Monday, July 4, 2011

Early Curmudgeons?

So here I am, in my office at my keyboard.  It’s the evening of July 4th, and fireworks are going off everywhere.  I’m just not into it.  What is it about July 4th that makes people say, “Yeah!  We’re ‘murrican!  Let’s get drunk and blow stuff up!”  Now, don’t get me wrong:  I occasionally like to see things get blown up, set on fire, or otherwise destroyed.  Say, watermelons or something.  But when it comes to Independence Day, it seems like common sense goes out the window.  So many people seem to use what is supposed to be a day of celebration as an excuse to behave poorly.

When I was a kid, July 4th was a lot of fun.  We got to play with sparklers and wave them around.  If we were really feeling naughty/clever, we could “write” bad words in the air with the sparkler.  We were also allowed to play with the “snakes” (little black tablets that, when lit, made moving tubes of ash).  When we got older, we were even allowed to light my favorite, ground bloom flowers (little spinning “flowers” of multicolored sparks).  An annual highlight was watching Mom or Dad light the carefully-chosen fountains.  It never seemed like enough; we would have been happy to watch the fireworks for hours.

Now, we live near a Native American reservation.  Reservations around here are known for selling illegal fireworks.  We’re not just talking about ½ sticks of dynamite, we’re talking about fireworks that launch into the air, making huge displays.  The fireworks that can be seen from any window in our house rivals professional shows.  Yes, there are that many of that quality.  It is what I imagine a war zone to be like, sans the combat, etc. (recurring, house-shaking explosions).   This is a fantastic, fun thing, right?  Well, if you enjoy them….

Maybe I’m becoming a curmudgeon before my time.  All day, I kept thinking about how I would get very little sleep due to the constant explosions, get up early to go to work and come home to a yard filled with other people’s fireworks debris.  Well, at least I’m not alone.  DH just came into my office and said, “I don’t really want to watch the fireworks.  Maybe I’m turning into a grump”.  Well, dear, then we’ll both turn into grumps together!

Here's a quick clip I took through my office window:


  1. Looks like you saw some fireworks anyway, curmudgeon or not. We used to go to the Yorktown Battlefield and listen to the band play Americana tunes and then watch the fireworks in a place where Freedom was Won. Most of our community was up at the monument it was a time to reconnect with friends. This year was a new experience in SC. Not a big fan of 'amateurs' blowing things up---goes on for days around here. My dogs are hiding under the bed or in the shower stall all night long.

  2. If you're curmudgeonly before your time then I am in real trouble because I can't stand the 4th of July. I am not a fireworks fan. I don't even like sparklers. I'm not really afraid of them, but they hold no appeal for me. Now that I live in the city I have to deal with the INSANE amounts of traffic that it brings in, and you pretty much hear fireworks all week long. It is OBNOXIOUS.

  3. I have no issues with fireworks - at a PUBLIC event on the holiday day. Like you, it's the neighbours lighting fireworks randomly (3 days after Canada Day here north of the border) that bother me. Just when you think it's over you're startled by yet another crack of explosives going off.

  4. I think fireworks are beautiful, but I was plenty grumpy to have neighbors setting off noisy things (probably illegal) until 1:00 AM. Ugh. Enough already! Set them off at dark and then shut the heck up!!!
    And a lovely canyon near my home was set on fire by careless folks. 80 acres burned. Such a shame. (No buildings were destroyed, although a few were threatened. And no lives were lost. But a lovely mountainside was blackened and now erosion will set in.)
    Where's Smokey The Bear when you need him?


I love comments - bring 'em on!