Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Mapleton Pioneer Day 2012

by Cheryl Merrick

Awakened by police sirens, we begin our holiday.
My husband joins the runners gathering at the city building.
Sun not yet over the mountains, the races begin.
Young men, competing with each other,
are encouraged by family cheers.
Fathers, pacing to shorter legs, allow their children
to just beat them over the finish line,
Mothers running pushing strollers,
Children struggling through their first race,
and gray headed men and women,
are all cheered as they cross the finish line.

A rest stop at home,
then it is time to stake out a place for us
in front of Mapleton Elementary school.
Our son and his family join us under
the shade of large trees.
Sirens blaring, all Mapleton’s emergency vehicles
lead the parade.
Our high school band marches
while their cheerleaders shake their pom poms.
Primary children wave from floats and ride on bikes.
A few families ride horses, wagons or on trucks
and there are even some business entries
and, of course, there is the “Drill Team”, men with drills.
Sitting on the curb, our grandchildren eagerly dash out
to acquire their share of Tootsie Roll loot.

Parade over, we walk to the old city park
where my husband, Grandpa, purchases tickets for the games
and me, Grandma, enters a poem in the Arts and Crafts display held in the Memorial building.
Comfortable sitting in my folding chair
under the shade of my umbrella,
We admire as our granddaughter pushes a bowling ball,
Our grandson knocks down metal milk bottles,
and our youngest grandchild, no longer the toddler of last year
but one of "the kids", fishes at the fish pond.

Laden with prizes, we move on to the bouncy houses in the baseball field.
After taking a break for an early hamburger, pulled pork, hot dog lunch, and snack for me,
we return to the field where grandchildren bounce
over and over down the wet slide, and
Where the youngest, not wanting to get wet,
bounces gently in the Princess house.

Grandchildren play on the playground
while we admire our neighbors work
in the arts and crafts display and visit with friends.
Then, tired and hot,
but happy after spending the day together,
Our son's family makes a quick stop at our home
before heading back to their house

My husband and I  rest in the afternoon,
filled not only with happy memories of our day together,
but remembering all the many other Pioneer days we have spent together
with our family and the good people in our town.

When evening arrives. my husband and I decide to investigate
the evening activities which were begun a couple of years ago.
To our amazement, the park in the south of town
was thronged with hundreds of people.
Fleeing the loud country rock band and crowds,
we ended up on our hill south of town
where we enjoyed a magnificent fireworks display.

After a long day,
we returned home, slowed by a little traffic,
having enjoyed a pleasant Pioneer Day.

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