roman candles and black cats

Today I am winging my way to the Midwest. I know it sounds much better when it’s “winging my way to the coast” but it involves seeing my family so I couldn’t be happier. To top it off I will be spending yet another 4th of July in a lawn chair on my parent’s driveway watching a near 360 degree display of fireworks in the sky all around my hometown. There is something to be said for a rather flat landscape yielding a sky full of stars I almost forget exist. The big city will do that to you. Now I love New York in a way that only grows and deepens but I relish any time spend in the quiet, spacious “prairies” of my birth.

(seriously, this is from my parent’s front porch….they live in the country and have a small lake)

When I was little we always bought fireworks, not much but some stuff to do in the driveway before going to see the city fireworks either down by the waterfront or at the stadium (the waterfront rocked as long as you had bug spray but I never really liked the stadium). I started trying to get back to visit twice a year and the holiday weekend always seemed to be a good fit. Nothing much is going on artistically in NYC, it seems as though everyone leaves the city each weekend in the summer regardless, and there’s nothing like the Midwestern heat & humidity combo to put summer in perspective. And then the bonus of fireworks…

Now my Mom always tolerated the fireworks (hating the loud ones and fearing that my sister and I would catch our hair on fire with the sparklers), only putting up with them because we loved them so. My Dad was cool with most of them except for Bottle Rockets (illegal and there is a really crazy story from the past that I am not allowed to tell, it wasn’t our family, I swear) and the snakes (a little black disks that you light to make them ash upwards forming a snake and leaving behind a tar-like substance on the driveway).

So I am always able to coax him into stopping by a fireworks tent and grabbing some stuff. I’ve grown rather brave in the last two July visits. Now I can light the Roman Candle and hold it while multicolored balls shoot out into the night sky. I also tend to do about five sparklers at once (it’s not the same without my sister there) and never seem to get tired of writing my name in cursive.

What I love most is that I have all types of firework memories, come to think of it. There are various years of firework watching, each different and unique. Such as a family trip in Colorado where it was freezing (that toilet seat is making more sense upon reflection) and the booming sounds echoed around the mountain canyon, firing off black cats with other expats while living in the UK or standing on the walkway at the Astoria Blvd train station in my pajamas and flip flops.

This weekend I will make some more memories to add to the list and hopefully keep from catching my hair or the corn in my Dad’s garden on fire. I hope the sky is colorful where you are (and if you’re not in the States then I promise some pictures after the fact).

Take care,


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