Recent Posts

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

America, The Beautiful

We had a GREAT 4th of July this year.  Rainman was off work, which doesn't usually happen, so score 1 right there.  We went to see fireworks this year....score 2.  It is not that we haven't ever gone to see fireworks before, but, in the past we would do something like this....

...try to figure out what time various cities around us were having their fireworks (just what time is dusk anyway?)

...try to decide if you will harm the kids mental health if you just stay home and catch glimpses of the few fireworks your neighbors will shoot off,

...decide that you really should go try to see a real display,

...try to figure out which one would involve the least amount of traffic both to and from,

...try to figure out where to park to get the best vantage point,

...then after choosing one, go there and find that your imagined viewing point is very popular,

...find another spot to park, the fireworks from the van (because watching fireworks outside in Minnesota - even if you are coated in Deep Woods Off -  is like taking your life into your own hands....or, like handing it over to the mosquitoes)

... sit inside your vehicle, everyone fighting for window space to crane your necks up to look at the fireworks, gets really hot and humid inside a van with 8 people breathing

...when all is said and done,  join the line of traffic and get on home....thinking "maybe the neighbors 6 fireworks will be enough next year..."

But this year?

We were invited to a friend's house.  They are from our church.  They live on a lake.  They are awesome!

They passed out sparklers AND glow sticks for the kids.

V-girl wanted to hold a sparkler so bad.  She just kept saying, "Me!  Me!  Me!"  Finally resorting to using her manners and saying "Please!"  So, we let her. She did great.  L-girl supervised.  V-girl held it away from herself and others...but when it came time to let go - as seen above - she didn't....luckily the her hand was low enough that the flame went out before touching her.  She thought it was all great fun!

The big kids got to shoot off, I think they were called Roman Candles...they followed all the homeowners rules and nobody got hurt.  A-man shot off 6 of them!  No pictures of these because I was enjoying just watching the kids....

These are pictures of them spinning their glow sticks....but, I don't know how to change my shutter speed...or even if I can with my point and instead of the cool circles, it just looks like the kids are getting ready to whip each other!

This is them being "angels".....

And, A-Man being Geordi LaForge from Star Trek the Next Generation...

When all the glow stick and sparkler fun was done, the show began....we had a few tense moments when we could hear thunder in the distance and thought there may not be time to get in the fireworks....but we did!!!

Again, this was taken with a point and shoot - but you get the idea - you have seen fireworks before.

V-girl loved the show....but, thought it was too loud.....

It started to storm just as we were driving away.

Perfect timing.

It was sort of like the 4th of July celebrations that I have read about in magazines, but didn't think really existed.

Happy people, blankets on the grass, lawn chairs sprinkled around the yard, children with their glow sticks zipping around, one little weinie dog with a glow stick on his collar sniffing around trying to steal food (little did he know that his cute glow stick collar was giving him away every time), a fireworks display that was, in Rainman's words, almost as good as the ones they put on at Comiskey in Chicago.  I agree.  It was huge.  It was awesome.  I don't think I have ever been that close to a fireworks display.  A-man kept saying it was like a 3-D show because they seemed like they were coming right at him.

For those of you reading this from Minnesota, I want to make it perfectly clear that:

- we were outside

- we were lakeside

- not one of us received a mosquito bite

- read that again....not one of us received a mosquito bite!

I said to Rainman, it felt like another, God given, hidden blessing of our move to Georgia.

Of course, since I really am a nerd, earlier in the weekend I had DVR'd an episode of Naked Science called the Secret World of Fireworks that explains how the fireworks are made, how they  make the colors, how they make the sounds (yes, they actually craft the sounds into the fireworks, it isn't just something that automatically goes along with the show), for example, the ones that sort of sizzle....those are pieces of metal that are added because they sizzle as they burn), how dangerous it can be as a job ( they work in little cement block buildings - they have to touch a copper plate before they enter the building to get rid of any static electricity they may have on them - the roofs aren't bolted down - just in case there is an explosion so if there is one, it will go straight up in the air),  and just about everything you may want to know about fireworks and the chemistry we stayed up and watched that when we got home....only S-Girl fell asleep!  Apparently, we are a family of nerds, because we all were fascinated with the information in the show!

We were all left wondering how much the people who create the firework shells make and how expensive they must be to shoot off, because they are all crafted individually.

So, Lynn and John....thanks for treating us all to a great show....for giving us a chance to live out a scene from a magazine....who knew Georgia would end up being so awesome?!?