Parade Wrap-up ... through Jan 8th, 2017

Chalk up another year, and neither of us is sorry to see 2016 bite the dust.  These days, rather than saying, "where in the world did the past year go?" I've been saying: Writing 2017 feels weird, and I'm not sure why ... it just seems so darned futuristic.  Heck, as a kid in the '50's, I always considered the year 2000 far-flung and far away, which made penciling in the Big Y2k a real science fiction biggie for me! Now we're 17 years into the 21st century?  The years are flying too fast -- I must be getting old!

But 2017 already brought us a special reward:  Watching the Rose Parade in person, a spectacle we never dreamed we'd see.  Near Victory Park at the end of the parade route, this year's 42 sensational floats are on display.  It costs 15 bucks to get in, but this was part of our rally's package deal.  Protected by barricades, you can view them up close, examine their intricate patterns, design and workmanship, really catch the fragrance of the flowers, see how vegetables and fruits are used, or seeds, bark, coconut fiber, seaweed and so on. 

This "Teammates in Life" float was special, and a theme trophy winner for excellence in presenting the parade theme.  We talked to one of the donor recipients on hand who told us about the Polynesian catamaran:  The pictures depicted on the sails are 60 floral portraits of actual donors, and the vessel is propelled by a team of 24 organ, eye, and tissue transplant recipient rowers.  12 living donors and recipients walked alongside the float in the parade carrying flowers in celebration of the life they have given and received.  Long ago, Jimmy and I signed up on our driver's licenses to be donors, and we encourage everyone to do the same.  Our brother-in-law, Bubba, and a friend named Jim are both organ recipients -- this one is for you guys!  Click here to watch a time lapse film on making this beautiful float.  (hit your back button to return to the blog)

Think these Ragu float salt and pepper shakers are small?
How about two feet tall?

I found my pins from the two years Lyn and I volunteered to work on the City of Santa Ana floats: in 1988 the city's entry had larger-than-life sculptures of primitive and ethnic artworks displayed at the city's Bowers Museum, and a 1989 city-sponsored entry from Santa Ana that celebrated the 100th birthday of Orange County and the 100th Rose Parade centennial.  Now I have to find my pin from this year!

From the sublime to the mundane:  The yucky 18" snow berm (above and below) at the top of our driveway is gone, thanks to 50 degree temperatures, and heavy rain that's been pummeling NorCal.  I think we have a storm total of something like four-and-a-half inches of rain so far, and the storm shows no sign of stopping!  We've lived here for nigh onto five years and have never seen a blustery wind like we're seeing today.  Since the driveway is clear, we drove to the Elks Lodge earlier and brought Tergel home, and parked her where she belongs. 💗

Jimmy and I have learned a few things about taking trips.  We realize now that after a month traveling in New Zealand/Australia, a puny ten-day recovery time (with Christmas in the middle!), and immediately taking off on another ten-day adventure in Tergel was too much.  We get it.  Give ourselves more time!  And while we enjoyed the Rally in Pasadena, which enabled us to see and do much that we wouldn't have done otherwise, we're really not "rally" people.  Too danged independent, I suppose.  Adventure Caravans is a good outfit, and we have no complaints with them. Spending the week camped next to Sue and Mo (and Ratty Matty) made the week extra-special for us, we four had a grand time!

One more item:  Jimmy is taking Tergel to the fix-it shop on Thursday to get the recalcitrant dinette slide fixed.  She also blew a circuit breaker the night before we left Huntington Beach, leaving us with only one or two electric outlets that worked.  Time for Tergel maintenance.  Humans need it all the time, so 'tis with our homes.  She'll be good as new soon! 

That's it.  The End.


  1. More beautiful photos! Thanks!

  2. Great photo for the last one. Judy would be proud of you. I love that video of the making of the float. Amazing. I love reading your take on the parade....always thinking....oh why did I forget that part...no matter....you said what I forgot, thank goodness! Hooray. Tergel is home, you are home, Smartie is home. Something tells me you wouldn't have planned another trip so close to the Australia trip if it weren't for your crazy friends who decided to go to the Rose Parade. So glad you made it through and are now home. Maybe a month to catch up??

  3. Sometime, we are going to have to watch that parade in person:)

  4. Great pictures! Thanks for showing the closeups, they are amazing. And stay home for a few weeks, eh?

    1. Thanks, Nannie. I hope you showed this post to Bubba (and maybe tell Judy about it?).

  5. Anonymous7:31 PM

    I am amazed at the artistry and thoughtfulness of the donor float. I carry with me a regard for the soul of my kidney donor each day of my life, especially when traveling to faraway and unusual places. Thank you for thinking of Jim S. and me, and others like me and all donors. "Bubba"

  6. Anonymous8:03 AM

    Enjoyed your Rose Parade blog. Really great pics! Glad you had a good time. DJ

  7. Anonymous8:44 PM

    The float pix from the Rose Bowl parade were awesome. N.A.


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