our town`s square, where festivities were going on. We watched a Thunder Idol, where contestants sang for a table of judges in a well, American Idol style. It was super entertaining… The winner– excellent singer!– then was able to perform at Holmes County`s Thunder over Holmes Co. (Not sure where that was held.)

Then after that, the youth all came over to sit around in our back yard.

We live right in town, so we try our best to bring the country to town… It was quaint to sit and watch a fire– and hear live music drifting up from downtown.

Okay, so downtown might sound a little upscale for our town… but hey, it`s is downtown. Not sure what other word to use. 🙂


Chilling with a guitar master.


More of the same…


Girls are sharing… 🙂 Boys musing…



Saturday night, we had friends over and since it was a rainy day– we ate picnic food inside. There were kids and talking everywhere.

Was so good again to sit around and chew the flab– old friends style.

(That means Jenny feels free to open her mouth and say whatever, in an unedited way all night. haha)

We ended up sitting in our back yard then and watching the town`s fireworks. Was a fun ending to the night! I love making memories like that with our children and their little friends.


Sunday morning our small group had church in a pavillion and then a picnic lunch after. The children road bike around and played on the play place. again, fun to sit around with adults and talk about something and nothing. You know how that is.


Monday, July 4th we woke up and I felt the need to bring a little order sanity to our MESSY home– so I was running around stuffing in laundry, corralling up crumbs, and destroying sticky spots– when G said emphatically from the recliner,

“WHY are you working on July 4th?!”


“What? Why can`t I work today? You make it sound like it`s Sunday or something… this place is so GROSS.”

Then I thought it through and realized:

A. When your usually busy,  “always working on something husband” is sitting cozily and is in the mood to chill all day in the living room… for crying out loud!! join him!

B. Holidays are pretty rare so, USE THEM.

So I did and it was a GLORIOUS restful, lazy, connecting, conversational kind of family day.

(Can you tell I LOVE great conversation? I`d take it as a birthday gift. :))


Towards evening, we decided to pack up our little family, and drive down to Coshocton for the fireworks show there.

The patriotic daughter.

It was such a lazy, cruising kind of night. Since G and I weren`t super familiar with Coshocton, and we were way early for the fireworks show– we just ambled around.

I ran into CVS since I had a few deals to score there, then we ate some crunchy chicken at KFC.

After that, we just drove. And looked.

The downtown with it`s ancient, seedy looking buildings and empty cargo railroad dock.

The inner city living areas, some run down and sad looking. People going about life.

The urban homes near the fairground with their very “all-American” lives going on. A rodeo concert drifting up from the background.

We drove through a huge neighborhood (lurkers!) with very modest, but neat-as-a-pin homes. Flowers blooming in every yard. LOTS of backyard parties. Radios blaring, kids running around in red, white and blue outfits, picnic tables set up with food, grandmas playing corn hole, dads yelling at kids, beer in coolers, big Chevy trucks everywhere.

IT WAS SO STEREOTYPICAL, but it looked like such a great place to live!

We both commented,

“I could live here.”

We decided a playground would be great to kill the rest of the time with. So we pulled up to people twice, to ask where the nearest playground was.

They could never think of one.

“Just somewhere with swings.”

We said, trying to be as minimal as possible.

Nope, nothing.

Where do these kids go to grade school? They don`t swing at recess? You can`t think of a place with swings, Grandmas 1 and 2? In my rinky-dink town, I can rattle off 5 nice play areas. WHERE do your kids play?

We ended up stumbling on a tumble-down grade school, with a playground that to me, smelled like sewer the whole time we were there. I commented on it twice to G, but he never answered me with his take on the smell, so it could have just been me.

When we first got there, we were joined by 3 average-looking, tween girls videotaping themselves with a cell phone of sorts.

They seemed intent on catching themselves hanging about playfully on playground equipment, while taping one another. I think we frustrated them, because our girls kept running into their filming feed. At one point I heard the one girl singing Old MacDonald Had a Farm into the camera, so it could have been an American Idol audition taping.

We’ll never know.

After they left– we were joined by a couple no older than 15, the girl greatly pregnant, and the couple, quite affectionate.  They sat on separate swings but cuddle and canoodle they did! Did you know that is possible? We sure learned a few new cuddling techniques, G and I, that`s for sure.

Give us a park now, and we’ll show you fireworks!

The highlight of that playground experience, for me, was when G poked me and motioned, look, and I snuck a casual glance sideways at expecting snugglers– to see the boy was kneeling on the ground in front of her, and her on the swing. They were pressing their foreheads together and noses, maybe, I don`t know.

And there, standing beside them, was our eldest daughter taking notes intently with this glazed over look in her eyes.

Cuddlers had notes for our whole family!

We scooped up our innocent daughter and hurriedly left the park shaking our heads.

Just kidding– we laid out a blanket and stayed for the whole show.

Just kidding again.


After we left there, we stopped at Earl`s for ice cream, and set up camp in the grassy lot beside it.


These cones reminded me of a scaled down Rita`s. The cherry swirl part was a different texture, more icy, then the creamy vanilla part. It was a great cone experience. Well, the little I got of it. I was just going to eat Elle or Laila`s when they were done with it, (mom-style) but they both threw them in the grass after they ate the tops off (kid-style). Such a loss…


Happy little cone-eater.


I know my proffessional photography friends– cough!– ThelmaShannonDiane are probably thinking: CRAP SHOT!

BUT. But, that is the beauty of NOT being a professional photographer, you can keep a shot because you like the mood is portrays, and call it “art”.

As I`m doing with above shot.

I love how G is zoned out on his Droid, mom is off taking pictures, Laila is obviously pouting over there on the side, likely because Elle, who looks like her hair was done by a meat grinder, was picking on her in a hyper way. She looks hyper anyway.


This shot was an “Elle special”– she loves to take pictures with my camera.

It appears G caught a man in bad shorts in his cone.


Still waiting for it to get dark. When we first settled down in the vacant lot. It was pretty empty.

As the night wore on, big trucks pulled in on all sides. Earl`s parking lot filled up. There was a line out the door of the dariette, people want their ice cream and hoagies! People set up chairs everywhere by their cars.

I people watched in blissful awareness.

All the men in this town wear cargo shorts and t-shirts with manly jargon scribbled on them. The women all have a baby on their hip and like the classic, pony-tail hairdo. The kids are loud, sturdy, and loved. People talk loud. Sparklers are everywhere.

Did I just write a country song?

Well, that`s what the whole experience was like– watching a country song.


A fail attempt to get G to “take one with me on it”.

I look like a controlling disciplinarian mother on this picture.

…Which I actually kinda have a problem with NOT being. I bet that`s why my girls are so naughty. 🙂


Better mommy moment.


Show has started!

We pictured them right overhead. They weren`t really, but still close.

As we laid there as a family on a skinny blanket way too narrow for all four of us, in a grassy lot among strangers, with fireworks booming wild overhead, I said:

(As I got kicked in the head by Elle, who was getting pinched for touching her, by Laila.)

“Wow, this would be so romantic if these girls weren`t along”

G said,

“Oh, amen– Stop it, girls!”

Those Cuddling Kids at the playground can`t top our chemistry.

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  1. linda hershey says:

    i seriously felt like i was reading an article by one of the good writers in my Coastal Living. You know, how they pick a vacation destination and go check it out and write as they experience the “experience”.
    Elle’s hair looked like it had been done by a meat grinder? HOW do you think of the perfect funnies? 🙂
    and i am happy that you show no intimidation about your “crap shots”. bring ’em on, sista.
    and about the cuddling duo. my girls would be hashing it for days. well, my 7 yr. old would. and then Jacqui, who is 10, and squeamish about that sort of thing, would roll her eyes and say, “WHY do we need to talk about it anymore??”
    loved your backyard, bring-on-the-country party. nothing like chewing the flab with a campfire

  2. JessicaD says:

    I have officially had my laugh for the day. Thank you so much!! I needed it.

  3. Bernita Yoder says:

    Thanks for the post well entertaining;) sounds like you had a very good and relaxing 4th.

  4. lisa says:

    jenny, the laughter when i read your posts….sometimes is so loud i am slightly sheepish and hope the neighbor did not hear.

  5. Charity M. says:

    you’re too funny! life with kids…ain’t it grand?

  6. Anonymous says:

    thanks for the much needed chuckles before i head to bed 🙂

  7. Andrea Esh says:

    Jenny-this kind of post is you at your best. Love it. And had the same experience with Elena gawking at cuddling couples at a fire works show. Except ours was a lineup of Amish kids. I was staring out of the corner of my eyes too.

  8. Di says:

    Fun weekend you had Jenny! It is funny to me how you took in Cochocton, beings it was where we did our weekly shopping for years when I was in my teens. I had Alex in that country style hosp- then up-graded to Millersburg for Kyson. =) We are now way closer to Mt Vernon then Cochocton….but Cochocton always holds a special spot in my heart, even tho I hardly ever go there. Roscoe Village has some “Jenny style” outdoor eats….super relaxing and vintage.

    btw Beautiful picture of you and Elle! ~

    I drove by your house tuesday eve at about 9:30, IF you would have been sitting on your porch I would have done the small town stop by. =)

  9. jennie zimmerman says:

    i laughed until i had to wipe a tear away. thank you! i was just thinking today that i need to LAUGH again.

  10. Shelly says:

    If you can get me to laugh out loud, I almost always comment. 🙂 And this post sure had me going! I love your perspective and hilarious captions/comments on life in general, not to mention teens at the park. (Your experience in that town reminds me so much of a town near us that we like to go for ice cream. It’s a bit redneck in nature. Filled with interesting folks who feel on top of the world if they have a big, loud truck.)

    Also wanted to say, tho I never commented at the time, I very much appreciated your posts on true beauty. Great food for though and even prompted some discussion between me and my husband.

    Have a lovely day. It’s Friday and you can have a great weekend all over again! 🙂

  11. Rachel says:

    such a candid holiday celebration post!
    love it!

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