I always thought I lived in a pretty small town. My friends and I lamented over the fact that there was no shopping available, and that nothing happened in our “small town”. We always thought we needed to go to Phoenix or San Diego to do anything of real importance. My friends from Yuma are nodding their heads (population 194,000). But compared to the small town my husband grew up in, Yuma is a metropolis – full of traffic and the bustle of big city life. (People in Yuma can now stop laughing hysterically).
I realized the error of my small-town way of thinking when I met my husband – or more accurately, when I met my husband’s hometown. He told me he was from a small town, but when we drove down main-street (a one-way street about four blocks long) my definition of a “small-town” was forever changed. Shullsburg, Wisconsin is a beautiful town – picturesque, really. It makes you feel like you just stepped out o a Norman Rockwell painting. And the best part of the year is celebrating the 4th of July in Shullsburg. EVERYONE comes out for the parade – and a lot of them are in it. ALL the neighboring fire departments, businesses, school, re-built tractor owners, families, you name it – have their own float. So now that the 20th great-grandchild is about to make their appearance in the Gill family, of course we have our own float! This year, the theme was to celebrate Shullsburg History, a mining town. Despite the record-heat of 101 degrees (plus humidity!) the float turned out great, and the kids had a blast throwing out candy and freeze pops. After our float went through, we went back towards the start so that we could watch the rest of the parade. I started to get dizzy and pale and went into the grocery store to cool down. Meanwhile Brock took the kiddos on the float back up to the car. Once stopped, Becca told her aunt she didn’t feel good and fainted! I felt bad that I wasn’t there for her, and that the kids were in this heat. Her and I had both walked along in the parade rather than riding. Maybe that is why our bodies gave in. Sometimes no matter how strong you think you are, you can still be weakened in the heat of things.
We abandoned the usual 4th of July festivities and took the kids to a movie in the air conditioning! We were so disappointed to miss the rest of the fun that makes up the Shullsburg 4th of July celebration – deep fried cheese curds, a pie auction, brats sold by the lions club, a talent show, and the fireworks (which were cancelled due to the drought we are having around here). It really is the classic small-town festival! If you are ever in the area, you should definitely come experience it for yourself!
Here are some pictures of the parade! Happy 4th of July!