Monday, July 6, 2009

The Rocket's Red Glare

Dear Mom,

The 4th of July here on the cul-de-sac is a tradition not to be messed with, and this year, in the spirit of the US Postal System, rain would not deter us from our celebration. We just had to make adjustments for the dampness, and rain ponchos only added to our 4th of July memories. In fact, as a testament to the importance of the day, our neighbors woke to find that their 8yo son had painted his face red, white and blue for the day's events. I don't think the red has washed off yet.

The food and picnic-ing was moved under the shelter of a canopy and into the garage and the grilling was done under a patio umbrella called into action, but as we had hoped, the rain trickled off in time to celebrate the evening with fireworks.

Every year the fireworks themselves get bigger. The Dads have taken it up a level. Or three. I can sum this up in one word. FUSE. I think My Hero has 100 feet of fuse in the garage. (If there is more than that I don't want to know.)Custom built supports are constructed for multiple explosives which are strung together and lit with some of that 100 feet of fuse. Gone are the days we can be entertained by smokey snakes and a sparkly fountain. Thankfully, sparklers will never lose their appeal and we can write our names in the dark, and dance along, twirling a sparkler overhead.
Every year patriotic music plays loudly during the fireworks display. A Cul-de-sac highlight and tradition involves a neighbor modifying a remote control vehicle with a creative display of fireworks which shoot off as the intrepid little jeep circles and dodges the fireworks display in the street.

This year, we seemed to be surrounded by huge display from neighbors and neighborhoods nearby. It occurred to me with all the shrieks and screams and loud percussive KABOOMs, the blasts and rockets and bombs bursting in air, that (God forbid!) should we be attacked by terrorists on the 4th of July, we would all stand there and ooh and aah and maybe even clap before we realized what was really going on.

Once the fireworks are exhausted, we have almost as much fun with clean up, as the kids and adults arm themselves with flashlights and brooms and clean up as much shrapnel as possible before we all head off to bed smelling of smoke and sulfur. Final cleanup the next day insures that no neighbors are left with any debris in the yards.
And a few Dad's I know are already planning on next year's fireworks display.
oh- and the boy with the painted face? up at 3 in the morning up-chucking some of the excitement and junk food he enjoyed....