I went to Sonoma for the 4th of July again this year, as is my custom whenever I’m not in rehab.
The parade lived up to expectations, with a wine trolley, various cars, a hot-air balloon with no balloon, people dressed as blueberries, and an assortment of rocket and moon themes in an apparent nod to the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11.
Later, there was food, genealogy, miniature golf, and chickens. The tri-tip caught on fire, but it was still good. I remain unconvinced of the value of diaper rash ointment as a treatment for sunburns.
Fourth of July in Sonoma. I received a warm welcome.
Some family members explored new fashion frontiers.
Others preferred a more traditional form of celebration.
In the evening, some of us watched the fireworks from a field adjacent to a cow pasture. A nearby group of people sang such holiday favorites as the national anthem, God Bless America, one or two Irish folk songs, and Part of Your World from The Little Mermaid. There may have been some wine involved. There was also a dog with a glow-stick collar who barked at the fireworks.
This is the week of the Sonoma County Fair. Anna (youngest cousin) is in the Sonoma FFA and is showing a lamb and some chickens.
After dropping off Clara (French exchange student) at SFO and getting rear-ended on the Golden Gate Bridge, we braved seemingly endless commute traffic to get to the fairgrounds just in time to wait for two hours for Anna’s lamb’s showing. The fair didn’t officially start until the next day and none of the food stalls were open, so we ate the leftover portions of Anna’s lunch and bided our time watching the other sheep and listening to the over-the-top sheep-judging commentary. You would not think there was much you could say about a sheep that is any different than what you could say about any other sheep, but you would be wrong. You can talk about the topline or how well the sheep touches or how athletic the sheep appears to be. There’s a lot of subtlety to sheep that I never fully appreciated.
Anna’s lamb is a 150-pound monster named Spaghetti. He competed in the heaviest weight class with other monster sheep and came in third — just high enough to merit a ribbon.