It was a day of building excitement as the kids waited for evening. Probably the only evening they've looked forward to since Christmas.
We packed the suburban with chairs and blankets, backpacks with snacks and water, and the vehicle DVD player with Kung Fu Panda. Finally, it was time. The kids managed to keep their shoes on in the excitement and we piled in and drove down to the Bell Products parking lot.
Right on the other side of the building were the fairgrounds, where they light off the fireworks every year. It's a tradition, and I always get nostalgic sitting there by the railroad tracks, across from the river and downtown.
Lined up were cars full of other middle-class families. In the center kids played soccer, twirled sparklers, and threw poppers. Parents watched all the kids as their own and glare down any vehicles coming in too fast.
The ultimate community family.
The night sky came to life with the first pink and green explosions, quieting all four kids who looked up in amazement and joy as twinkles sprinkled down from above . The booms echoed off the valley walls and back. Smoky black powder- like smell filled the air.
I love Fourth of July. The sense of pride, community, and family are always strong and it's the only time a whole parking lot of people "oh" and "ah" at the same time...well, almost. There's always the "drunk guy" in the crowd making a butt out of himself until the family shuffles him to the car.
...but that's part of the atmosphere as well...
Hope all my American friends had a great 4th of July!