Sparklers, black cats and rockets galore

Pat Davids here.
I don't know about you, but my family is into Independence Day fireworks in a big, big way.
Not the ones you see on T.V. or even the ones that the city puts on. Nope. The Stroda family (my maiden name) puts on a private show that rivals the pros.
Now we weren't always crazy about fireworks.

When I was growing up it was the usual Black Cats, sparklers and Roman candles. My dad would light one of those stinky old cigars and it would burn forever with my brothers sneaking an occasional puff. It's glowing red tip was perfect for lighting our firecrackers. I shudder to think of all the hazards my four brothers and I skimmed by without a single accident. God was watching out for us.

As we got older, the fun died away. We went to see the big city displays and didn't bother to light our own little sparklers. Somehow, the whole event became too noisy and crowded to really enjoy. Until...
Enter my soon to be son-in-law. When Tony joined the family we got a really nice guy, a professional clown with his own magic show and unicycle (talk about cool parties) and a guy who loves fireworks. I mean loves fireworks. He's a bit of a pyromaniac. The only thing holding Tony back from putting on a dazzling 4th of July celebration of his own was the fact that he lived in a city that didn't allow fireworks within the city limits.
But my daughter has grandparents who live on a farm. In the middle of nowhere--where almost any type of fireworks is allowed or at least ignored as long as there isn't a burn ban in effect. Over the years Tony's celebration of all things that go bang has grown to include all my brothers and their families, even neighbors have opted out of the town fireworks to come out to Dad's farm for the big show. The kids have traveled two hundred miles to get the "big stuff" over the state line and bring it back. Everyone in the family contributes to the staggering pile of gunpower filled canisters waiting to illuminate the night sky for our delight. Golly we have fun.
The whole things doesn't always go off without a hitch, mind you. Twice we've been rained out. Once, because of a custody battle with my daughter's ex, my grandson couldn't be there for the 4th. No problem. We moved the whole celebration to Labor Day so Josh could enjoy it with us. I think that was my favorite Independence Day. He felt so special because we saved everything so that he could be there.
Now, the whole thing is noisy and crowded and I love every minute of it because it's become a family affair. Cross your fingers and pray it doesn't rain us out this year. I've got a trunk full of firecrackers in my car.
Tell us about your Independence Day celebrations. What will you and your family be doing this holiday weekend?


Elaine Morrison said...

Oh Pat, your family and fourth of July sound so enjoyable! Twice since our kids were born we have gone to watch fireworks. We must have picked the wrong shows because we were sorely disappointed. All the other years we have purchased fireworks, taking excited kids from stand to stand to "get the best deals." Our kids are getting older now and the boys were 18 and 19 last year. Our daughter was 13 but she didn't participate in what has shut down our family celebration. The boys had friends and cousins over, with a truckload of roman candles and a truckload of testosterone. They had war. Yes, these large teenagers were chasing each other all over the acreage shooting roman candles at each other. To be honest, it was hilarious, watching their contortions to not get hit, and their sneakiness to suprise each other. Amazingly, no one was hurt. But, my husband said never again and banned fireworks from our property. There was one other 4th of July worth mentioning. It was our first 4th together, before kids. We had gone shopping and were in a parking lot as the store closed. The town of Miramar, FL was having their fireworks display, right on the other side of a six foot concrete wall. My hubby and I had the entire parking lot to ourselves, so we pulled the car over to the best vantage point, reclined our seats, and enjoyed our private beautiful fireworks show. Very romantic.

Joan Vincent said...

Happy 4th to you, Pat.
My Dad loved fireworks. Every 4th we had a huge barbecue--60 + people with tons of great food including hand-turned homemade ice cream. And fireworks from M80's to very loud to very sparkly and all things in between. He and my uncle would usually make a run into Missouri to bring home "better" (read bigger) fireworks. Harvest had to be done and the fields worked so they could safely shoot off everything. He would always make the auto yard light go out with the finale.
It is sad the my children were too small to remember Grandpa and the 4th but before he passed he infected my husband with the firework bug. We always barbecue and have fireworks though nothing as grand as Dad.

Penny Rader said...

I hope you had a splendid celebration last night, Pat!