July Is For Blowing Things Up

Before I get into the joys of blowing things up to celebrate American freedom, I'd like to briefly implore anyone who has access to a child to:

A - Keep them safe around fireworks, fires, flammable things ... you catch my drift. A local grade-schooler here on the river just did himself some serious damage by being allowed to handle gasoline near an open fire.

B - See if they really know what the words in the National Anthem mean. Otherwise it ends up being the Star Mangled Banner with lines like "Jose, can you see?" and "the home of the Braves." Personally, I have sang it at so many baseball games that I often hear a phantom echo of the words "Play Ball!" at the end of it. But really, how many kids have ever seen a rampart anyway? You can enlighten them as to the meanings of words in that first verse (we never sing the others) and then all they'll have to deal with is the near impossibility of hitting those high notes in the latter part of the song. It's not necessary to share that the melody is actually from an old drinking song. Save that tidbit of information for when they're older.

So ... back to blowing things up. Being born and raised in Southern California I never got my hands on many legal fireworks. It took a move to Oregon to give me that access. Yay, Oregon! Some organizations make their budget funds for the entire year just by throwing up a tent and waiting for folks to come empty their wallets there in pursuit of explosive bliss.

Then came a trip to New Mexico. Who knew that Texas chasers really chased you? Or that fireworks could bounce up into the air and off the ground several times and maybe end up on someone's roof? You could walk into a shack, plunk down your money and walk out with a firework that shot way up into the sky and massively exploded! What really blew me away was how everything there was just like tinder and yet extremely dangerous fireworks were, in fact, totally legal. Cool.

Our neighbor down the road just happens to have his
Oregon Pyrotechnics license. While we will still be lighting off our own stash of fireworks in our yard at some point in the evening this 4th, we also want to pitch in for his display this year and watch him ignite it. Good times.

Finally, I just want to convey blessings and gratitude to our military and their families at this time - you are appreciated!