Today is the 4th of July.
When I was a kid this was a big deal, despite the fact that it pretty much rained every year. My brother and I would watch it glumly all day, praying it would clear up by nightfall so we could go outside and draw colored shapes in the air with sparklers, and use a punk to light those black snakes (the only fireworks we were usually allowed to light), while Dad set off the big stuff and the dog cowered terrified inside.
On the Bicentennial we went to a local park (whose name I’ve been trying to remember all damn morning and can’t, and apparently the name has changed because Google doesn’t help). My parents laid out the Snoopy sheet we used for picnics and to make tents, and we all sat on it and watched what promised to be The Greatest Fireworks Display Ever. I remember it was pretty cool, too, although being only almost 4 I was awfully tired. We used to be in awe of Bicentennial quarters, too, with the soldier on the back and the flag? That was coool, man. Special coins! Because it was America’s birthday!
One year my Dad got chased by a Roman Candle. It tipped over and shot a fireball right at him. He ran out of the way, and it ricocheted off the side of my little playhouse and followed him. I don’t remember how it all resolved. I presume he beat it to death. He used to tell us about the Roman Candle fights he got into with his brothers when he was a kid. I was in awe.
A few years ago the hubs and I grabbed a pizza that night and drove home listening to some sort of “Patriotism Mix” on the radio. The Fourth was irritating in our neighborhood, because the people behind us were, like magpies, adoring of Bright Shiny Things and turned the 4th into “America’s Six-Week Birthday”. The fireworks would start in early June and last until mid-August. When we went onto our back porch it was like the apocalypse was nigh and people were huddling around burning trash cans for warmth.
I miss it all.
Happy Fourth of July, everyone.
(BTW, I haven’t been making my usual rounds much this week, and probably won’t, because I am up to my neck in work. I did 6k words yesterday. My goal for today is 7500. Everything came due at once–unexpectedly, it wasn’t like I lazed about. Pray for me, I’m going in.)