Madison hosts a boat race called the Regatta every year, as it is situated on the Ohio River. (Watch Madison with Jim Caviezel and Jake Lloyd for a rather-lame account of the history of the Regatta in Madison.) Madison always has fireworks on the Saturday before the Regatta, instead of on July 4th, so we watched our fireworks early :). We had a great view of them, because they were shot off at the river and we had a perch on my aunt's deck, which overlooks the river from afar. The only other time I've seen fireworks explode at eye level was the July 4th we climbed Stone Mountain and watched the fireworks that were shot off from the base of the mountain. It really is the best way to watch fireworks - much better on the neck! But I wouldn't recommend the Stone Mountain Independence Day event (Ashley!), though that's another story for another day - just think "insanely crowded." Unfortunately the actual Regatta the next day was cancelled due to an accident :(, which was too bad because we had a great view of the event (for free!) from the deck. Ah well.
One evening after supper some of us sat out on my grandparents' deck and had a bit of a "singing" as it's called in the South ;). I wish singing (especially sacred singing) was a more popular pasttime in this day and age! It is so much fun. We sang a few songs we already knew, and my Aunt Mary taught us two new songs with rounds. Why is it so fun to sing nonsense words with a catchy tune in rounds? :) The song we worked on the most had the following lyrics:
I sat next to the Duchess at tea.
It was just as I thought it would be.
Her rumblings abdominal were simply phenomenal.
And everyone thought it was me!
Sometimes it's so fun to be silly :). It can be sung in 4 rounds, though we only got 3 going. Just before we left on Tuesday we also sang Dona Nobis Pacem (Give Us Peace), which is a favorite selection in my mom's family. It is sung in 3 rounds and is so pretty. Hannah and I weren't proficient in the three rounds, so we practiced it some more on the drive home. I've mentioned before that my family is (slowly) working on singing hymns in parts, and during our drive to-and-from Indiana we also sang a few hymns from our repertoire. Oh, and for those who missed it the first time, our personal ad still applies.
One more thing. I brought home another 3 boxes of books *sheepish grin*. All together that adds up to 17 boxes of books I've hauled home this summer from Indiana! (My original count of 13 was actually 14, as Mother Dear informed me.) I uncovered more books in the basement that I hadn't found before. Among other things, I found a hardbound set of Winston Churchill writings, a very old set of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon, an antique copy of Silas Marner, a very old copy of Virgil - in Latin(!), and a multi-volume pictorial history of the Civil War (or The War Between the States, The War for Southern Independence, the War of Northern Aggression, or whatever preferential label you choose to give ;) ).
All in all a fun weekend, though it's also good to be home.