Independence Day

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I had a very enjoyable Independence Day weekend and I thought I would share it with you.  The photos above should give you a good idea of my time, but here’s the “rest of the story.”

Helen’s Baptism

My very good friends, Jim & Kerry, asked me to be the godfather for their youngest daughter Helen.  Her baptism was held at Tulsa’s Christ the King Church on Saturday afternoon.

I’ve known Jim and Kerry for almost 8 years now, beginning when both were students at TU.  Both were very active leaders at the Newman Center and I counted on them many time.  Kerry was my designated Spanish speaker on several trips to Guatemala – which always put my mind at ease.  Jim organized many activities and sports teams, traveled on most Newman Center trips and was one of my companions on the great trek across Spain on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela.

Following Helen’s baptism, Jim and Kerry hosted a day-long reception at their house. It was great fun, with lawn games, good food and drink, and rousing games of ping-pong.  I was quite literally there for 7 hours!   I’m sure they are still recovering!

It’s a great honor to be their daughter’s godfather.  Helen joins Sophie, my other goddaughter, the oldest child of my great friends John and Nadine.    I have likewise shared many experiences and have traveled the world with them.  I’m looking forward to seeing them in October.

My life would be so much poorer without these friends and their extended families.

Grand Lake

I spent Sunday afternoon at our cabin on Grand Lake.  We have a quaint cinder block cabin on 14 shoreline acres.  The place has so many family memories and I love spending time there.

There was some sadness being there this year.  Several of the lake communities have been suffering because of the weather this year.  Last winter, a great deal of damage was caused by massive snowfalls.  Many boat docks and boats were sunk due to the weight of snow on their roofs.   This spring other communities suffered from tornado damage.

These communities rely on big holiday weekends for much of their revenue.  Unfortunately, there is currently an outbreak of blue-green algae kept many people way this weekend.  The algae is dangerous stuff.  It releases a neuro-toxin that can make people and animals quite ill.  The lake authorities warned people not to make contact with the water.  Naturally, this kept many people away and the lake communities suffered yet again.

I was determined to spend time at the cabin anyway and to do some upkeep on the place.  It was a relaxing time, but I would have preferred to have friends with me.

Tulsa Drillers Baseball

I didn’t really have any firm plans for the 4th of July itself, so on a whim I purchased one of the last tickets available for the Tulsa Drillers baseball game.  I like to attend baseball games but I hadn’t had a chance to go to one at their new downtown stadium.  This seemed like a perfect opportunity since I knew they were going to follow the game with fireworks.

A bit warm, it was a very pleasant evening.  The Drillers led most of the game but were defeated when the San Antonio Missions took the lead in the 8th inning.  Nonetheless, it was a very American way to spend Independence Day.

As promised, the Drillers offered up their own fireworks show following the game.  This was an experience!  The fireworks were of the low-altitude variety, shot off from the field itself.  The video that follows was shot on my iPhone from less than 100 yards away.

It was loud, exciting, patriotic and smelled of gun powder!  Nothing like blowing things up on the 4th of July!
I’d say that was a very successful holiday.  Now, I need to rest up!


Fireworks at Oneok Field from Steve Nelson on Vimeo.