Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Birthday, USA!!!

I love the 4th of July. When I was a little kid, we would spend the whole month of July in Iowa visiting my grandparents, and on the 4th we would all (both sets of grandparents and my family) go to this little town and watch fireworks together. The grownups got to sit on lawn chairs, and Johnnycake and I had to sit on the ground once we got too big to sit on laps, but it was lots of fun.

I've watched 4th of July fireworks in lots of places, and seem to have great memories of them. Huddling with my friend Christy on a blanket with her family in MI. Lying on the hood of the Green Car with my family in NC. Sitting in the Blue Car in Washington DC one year, my heels blistered because I'd proudly (and foolishly) worn my new Chris O'Donnell Shoes while we walked through pretty much the entire Smithsonian. (My friends and I called a particular kind of black-and-white retro sneakers "Chris O'Donnell Shoes" because there was this photo shoot where he was wearing shoes like that, and we were all nuts about him at the time, so we all went out and got shoes like those, only each pair was different according to our personalities.)

But I don't think I've ever had as spectacular a spot to view fireworks as we had tonight. Cowboy and I walked with Banana and the Leatherneck and Papoose to this field thing on the edge of town where the Ruralsburgers like to gather to watch their fireworks. And we found an empty spot to spread our big blanket. And when the show started, it turned out we were basically directly beneath where the fireworks exploded! So we all lay down on the blanket and the fireworks filled our entire field of vision. Sometimes it looked like the sparks would fall directly on us, and we actually did get peppered with bits spent explosives. They were cool by the time they'd hit us, and usually just felt like little bits of charcoal. Cowboy caught one piece, though, that was the size of a large postage stamp and felt like petrified cardboard. Anyway, it was amazing, and we felt like the whole show was just for us. Couldn't have picked better seating if we'd tried.

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