Tuesday, July 6, 2010


The girls woke up on the morning of The 4th asking about the fireworks.

They spent all day asking about the fireworks.

Around 3:00 they started planning their outfits for the fireworks.

They wanted to see fireworks.

Problem was, rain was forecast on and off all day. And in fact, I have never seen bizzaro rain like this before. Probably 3 or 4 times the sky would turn a deep dark gray and water would explode in the air. Afterward, it would clear entirely and we would see the sun again, creating an odd sort of steam in the heat. So, should we stay or should we go? The fact that we parents could not answer the question caused a blip in the brains of the children, sort of like what would happen on those old fashioned big black CD's we used to call records. Scratch thunk are we going to the fireworks?
Scratch thunk are we going to the fireworks?
Scratch thunk are we going to the fireworks?

(wait for it....)

Finally around 8:00 we decided to give it a whirl. Mind you, 8:00 is Genea's bedtime. But with all the other changes disrupting her anyway, what the heck, add a few more. The Husband and I, we generally have ambitious plans early on and as we lose energy and brain cells throughout the day, we jettison our ideas from our own sinking ship. Go early and have dinner at the festival? Meh. Nope. Bring a cooler full of drinks? Meh, no ice in the freezer. Forget it.

So we (I) packed up a few things and left the house. Outside it felt like we were in the shower with the water on scalding hot. Probably 90 degree's and 90% humidity. A hundred years ago we lived in Columbia, South Carolina for about 5 minutes during the late summer. It felt like that. We headed downtown towards the big festival the city puts on every year, with bands and beer tents every 2 steps and tons of awesome food every 10 steps, and set about the process of trying to find a good spot to watch the fireworks. People start coming out around noon to stake out their spots for the show and so the really good spots were simply out of our reach and we never even bothered with those area's. We snaked our way through the hundreds of hot, smelly people, who had been at the festival for many hot, humid hours.  What is it about a festival that inspires the hairiest of men to strip dignity and shirts off in public? There should be a law. With the rain and the heat and all that beer, one might imagine the smells rivaled those of the dead. Icky. Super raging colossal icky.

But we shoved on.
(wait for it....)

I want to take a minute to tell everyone about the personal sacrifice I made here, for the love of the children. I love fry bread. Love it more than chocolate. Love it more than ice cream. Love it more than buttercream cake with buttercream frosting (though that one is close). I LOVE fry bread. It's that stuff you can only get at festivals usually, sometimes it's called Elephant Ears too. It seems to be a batter that is sort of snaked into a vat of boiling oil until it turns a beautiful golden brown color. The Fry Bread Master then retrieves it, shaking powdered sugar over the magical result. Oooooooh, it's a fabulous thing. If it is prepared by a highly skilled Fry Bread Master,  a luscious sugary grease should blow up in your mouth after just the right amount of crisp is bitten into.

Oh yeah, um, anyway. I had to forgo my fry bread for several reasons. Purchasing one item, any item, is the start of a slippery slope. Once they know we can buy things, the children suddenly want one of everything. Then, the mess. Then we would need drinks and after drinks, a bathroom. Well there are none of those. Just port o' pots. Right. No. For the children, for the love of the children. Lastly, with the heat and the excitement we raised our puke potential to a level orange  (serious threat).

We finally found a good spot, sort of. It was behind some of the early stakers who brought their living room furniture with them evidently. They had a coffee table between their recliners and the space above the coffee table was just perfect for 2 small children to see over!

We waited. And waited and waited. Genea was about out of her skin in the 2 inches of unused space we had marked out for ourselves. Up- down up- down twirl-around up-down. The show not scheduled to start until 9:45 (does that seem unusually late to anyone else?) it blessedly began quite close to on time. It was then that we realized we had made a horrible mistake. The fireworks were going off directly over the tree's we had perched by. Sigh-double -sigh. SIGH!

Okay, also at this point the sky began to spit on us.

After a few minutes I scoped out a better spot that Genea and I could cram ourselves into just in front of the living room when one of the inhabitants got up to pee. We were sitting in the dirt but the view was better. The sky continued to spit and the size of the spit got bigger causing a group a few rocks down from us to abruptly leave. Score! I moved Genea and I, and then Teena down to the rocks where we had a great view. The rain continued its assault, picking up pace until there was no denying, it was raining. I had stashed some garbage bags in our stuff to sit on in case the ground was wet and they were repurposed to cover us instead. The wind picked up and our garbage bags were flapping, the rain was falling and I was torqued so uncomfortably on my filthy rock that I knew I would be attached to my tens unit for the next few days.

And it was totally worth it because fireworks are freaking awesome!!! But it was even more awesome to have the girls see fireworks for the first time! I could have watched their beautiful little faces instead of the show because they were that thrilled! They were amazed and awed and a little scared the droopy ones would fall on them just like I was when I was little!

It was so cool. 


  1. What a great experience! I hope someday GB will be able to enjoy fireworks, too.

  2. Success! Those first fireworks are priceless....they are like magic to kids (OK to adults too, after what we go through to get them there!).

    Loved your post...felt like I was there with you, smelly hairy man-chests and all. What is it with them, anyway? And...bummer about the fry bread.

  3. How could you have run out of ice? On a Holiday weekend?? Just Kidding....sounds like tons of fun even without a cooler full of something yummy like V8 Splash and Malibu Rum?? I wish our town had something fun like that on the Fourth. Too many rules around here.

  4. You know the fireworks did their magic with my kids, too - after that horrible day with Ilya stomping away and Anastasia being held down, and me nearly having mama-meltdown. We took all ours and Maxim to the fireworks and they sorted us out.

    Only, having had the horrible wait in previous years, this year I planned poorly and, instead, was racing across town hoping, oh! hoping they hadn't begun when we got there. The good places were taken, but we parked in an illegal place - what the heck, at that point?!

    And they were beautiful, and brought out the good in all of us.

  5. Loved this post. They also have fry bread at Pow Wow's. I highly recommend Pow Wow Fry bead.

  6. We're just across the time-zone line from you, so ours don't start until 10:30. 10:30!!! Seriously, that could certify us. But you're right. Completely worth it. And there used to be a day when it would not have been. So yay.

  7. I just have to say that you so totally ROCK for fighting the crowds and the rain!!!! My Spawn elected to forgo the fireworks this year (I'm really tired Mommy, but we can go next year right?) So we stayed home and watched TV.

  8. ok...first, it took me 5 1/2 hours to read your post today because every time I would start, somebody would poop, or need to poop, or smell poop, or act like a poop and I would get side-tracked.

    but finally, What a priceless picture you painted!


  9. For sure, the fireworks were totally worth it! De, I'm glad you kept on trying when poop was calling you all day!
    10:30 is awful, we could not have done that! Next year you come here.
    Malibu and v8 you say? Hmmmm.....
    SPP the first time I had fry bread was cooked for my by a friend who is Navajo--- unbelieveable awesome stuff!
    I tried to get the girls to watch the Macy's fireworks on TV but the screaming changed my mind right away, lol!
    FSC, the deoderant was failing in droves- bleh.

  10. How cool! I'm so happy for you guys. And is fry bread the same thing as funnel cake?

  11. You have made such progress! Great story!

  12. You have made such progress! Great story!

  13. Can I just say Elephant Ears ROCK?!! They are by far my absolute favorite thing associated with summer.. Yummy. I totally would have made some type of excuse to get alone and sneak off to scarf one w/o the kiddos knowledge.

    I absolutely <3 the fireworks but this daylight savings crap is KILLING ME.. We used to be in one of those few areas that refused to conform.. We stayed the exact same time Year round.. no springing forward only to fall back again.. Then our stupid governor decided it would be a great idea for us to go to Eastern time.. US!! Fireworks weren't even scheduled to start until 10pm.. because it doesn't get dark until at least then. UGH!

  14. I love fry bread! I love fireworks! I do NOT love smelly hairy strange men.

  15. is fry bread the same thing as funnel cake?

    great post

  16. BTW, I've never tasted an Elephant Ear. So, at your recommendation, the next time I see one....

  17. Oh yeah, it is the same as a funnel cake. And they are AWESOME!

  18. We call them funnel cakes here in Toronto (I guess other places as well). Even better with creamy vanilla soft serve and strawberries on top!

  19. hey you get spam in chinese, you have made the big time now!
    Great story, one of those " remember that day" stories you can save for later, my friends calls them " making memory days"


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