Sunday, June 13, 2010

Keeping Traditions


By Keith Fisher

With all the changes forced upon us daily, Its nice to know some things don’t change.

We spent the evening, yesterday, on Center Street in Orem, Utah. Each year, as part of Orem’s Summerfest celebration, they hold a parade. In most years it’s a blessing to have it in the evening, during the cool time of day.

This year, someone laid a tarp down on our traditional patch of grass, causing us to shift ten feet to the east. They come earlier every year. Last year, was the first parade I spent without my father since he’d died earlier, and I missed him again.

Over the years, our tradition has changed a little. We started out down by city hall, but after my daughter was born we stayed closer to home. (Not as far to walk.) Some time later, we used the time to rest and either mourned or celebrated after cooking all day in the Dutch oven cookoff.

One thing that has never changed, however, is our picnic. Each year we go early and have dinner while we watch the people converge. Whether it was Sub sandwiches or the fried chicken this year, it has become a tradition in our family.

We were treated, yesterday, to a cold front that blew through, and dropped barrels of rain in the afternoon. As we were eating, a cold wind drove us back to the house for coats and blankets but the tradition continued.

One of my neighbors stopped by to set up chairs for his family and laughed at us shivering over our plates.

He asked, “What are you guys doing?
“We’re having a picnic,” I said. “Would you like some watermelon?”

I knew he thought we were crazy, but I realized how inbred our traditions are. Some things never change, and that’s a good thing. In a world where nothing is certain, jobs come and go. Fortunes are won and lost in a minute. It’s our traditions that keep us grounded.

Stop by next year. I’ll save a piece of watermelon for you.

Good luck with your writing—see you next week.

P.S. Check out my review of Rebound by Heather Justesen.

4 comments:

L.T. Elliot said...

Having once had your delicious cooking, no weather would deter me from being at that picnic! =D

Ann Best said...

I live in Harrisonburg, Virginia now with my disabled daughter where I take care of her and write. But she was born in Provo, and I lived in the Orem and Provo area off and on for 19 years with my first husband, and so reading your post today was like old home week. I felt like I was there (in the cool air and rain, not this east coast heat and humidity). Thanks!!

Evelyn Campbell Curtis said...

There is nothing better than good company (especially jovial family members), and participating in wonderful traditions!

Angie said...

I love summer traditions. I'm glad you didn't let the rain spoil your picnic.