Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Independence Day 2010

So did you have a happy 4th of July? Or since my niece Chloe refers to the holiday by its official name, I suppose I should do the same. So did you have a happy Independence Day?

Did you eat lots of burgers, brats and potato salad? Or, if you’re a vegetarian – lots of potato salad, fruit salad, and tossed salad?! (And if you’re a vegan, well, I give up. I just hope you had plenty to eat!)

And I also hope you were able to spend time with your friends and family. That is the best part about holidays.

We had a good weekend, too. Busy, though. I mentioned the other day that we had seven events to attend in two days. It sort of kills me to say this, but…um…I was wrong. I know – it IS hard to believe! I’m hardly ever wrong! But it was actually seven events in THREE days, which made the schedule a whole lot easier to handle.

Okay, so not really. By the time Monday rolled around, I was exhausted. Slept ‘til noon – so I burned half a day of precious time off trying to catch up on my sleep.

On the upside, I saw more fireworks displays this weekend than I think I’ve seen in the past five years combined. We went to Red, White & Boom on Friday and then on Saturday saw a friend’s fireworks display that rivaled any suburb’s display. Not only that, but we saw several other displays off in the distance. And then, on Sunday, we inadvertently saw two different suburb’s fireworks displays because we got turned around and were driving in the wrong direction so we caught them coming and going!

We also watched the Washington DC and New York City fireworks displays on television – and let me tell you – those were impressive, particularly the NYC display, which featured six barges firing off identical fireworks simultaneously.

Fortunately, I’m no longer as susceptible to migraines as I once was because I’m pretty sure all those flashing lights could’ve set off a major headache.

Our gathering on Saturday was fun and interesting. This was on Vince’s side of the friend-o-meter and I really didn’t know anyone except the host. Well, besides Vince, of course. Clearly, this was an annual shindig as they’ve had several years to refine the program. It also shows you what kind of party you can throw if you have lots of land.

There was a 7-piece bluegrass band complete with cowboy hats, guitars and a banjo. Oh, and singing. There was a red-and-white striped tent that rivals any that Barnum & Bailey might have, under which long tables were set up and filled with every picnic-type food you can imagine. And there were two port-o-potties set up in different parts of the field for the comfort of the party-goers. (Well, except for me. I don’t do port-o-potties.)

There were even folks who brought their campers along and parked along the perimeter of the property ready for an all-weekend party. (I don’t know this for sure, but I imagine those folks were grateful for the port-o-potties. A weekend is an awful long time to hold it, especially since mass quantities of beer was being consumed.)

What was most fascinating about this party was that there was a veritable mountain of wood, branches and various other flora and fauna in a pile about the circumference of Epcot ready to be lit once darkness fell. This was no mere bonfire. Oh no. Had it been spotted by someone who was concerned about fire dousing, it would’ve been at least a five-alarmer.

Once the pyre was lit, the party attendees weren’t quite sure what was more interesting to watch – the fireworks to the left or the inferno to the right. Vince took several photos of the fire using people or the port-o-potty in the frame to measure scale. And it was…well…BIG. Not only that, but it was also HOT. As you might imagine.

Despite the weekend temperatures closing in on 90 degrees, it was rather chilly in the country once the sun set. Other people were prepared and brought sweaters and jackets, but we didn’t. We figured it was friggin’ 90 degrees outside and we couldn’t imagine the temperature dipping much below 70. Yes, we were wrong. OMG. Twice in one blog. What are the odds?

Happily, the inferno allowed us to keep warm once we moved our chairs a little closer. Of course, we had to move back about three times before we were able to open our eyes without risk of burning our corneas and singeing our eyebrows.

But we eventually hit the most optimal inferno-sitting distance and we sat and watched the dancing flames and reflected on how fortunate we are to live in this country and enjoy the freedoms we have. To be able to choose life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And to select which seven events we wanted to attend in three days.

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