Saturday, April 19, 2008
Yesterday was so much fun. Okay, I'm not a car buff. My interest in cars stops when they do. But Kool April Nites is a BIG.BIG.DEAL. here in Redding.
My first April in Redding, John and I went to Applebee's for dinner the night of the cruise. Don't ask me how we did it, but we ended up with a booth right by the windows, and watched the whole thing in perfect comfort. And for me, perfect boredom.
Zip forward many years - Kool April Nites became a reason to stay home and off the roads. And then, I had a son who is a car nut. He takes after my big brother, Billy that way. Bill used to have a '55 1/2 Thunderbird. He had one of those funny little BMWs with the door IN THE FRONT WHERE THE ENGINE IS SUPPOSED TO BE! He now has probably 1,500 toy cars. Okay, not exactly toy cars. They are 1:18 scale models. People send them to him. He reviews them. My son thinks this is the COOLEST. JOB. EVER.
So last year, we braved the crowds for the cruise. I have to admit, it was pretty fun. Fun in that way that Rodeo Week is fun, even if you're not really into rodeos. There is something about an event like these that makes Redding still feel small. It makes me feel like Laura, in her Little House series. Everyone is happy, and smiling, and talking to people they don't know. Buying treats, and sitting in the sunshine, and just enjoying the moment.
When I learned the shopping center I work in was having a big blow-out for Kool April Nites, and they welcomed non-profits selling goodies, I called up our school's Parent Club. There were some hiccups, but we had a booth right on Churn Creek Road selling cotton candy, popcorn, water, juice, and other snacks (too many to list).
We started setting up about 1:00 p.m. There were gymnastic demonstrations, martial arts demonstrations, and a bunch of guys riding little motorcycles doing amazing tricks. A great band called weR1 - part of Redding Transformation. I made friends with the folks in the booth next to ours - they were from Destiny Fellowship in Anderson, and they were selling nachos. We bonded over a generator.
And amazingly, I learned that a fellow mom and I both used to live in Sonoma County, and have a mutual friend!
And I have advice for everyone I know. RENT A COTTON CANDY MACHINE! It is amazingly fun. This thing takes a bit of colored, flavored sugar and turns it into a thing of mystery. It's fun to figure out the best technique (we were all cotton candy virgins, and the thing didn't come with instructions). It's fun to see the faces of kids when they see the fluffy, sweet stuff. It's fun to laugh and pick strands of sugar off each other's hair. And then you put a bit of it in your mouth, and it's light and fluffy and crackly and melty and sweet and wonderful.