Wednesday, July 04, 2007

this thing they call the 4th of July...

I remember fondly as a child living in California (you won't hear me say that often) and having huge block parties to celebrate the 4th of July.

Well more accurately it was a culdesac.

Every year we would bring out tables and table cloths, chairs, blankets and cushions. Flashlights, glow sticks, toys, bikes, skates. The tables would pile with food from every house. Each home would make its specialty.

What my home brought to the table every year was my mama's homemade oreo cookie ice cream. My brother and I would jockey for position to get a taste of that treat as she pulled it out of the freezer to check the consistency and let me tell you, we didn't give a shit about the consistency... it was that taste. It was heaven on a spoon.

When all was in place, the kids had stopped running like mad through the street and our bellies were full, then the fun would start. Our dads (always always the dads...) would bring out the bootie. Tall ones, short ones, skinny ones, wide ones, in boxes or wrapped, in stick or bomb they would bring out the fireworks. Everyone brought them.

Every. One.

Once all the fireworks were out, well every kind legally obtainable in our city, the lighting would begin.

It would start with those little snakes... that was the first firework I ever lit. I remember I singed my right index finger... just a little. It smarted. It wasn't a bad burn, but it hurt and it smelled of sulfur. To this day every forth of July I think of it and kiss the tip of my finger where the fire touched it.

Once we kids had finished up the litle ones and had our fun we would all move back to sit with our moms as the dads set to the task at hand, blowing. shit. up. responsibly(ish) of course. We would hold our sparklers, dance in our yards and spell out our names or our wishes and enjoy the big show that our families worked so hard to put on for us, and for themselves as well.

It was one of the few holidays that we could all celebrate together. No mater where our families started or what church we worshipped at (or slept through) on the 4th of July we were all a bunch of people celebrating the country we called home.

That's as apple pie as I'm gonna get for you all... enjoy it... my snarky ass will be back to normal tomorrow complaining about all the assholes who set off bottle rockets and mortars (hi daddy) and the poor air quality from all those fireworks and how everyone left all the spent carcases of their fireworks laying in the streets.

Oh, and to my readers elsewhere in the world "Hi there"

6 comments:

sybil law said...

Happy 4th!
Must go - celebrate.

mielikki said...

my neighbors have this habit of setting of their fireworks in out parking lot. Near all the cars. Every year I expect an explosion worthy of a special effects marathon. Every year, I hope its not my car. This year? I'm working. Its all good.
I burnt the hell out of a finger on a sparkler once. Boy did that smart.
happy 4th

DaddyKaos said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DaddyKaos said...

Bottle Rockets, bad, Mortars, good, (like the ones I smuggled into Oregon last year) thanks Homer!

landismom said...

That's so funny, we were just talking about those little snakes the other day, and how they are the safest fireworks for kids because you don't hold them! Guess I'll have to re-think that one. Happy Fourth!

The Holmes said...

Ah fireworks. Nothing like a little controlled indulgence of one's inner pyromaniac. Gotta love it.