Our little town has rarely ever had our Fabulous July Fourth celebration on July 4th and this year was no exception. In fact, they didn’t even have it in July this time, choosing to have it on June 29 instead.
One of the things I really enjoy is free fireworks; I mean, if someone is going to light a fire to money, I want to see it so yesterday we made our plans to pack up some water, pop some popcorn and go see how much money our town was going to burn when, to our dismay, it started to rain.
“Mom, I think they’re going to cancel the fireworks,” Katie told me glumly.
“I think so too,” I agreed. However, our town rarely does things like other towns so I wanted to get confirmation.
I called the local busybodies but none knew of a single way to verify if the fireworks were cancelled. In the meantime, the rain changed from a drizzle to a downpour.
I knew I should just give up but I was convinced that if I did our kooky little town would slog through the mud just to spite me; by golly I wasn’t going to miss this so I finally called the local police department. The fireworks were still scheduled.
Katie and I looked outside and back at each other. It was pissin and pourin out there and neither of us wanted to brave it.
“You know,” I offered. “We could just drive to the park and sit in the van.”
Katie’s eyes bugged out as she whirled to look at me. “Mom! You are too cheap to spend money on parking and we both know it!”
I nodded. “You got me there.” So we sat and thought and watched it rain.
“You know, I don’t think they’re going to be able to have the fireworks tonight anyway.” I offered.
Katie agreed. “And if we paid for parking they probably wouldn’t give us our money back either.”
So we sat and thought and watched it rain some more. Since we live fairly close to the park I stepped out on the front porch to listen. I could hear the band playing, even in the downpour. Katie thought I was crazy until she came out and heard it too.
“You don’t think they’re actually going to shoot those fireworks in the rain, do you?” I asked my daughter.
“If they do, they won’t have to put out all the fires like they did last year,” Katie replied.
So I stood and I listened and watched it grow dark. Soon we would know just how crazy our tiny little town was and part of me suspected that they were just crazy enough to light those things despite the downpour.
I finally figured out what to do. “C’mon, Katie, let’s go!”
Katie looked at me funny. “I don’t want to walk in that, Mom.”
“We’re taking the van.”
Her mouth fell open. “You’re paying for parking?”
“But how are we going to watch if we don’t pay for parking?”
“Come on and I’ll show you!” We ran to the van and waded through traffic until I located the perfect spot – an empty shoulder alongside of the road right across the street from the fireworks celebration. While I could have pulled into the grass on the proper side of the road, the rain and mud made me fear that we might get stuck so I stayed in the gravel for safety.
Katie hopped in the back and opened the sliding door while I leaned the driver’s seat back. There was a street light shining in my eyes so I blocked it with my hand and we waited, taking bets on whether they would cancel or not.
As we sat there vehicle after vehicle pulled into the park and we imagined what we would do if we had the money those folks were paying for parking. In the distance, we could even see the bystanders shivering as they sat on the bleachers in the rain.
“This was a good idea, Mom!”
Eventually our patience paid off and the fireworks began. At times it was raining so hard I was surprised that they could even light those things, much less persuade them to go up in the air but they did just the same. Thank you China for producing such lovely waterproof fireworks – there is nothing quite like watching fire in the rain!
While the pauses between booms were virtually nonexistent (probably because those guys wanted to get out of the rain) we had a nice little display of boom booms and colors that evening. Finally there was silence so Katie and I buckled up and drove off to beat the traffic.
To our surprise, several minutes later one last big BOOM came from the park. I guess the rain gave them trouble on the last one. We watched it through the trees as we headed to the grocery – we figured we may as well grab some food since we were in the van already.
We were met by Mr. A as soon as we pulled in front of our house. He had seen us leave and had been worried sick that something horrible had happened. You see, not only did we actually drive the van, we drove the van in the rain AFTER DARK. Poor guy, I didn’t mean to scare him!
Anyway, he helped us in with our food, relieved that we were safe and well before bidding us a good night. We are so blessed!