The Peterson Family

Friday, May 8, 2009

A Post From Pops...

I really like having a flexible work schedule.  It has freed me up to spend most of my Fridays at home.  This morning Bray and I took a walk to a local coffee shop called "May Day Cafe."  It is named after the extravagant parade and celebration that take place in our neighborhood over the May Day holiday.  Kendra and I had our first taste of Minneapolis May Day this year and it was definitely an experience.  I would compare it to Woodstock crossed with the Parade of Roses.  Our neighborhood is this interesting mix of inner city, hippie commune, and immigrant settlement; but the hippies definitely come out of the woodwork for May Day.  There were a lot of elaborate floats, people on stilts, masks, and homemade ten-foot-tall bikes.  The air was filled with an interesting smell that was a mixture of funnel cakes, body odor, barbeque and marijuana.  The whole event culminates in the park across the street from us with carnival games and a pagan tree-worshipping ceremony.  I only caught the front end of the parade because I was taking kids from work on a camping trip, but I still was able to experience plenty of May Day excitement.
I actually saw only one float, the first one in the parade.  It was a float that I had seen almost every day for the past month because they were working on it a few blocks from where we live right on my route to work.  It was sitting outside of this house that has converted their garage into a metal-working home repair shop.  If you drive by at night you can see them outside welding things together.  There is always some kind of interesting contraption sitting outside.  For a while it was an 8 person bike where all of the passengers sit in a circular formation and peddle while one person steers.  Everything they make looks like it was constructed from garbage and scrap metal and usually incorporates bike parts somehow.  This May Day float was no different.  I would describe it as a bike-powered metal shack on wheels.  It literally looked like something you might find on the bank of a creek in the woods of West Virginia, except it moved.  When I saw it coming down the street on the day of the parade I knew things were about to get interesting.  They had loaded this thing up with about ten people on the inside and had a full band standing on the roof playing music.  There were also a number of people who were frolicking and prancing around the outside of it.  We found out later that the float had been banned from the parade at the beginning due to a lack of permit, but chants from the crowd of "Let them stay!" had gotten them back in.  When the shack pulled right in front of us one of the female frolickers pranced in front of it for some reason and we saw the float suddenly stop and a number of people from the crowd run out onto the street.  After a little bit of commotion a group of people worked together to lift the shack off of the ground and pull the woman out from under it.  It was such a surreal experience that there was a strong temptation to laugh even though it was obviously a serious situation.  It was pretty clear that she was not too seriously injured, but the parade had to be stopped for about 20 minutes so that an ambulance could come and attend to the fallen frolicker.  By that time it was getting close to our camping departure and I had to leave and miss the rest of the event.  For some reason though, I didn't leave disappointed.
So, I guess that ended up being a pretty long story, but I hope it gives you a small glimpse into what life is like in our 'hood.  I think my original point was that I am enjoying my flexible schedule and all of the extra time I get to spend with Braylon.  It is so fun to watch him grow and develop and to dream about what kind of little boy he is going to be.  I posted a little video of one of Bray's favorite activities-- bath time.  I hope you enjoy it.


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