Saturday, July 4, 2009

A 4th of July memory

As kids, my brothers and I loved the 4th of July. We were (and still are) a do-it-yourself fireworks family. Mostly because both of the houses we lived in here in Lakeland did not have neighbors that lived across the street, so we had to take advantage of the situation and shoot off all kinds of bottle rockets and other flying exploding pyrotechnics each July 4th. We have had roman candle duels in the street, we've blown up all kinds of junk from the garage with Black Cat firecrackers, we even had contests a few times where we would see who could launch a bottle rocket and hit the basketball backboard on the other side of the street. The smoke cloud over our house at the end of the night was probably visible from space. Anyway, even as all my siblings and I have married and had our own kids, we still either shoot off our own fireworks or still gather back at my mom and dad's for a night of fountains, rockets and sparklers. One of the most memorable 4ths, however, was when I was about 17 or so and we were shooting off bottle rockets at the end of the driveway. Somehow our bottle rocket launcher (yes, we actually constructed a bottle rocket launcher out of a coffee can filled with cement and then a pvc pipe stuck in the middle. Necessity IS the mother of invention..) tipped over right after we lit the fuses on two rockets and it was on the ground facing US. So we were were all sitting in our lawn chairs facing the street when we suddenly realized "FIRE IN THE HOLE!!" The bottle rockets came whizzing underneath our chairs and into the garage where they exploded under one of the cars. A tense moment, you might say. But certainly one I haven't forgotten :)

Exhibit A of our love affair with fireworks: My brothers having a sparkler duel two years ago....Don't worry, Chris is a doctor.

I totally trust him.

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