Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy Birthday, Ralph--And America!

Our Fourth began on the night of the third. We bought a box of fireworks, and as soon as it was a little dark Jeremiah and his friend, Ian, got started. Isaiah was at a friend's house, so he missed out. I really did think of saving some for him, but it's like chips: you can't eat just one.

On the Fourth itself we went into town to help celebrate Ralph's birthday. Ralph and Leona are friends of ours who run a business in town. Every year family and friends and neighbors gather at their house for a feed and a fireworks display put on by their son. This year Ralph is 80, so they pulled out all the stops.
The boys were awestruck--and maybe a little scared--by the sheer firepower laid out in the street: $1,700 worth of flash and noise.
People finished their burgers and salad and had some birthday cake; the band played their last numbers, and anticipation grew.
As dusk deepened people began moving chairs down into the yard. Fireworks began to pop and sizzle around town. Then, without warning, the big show began.
Pieces of gritty ash, and some bigger chunks of spent ordinance, began to rain down on us. Kim and the boys kept moving their chairs farther and farther away in a vain attempt to escape.
But what a show.

When it was all over, Leona thanked us for coming, then heaved a big sigh of relief and said, "At least nobody got hurt."
Great party, Ralph.

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