Monday, July 6, 2020


Ever since
 TV came into my life and 
I became intimate 
with Andy and Opie,
 I fantasized about
 "home town" living.

 How much fun 
would it be 
to know all your neighbors,
 not have to lock your doors,  
be able to 
leave your windows open at night and
sneak warm blueberry pies
 off of a windowsill? 

 Santa Cruz,
 where I grew up,
 used to be like that
 but I was too young
 to know it
 at the time.

When we moved to
 Grass Valley and found our Cottage, 
we were elated 
that we had found 
our home town, 
but all times change and
 most of the average small towns 
have the same problems 
as the bigger towns 
only in smaller doses.

we loved it then and 
still do.

On Independence Day,
 our town and its neighbor, Nevada City,
 take turns

 putting on a parade and
the fireworks are always displayed 
at the fairgrounds in Grass Valley.

 Our first 4th of July here 
was in 1989 and 
the parade that year 
was held in Nevada City. 

 Nevada City is one of 
the prettiest towns 
you will ever see anywhere and  
it was so Norman Rockwell 
that it was almost scary. 

 People sitting 
on their front porches 
of their stately Victorian homes,
 watching the parade pass by, 
while children ran around 
waving tiny American flags,
 was a sight 
I had only seen in 
books and movies, and 
one I thought 
I would never see again.

When the parade was held 
in Grass Valley, 
it went through 
the downtown area only, 
which is all 
I had ever known
 a parade to do.

After we were here a few years and
had finished some of the
 restoration on the Cottage, 
we hosted a 4th of July party 
in our garden. 
 Most of our family
 and some friends
 were able to make 
the trip and
 it was great fun... the time, 
Jake our grandson,
 was only two or three years old.
  We tried to make it 
an annual affair 
but with growing families,
 it was hard for most
 to make the trip, 
so we didn't do it again.

Throughout the years, 
I think,
 we have become more complacent and 
haven't attended 
as many of the festivities 
as we used to.
Like everything else in life,
 we start taking 
too much for granted and 
before we know it, 
time is passing us by.

This year,
 a little something has come along,
 known as Covid-19 and 
things are not 
as they once were.

  There is no 
freedom to congregate 
as we once enjoyed and 
the things that we
 took for granted 
have had to be put aside.

 Being the resourceful human beings
 that we are, 
we persevere and 
try to make up for
 what is now lacking.

We decorate 
the porch and garden,
 something we have always done...

 ...but have tried to make it
 a little more than the usual
this year...

...the flags and banners 
are hung and
as soon as dusk falls, 
the Grand Illumination 
is turned on...

...and the rocking chairs 
are in place
 for good viewing 
of our world 
(such as it is now).

The Cottage logo
 is placed just so...

...and an assortment 
of flora and fauna 
accompanies it all

The parade and
 the fireworks display 
have been cancelled 
as we know them 
but the city of Grass Valley
 has taken hold and 
is making it possible 
for us all to have
 a day and a night 
to remember...

...and now
 I will be able to have
 that Norman Rockwell moment 
that I thought 
I would never have.

 The Cottage
 is so excited 
as she has always thought 
she was being all dressed up 
but with no place to go.

 for one day,
 she can become 
the grand old lady 
she was meant
 to be.

The small parade
 which consisted of 
Emergency Response and 
Public Work vehicles,
 with flags flying and sirens blaring,
 drove through
 all neighborhood
s in
 Grass Valley and Nevada City...

... and along with
 a patriotic fly over,
 showing us 
that community 
is not forgotten and
 no matter how hard the times, 
we really are 
all in this 

A fireworks display 
has been taken to 
a new venue 
so that most of the town 
can see it from their homes, 
a safe and welcoming 
place to celebrate.

 our home wasn't one of them.

  We sat in our driveway and 
the fireworks were exactly behind
 that little group of trees
 directly behind the telephone pole.
 You could barely 
catch a glimpse of them 
but we did hear the booms and 
see the glow.

 In my opinion,
 half of a
 Norman Rockwell experience 
is better than no
 Norman Rockwell experience 
at all.

So our "home town" 
is alive and well and 
we are so thankful 
to all the wonderful people
 that made 
it possible.

Small town living at its best.

This has been 
our "virtual" celebration 
for all. 

 Here's to hope 
for a better tomorrow and,
 take heart,
  don't give up the fight.


Happy Birthday America

Hope You All Had
 a Memorable Celebration

Stay smart, stay well and wear your masks.

It suddenly seems 
that it is 
the right thing to do 
since it might make
 you look like the Lone Ranger 
or, if for no other reason,
 it is good to hide
 a double chin, and
 here all along,
   common sense 

told us
  it might be 
to save a life!

Who knew?!!

 Of course
 that was yesterday and 
tomorrow is another day.

  Don't listen to what they say,
 just watch what they do.

Hi-Ho Silver 

Sharing today at:

Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda


Keep In Touch at Let's Add Sprinkles


  1. Wow love all the pictures and reading your fun post.

    Hugs Diane

    1. Thanks so much, Diane. I'm so glad you enjoyed it and thanks for the visit..Stay well..xxoJudy

  2. Hi Judy. Glad you could have a little of the home town feeling for the 4th with the parade going by. We did not have parades or fireworks. I almost did not feel like the 4th to me without those things. We had the bbq and watermelon, corn on the cob and popsicles and cherry pie to feel like it is the 4th. I love the small town living. Your sweet cottage was dressed so pretty to celebrate the day. Glad you had a nice 4th. Happy New Week. xoxo

    1. Thanks so much, Kris. We certainly did enjoy the parade. It wasn't much but just the thought that the city would do it was so special. The two old folks, sitting on their rockers, with a dog in each lap. What could be more American than that?! We bbq hamburgers and I made a potato salad and that was it. Your's sounds so good..Stay well..xxoJudy

  3. Oh Judy ~ what a delightful post. I loved it and love your home and gardens. Fireworks were AWFUL here, HUGE cannon sounding explosions from around 8-12:30. Have also had some the past couple of nights although not near as many. I live on a 5 lane road, so it is NOT small-town living here. Have a wonderful week ~ love, hugs and prayers ~ FlowerLady

  4. Thanks so much, Lorraine. It was actually pretty quiet around here. Usually when there is the big fireworks there are people that just don't seem to know when to stop. They will not sell fireworks in our county, but you can go just down the road, it seems, and buy them there. I did hear a couple of booms after we went to bed, but that was all..Hope you enjoy a more peaceful rest of summer and stay well..xxoJudy

  5. Judy, You have the cutest cottage with the lights and all the American decor. I absolutely love it. Glad you had some 4th celebration, even a bit. Blessings to you and yours, stay safe, xoxo, Susie

    1. Thanks so much, Susie. Can't do much celebrating any more. Do you think we ever will again? Sad but we try to make the best of it..Stay well..xxoJudy

  6. Judy, your cottage is so magical. I think my favorite part is the hanging lanterns on the porch. I can only imagine what it would be like to sit there and watch the world go by. You are one blessed lady!!

    1. Thanks so much, Debra. When there isn't any place else to go, I am perfectly happy to be sitting on my porch..Stay well..xxoJudy

  7. This made my thoughts about the holiday this year so much better. You do indeed live in something akin to Mayberry, what wonderful community spirit. I love your house dressed up, lanterns, banners, lights and all, it looks spectacular! Even your exterior paint colors are patriotic.
    Thank you for giving us all of this joy, we need it.

    1. Thank you so much, Adrienne. I wanted to share what little bit I could. These are such hard times and really are getting more so by the day. I love patriotic colors and seem to be happy when they are around me..Stay well..xxoJudy

  8. Hi Judy! It is a strange time, indeed, but I'm glad you and others are going the extra mile and making the best of things! Your cottage is looking adorable and so festive & patriotic. I also love the picture of your family & friends - such good memories. Jane

    1. Thanks so much, Jane. It is so good to hear from you. We tried to do the best that we could. Any little celebration is what is needed nowadays..Stay Well..xxoJudy

  9. Your cottage looks its best at July 4th. We live in a small area where we know all of our neighbors. We love it. No fireworks or parades here. Wish we could redo 2020 over again. Janice

    1. Thanks so much, Janice. Small town living is the best, isn't it? Maybe next year will be better..Stay well..xxoJudy

  10. Judy,
    Your cottage looks absolutely magnificent all decked out in it's Patriotic glory...I especially love the pictures at night...It has bee a very long time since I attended a parade of any type...The town I grew up in always had a Memorial Day and July 4th parade. When the kids were young, we took them a few times to see the Santa parade in downtown Wilkes Barre. I have not seem a parade since then...I have enjoyed watching the fireworks that are set off by Wilkes Barre even if it now means sitting in the parking lot of Buffalo Wild Wings ( the past 2 years we did that) as we an no longer see them from our front porch because of the trees. The fire works were not set off this year but there were plenty of other fire works to see from the valley below us. Maybe when this is all over, I will take in a parade again ...Thanks for that idea....We celebrated the 4th at home with the kids like we always do so it was a good Holiday.....Thanks so much for stopping by!!

    1. Thanks so much, Deb. We used to go to parades every time there was one when the kids were small and we did attend the ones here the first few years but, it doesn't seem as fun when there are no little ones anymore. It was fun having the smallest parade in the world go by the front porch, wish it didn't have to be because of what is going on now. Thanks for visiting and stay well..xxoJudy

  11. I love this post so very much, Judy. Your gorgeous porch reminds me of the Oak Bluff cottages at Martha's Vineyard and I loved those to the max. It is odd to have it so different but you made it so special. Indeed, a Rockwell moment. What beautiful memories you created.

    1. Thanks so much, Jeanie. Past Victoria magazine issues gave me the idea for the Grand Illumination. Beautiful spreads about Oak Bluff cottages. It was such fun having the little parade go by our front porch even though the reason for it is not such fun, only getting worse..Stay well my friend..xxoJudy

  12. This was a lovely post. I grew up in a great 'hometown' with a miles long parade and wonderful festivities all day and night long. My Dad would take me to a memorial early in the morning and watch the sun rise as the local VFW shot off a HUGE cannon to start the day.Yes, it was a magical time and sadly gone. I actually wish Rockwell was still alive, I'm sure his art and slant on the USA's current situation would be interesting and honest. He always managed to say what we needed to hear in his paintings.

    1. Thanks so much, Sandi, and I agree wholeheartedly. It sounds like you have fond memories being with your Dad all those years ago. Hometowns are very good for those reasons..Stay well my friend..xxoJudy

  13. Oh Judy.. your home town sounds so much like Mayberry! I always wanted to live in a town like Mayberry.. I actually did from 1990 through 1993.. it was wonderful. Population of 1000 and so many community events and knowing almost everyone was just great. My house was an old Victorian and had a wraparound porch and I spent many evenings sitting out there on my porch swing, watching people walk by or ride bikes.. and they would always stop and say hi and visit. I wish I would have stayed there! Was in southeast Washington, in the wheat country. My town now is somewhat "small" though a population of 6200.. so bigger then I would like. I love the idea of your two towns taking turns with the parades and fireworks! our town did really well in making us all feel almost like "normal".. there WAS a small parade with mostly the fire trucks, etc. and there WERE fireworks in a safe spot... we watched from our front stoop and it was beautiful and I told my hubby how happy I was to have this bit of "normal" right now.. and then a gorgeous gold moon came up right amidst the fireworks and it was a sight to behold. This town isn't small enough to be small town living, but it does try hard to be very community minded. I LOVE your house with the porch all lit up in the evenings... what a sight that must be to passers by! Our 4th was quiet.. had a bbq with family 70 miles away, saw my new great nephews (twins) for the first time - they are a month old now... I'm surprised mom and dad brought them from Portland area, but I was thrilled to see them and hold one. Life goes on.. we hope it will all get back to normal and that a vaccine will be forthcoming for everyone. Hugs.. Marilyn

    1. Hi Marilyn, thanks so much. I wanted to watch the fireworks from the porch also, but that wasn't to be. I thought we would be able to but over the years, we forget how much our trees grow. Our town lives and seems like a small town to me but probably is about 12,000 people if not more now. Sometimes it feels a little bigger than I want it to..Stay well my friend..xxoJudy

  14. Your porchy and your home looks lovely all dressed up for the 4th! ♥

    1. Thank you so much, Carrie. I like it this way and will usually keep it throughout the summer..Stay well..xxoJudy

  15. What a beautifully decorated cottage. Love that last photo so much, looks like a magazine cover. Grass Valley is beautiful. I was born and raised in the SF bay area, and stayed for 38 years. I used to be a vendor in Apple Hill for the Apple Fest each yr. And I love the foothills and Sutter Creek, but imagine it has changed a lot since I moved away from CA. I live in the Appalachian mtns now and have never worn a mask anywhere nor do I intend to. It is a diff world here. Folks here understand that 97 percent of folks who get Covid all recover. Celebrated 4th at a huge party with about 70 friends. Hope your town gets back to normal soon. Your cottage is absolutely adorable.

  16. Thanks for your comments. If it is not required by law, everyone has the right to do as they please, but for me, I would always go for what is compassionate and right for my fellow human beings, and if that requires wearing a mask than that is what I will do. You might want to watch a video that deals with the death and dying of one of the 3%? that you say won't survive this horrible virus..Stay well.

  17. Liebe Judy,
    ich habe sie heute mal wieder besucht!Ihr Haus und Veranda sind sehr schön geschmückt, sieht wunderschön aus.Ich habe im TV gesehen wie die Bürger von Amerika am 4.Juli Ihre hauser so schön schmücken.Bei uns in Deutschland gibt es so ein Tag nicht.Leider .
    Ich grüße sie von Herzen, bleiben sie Gesund!!!

    Brigitte Schmidt /Deutschland

  18. Brigitte, thank you so much. I really love hearing from you. Yes, we Americans do put on a display for no reason other than we love to do it and I'm really glad you enjoy it and it makes me so happy that you do..Stay well my friend..xxoJudy

  19. Liebe Judy, danke für Ihre lieben Worte! Ich freue mich das sie mir antworten.
    Meine Mail Adresse ist.


    Liebe Grüße
    Brigitte Schmidt/Deutschland

  20. I will always answer you, Brigitte. If you can take the time to comment to me, the least I can do is to answer back. I may not always be that quick about it but it will happen. I answer everyone here under the comments they leave me. Blogger has changed and I can't answer any other way, so I am glad you take the time to come back and see..Stay well, my friend..xxoJudy

  21. Hello,

    I just discovered your lovely blog today and so enjoyed my visit.

    I love your charming cottage.

    I will be back again.

    Have a great day!

    . Shirley in Virginia

    1. Thank you so much, Shirley. I am so very glad to meet you and hope that you will come back. It is always so nice to meet new friends..Stay well..xxoJudy


Your comments are so special to me...Judy