The Lady Gray

A household chronicle


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4th of July

4th of July is a holiday for me that has always incited great excitement, and then more often than not, disappointment. I love fireworks. LOVE them. The excitement, the colors, the flashes. Lying on a blanket in a field with someone you love as the sky lights up with colors. Unfortunately for me, I seem to have the worst luck with this particular holiday.

One of my first memories of the 4th was going to see fireworks with my Dad. We drove out in his truck, Moon Pies in tow, for the big show. Side note – who eats Moon Pies? Yuck! I must have been 4 or 5 at the time, and while there was excitement beforehand, once the fireworks started I was CONVINCED that those beads of fire would rain down on us all and set us ablaze. My Dad stayed in his foldout chair in the truck bed, and I hid in the cab, hoping that I would make it through the night.

Fast forward a few years. At my Mom’s house, we hardly ever went to see the big fireworks show (sad face!!) but we would always have a mini celebration in the backyard. We’d have our own show of little fireworks, and play with sparklers. Let me preface this by saying: KIDS AND SPARKLERS DO NOT MIX. My sisters and I and the neighbors daughter were spinning around with our eyes closed, sparklers in hand. I lit my sister’s hair on fire. Yes, that is not an exaggeration. I actually lit her hair on FIRE. I don’t think my Mom has ever screamed at me quite so much. Not exactly the picture perfect ending of a holiday!

Fast forward to my years with J. The first year, we missed the show because we were too late. The next year, we went on the wrong day. (Who has the fireworks show on a different day other than the 4th?! Lame!) The next year we didn’t want to drive the hour away to go see the show. The next year, we made it for the first time ever! It was magical. The year after that, J was sick. Not a great track record!

This year, I was looking forward to the fireworks so much. Our neighbor said that you could see them from the street outside our house! I thought to myself, oh this is going to be grand.

It wasn’t. For starters, you could hear the fireworks going off in what seemed like a circle of cruelty around us. Everywhere they’re firing off, and yet visually I got hardly anything. There were some teensy tiny fireworks way way far away, and ones that sounded so incredibly close that I couldn’t find. I can still hear them going off now. It’s like a war zone out there! I’ve never been surrounded by so many fireworks, and it just seemed like a cruel twist of fate that they’d be visually out of reach. If I had known I wouldn’t be getting a good show I would have planned ahead to drive somewhere! Alas, it wasn’t in the cards. All I can do is hope for better next year.

(Although honestly, every year I hope for a magical night on a blanket under the stars and my well-laid plans always seem to go awry)

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