Picture this. It’s almost ninety degrees in the shade. We come prepared with our cowboy hats, boots and water, but the float hasn’t arrived. We huddle under a tree. Soon the rest of the group arrives and joins us under the tiny tree. Finally the float arrives and we all board and take our places on it. Practicing my queen wave and shouting a couple of yee-haws, we’re ready for the festivities to begin. The three couples on the float are all over 70, and there are a few children, a couple younger adults and two plastic horses. We’re ready, but it will take a while before our float gets into line.
Time passes – an hour at least before we join the parade. All that time sitting in the blistering sun. Oh that Paul had chopped down that little tree and brought it with us. The parade lasts all of ten minutes. My water is now hot enough to make a cup of tea. My body is numb on one side. Is it simply the heat? Is it because I needed help stuffing my already swollen feet into my cowboy boots? Or was I having a stroke? My natural acting skills kicked in, allowing me to greet all the buckaroos lining the streets and invite them to Vacation Bible School. Their interest was more in the candy being handed out.
As we de-floated, we were greeted with sandwiches, apple slices, chips and more water. As I stood under the shade of another tree, I felt the need to get home. I tugged on Paul’s arm, told him what was going on, and he quickly whisked me off to the car. By the time we got home, I felt a little better. After removing my tight fitting boots and drinking a gallon of water, I felt a lot better. I laid down and fell asleep for two hours.
It wasn’t a stroke – a bit of heat stroke maybe. I think we retained or title of most rowdy on the float. I believe we’re the only ones who talk a lot. I’m having second thoughts about doing it next year, but then again, my competitive nature calls my name.