I haven't been to one of our small town parades in a number of years and today I actually was a marcher. Yes, today I was marching with a group of women representing the YWCA and its mission of enriching the lives of women and their families. It's a great cause one that encompasses many aspects of that enrichment. As one of our signs today stated, "the Y helped out in 645 cases of domestic violence last year in this small town of ours." Heaven only knows how many women were not helped in their situations of fear and oppression.
As the announcers along the parade route stated, "here comes the YWCA helping this community 's women and families since 1913." It was rousing to hear the applause and see the smiles from the crowds lining three major streets of our little town. Of course, many of the onlookers were kids responding to our smiles and to our waving back to them, unaware of the Y's mission and not needing to understand such a subject at their young ages. I know there were those viewing the parade who have experienced first hand the Y's involvement in their time of need. They know the terror of leaving their homes in the night, seeking shelter from an abusive husband, father, or boyfriend. Such a sad note to consider in the euphoria of a small hometown parade.
Of course, there were lighter things to consider - one being a local plumbing company's float with potties and toilet paper adorning its truck. Kids sitting on the closed appliances and waving like crazy to the smiling crowd. There were dogs with cowboy hats, roller derby women in their fishnet stockings, tutus, and fancy hair colors - the women rolling along the edge of the crowd high-fiveing every little person that bravely put out their hands. The marching band, the cheerleaders, the drum majorettes, the Harley-Davidson hog riders, the Democrats for Patty Murray, the Republicans for everyone alive who isn't a Democrat, the rodeo princesses, the classic cars, the ponies pulling small wagons, the "Onion Mascot" of our new Walla Walla Sweets Baseball team, and lastly, blessedly lastly for all of those on foot, the beautiful horses brushed and shined to a polish pooping their way down Main Street with dignity and stature.Yes, it was a beautiful day for a parade and for happiness and for all the good stuff of the last weekend of summer - a wonderful small town gathering!