Sunday, July 11, 2010


Our family gathers to celebrate Independence Day at our house.

There are several days of fun, food, water splashing, did I mention food? (hand cranked ice cream, watermelon, barbecued ribs) giggling, games and fireworks.

The guys take their fireworks seriously.  Our state has laws against amateurs setting off flaming things that fly through the air.  There are also laws against BIG explosions—mostly because they--EXPLODE!

However…we have a son in law who likes to improvise (not IED’s and not IUD’s and not roadside bombs, although he is a former marine). He and his brothers-in-law buy legal fireworks and...erm...modify them. 

The result is some extra big bangs and flying things such as plastic bottles and soup cans.  On the evening of July Fourth our short, dead-end street goes up in sparkles and booms.  Our neighbors either join in or leave town.

Our “experts” are careful to keep the kids out of harm’s way.  We had a four-color chalk line drawn across the driveway, plenty of stern warnings plus a running hose and buckets of water in case of flameage.

The first year the “modifications” happened I came home from work and found a firework factory in my dining room.  Needless to say that little activity was banned to the back yard.

So it was the afternoon before the celebration.  Cousins were playing on the lawn.  Moms were in lawn chairs catching up on news, and the savory scent of barbecue was in the air.  Son-in-Law (we’ll call him Sparky) was isolated to a table a few yards away working on making the evening’s fireworks even more spectacular.  The rest of the guys had gone for more fireworks supplies. 

A popping sound focused our attention in Sparky’s direction.  Small explosions were escalating to larger ones in the middle of his production area.  He jumped to his feet and swept a pile of brightly colored igniting pyrotechnics to the grass.  There was more popping and much stomping followed by silence.

Although the table was scorched and Sparky's shirt had some burnt spots--

he was okay and the rest of the fireworks remained intact.

 toasted Gerber tool

I only wish I’d had the video camera running. 

We could have had some great material for America’s Funniest Videos.

Sparky with a (smuggled in from Wyoming) roman candle.


TheSims said...

Where's the earth shattering Kaboom? There was suppose to be an earth shattering Kaboom??

Bill S. said...

Darn kids anyway. Brings back memories of near misses.

Elizabeth said...

What fun! This looks like a most super party.
Food sounds yummy....
when we were children in post-war England we were allowed to buy fireworks ourselves
from the age of about 8!!!!!
Parents were v. stern
but what fun it was............

Anonymous said...

We once had a neighbour who put a large firework in an expensive plant pot (which belonged to another neighbour) Instead of the firework shooting into the air, the plant pot exploded .... oops!!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Gosh, it all sounds pretty dangerous to me.

BB said...

Gads... it's all good fun til someone loses a finger! Man I wish we were allowed fireworks here - except most of my gung-ho family would be digit-free zones if let at explosives.

Kilaue Poetry said...

I bet..I keep thinking of posting a little vid (I've got some amusing ones)..mostly critters. Gosh..just might have something to do with the testosterone, you think? I saw another blog that was similar- Hilarious!! Sometimes they don't like to wait to the 4th you know! The food, kids and all of the action- how fun! Mine was so low key. Gee, the table looks like a great keepsake! In Hawaii, New Years is the big deal..always amazes me. Anyway, great post Leenie!

Anairam said...

I have done a post about your beautiful watercolours, and included two photos I took of them. Have just realized I should have asked permission first! Please let me know if it is okay! x Anairam

DayPhoto said...

Everything looked just jolly and happy and oh so family.

Happy 4th!


Unknown said...

hmmmm, that spark feller looked awfully familiar to me!