Growing up in Los Angeles the Fourth of July meant spending the day (and evening) at my aunt and uncle’s house in Silverlake among dozens of cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. The kids swam all day. The adults had horseshoe tournaments. And the women were in the hot kitchen cooking pasta and frying stuff.
And each year my cousins would illegally purchase fireworks and we would sit on the back steps in my uncle’s huge yard and watched my male cousins light off hundreds of fireworks – all the while watching the air for police in helicopters.
I hated it.
Oh sure, I sat there and watched and covered my ears with the horrific sounds some of those fireworks made and I twirled a stick around in the dark as the light sparkled until it ultimately waned.
These days in Idaho fireworks are not illegal so every single person up and down my street put on their own
annoying little show.
When we were in San Diego we would head to my parents place and watch the fireworks that the city of Oceanside put on over the harbor. Of course, that meant the night had to be clear and that wasn’t always the case with the foggy and overcast coast. Then Legoland was built nearby and we would sit on my parents deck and watch the fireworks happening at Legoland.
I don’t mind those types of pretty, colorful, in the sky kind of fireworks.
But I hate the ones that people buy on the side of the road and end up being loud, obnoxious, and short-lived.
Not to mention the dog.
Oh dear gawd, the dog.
She hates fireworks more than I do and every year it is the same drill. We keep her inside, blinds closed, and endure her barking and craziness for hours until finally – finally – the neighbors put their five hour firework show to bed. Even then it is never really over as there are pops and blasts happening all night and into the weekend.
This year I seem to dread the inevitable annoying fireworks even more since I am still recovering from a three-week long bout with bronchitis.
Fourth of July has changed a lot for me over the years. We are no longer in Los Angeles surrounded by family and the house has long been sold after my uncle died. For a couple of years when we first moved into this neighborhood we had a block party but even that doesn’t happen anymore since many original homeowners have since moved. But one thing hasn’t changed: the hours and hours of listening to fireworks in my backyard and the hazy smoke that will fill the near-hundred degree summertime air.