Our 4th of July Tradition

We live in the city. And the city has an ordinance on the books that says we can’t shoot off fireworks within the city limits.

So where’s city folk like us supposed to go to shoot off the fireworks we HAVE to buy each year? (I have two teenage boys – it’s sort of REQUIRED that we spend money on things we can legally blow up).

Why, to my in-laws, of course.

Way back when, we used to take the boys to fireworks shows – shows that were sponsored by churches or by the city. But over the years, those places have stopped putting on firework shows because they’re terribly expensive and with budget cuts and what not, well, they just couldn’t afford to do it anymore.

I have no idea where other people go to shoot off, or see, fireworks, but we’re lucky enough to have family who live on the outskirts of town and who very graciously allow us to come and leave char marks on their nice lawns. 🙂

We have gone over to Kevin’s parents’ house for, oh, several years now. His mom usually has food for us and this year, Kevin took over the BBQ and cooked us hamburgers and hotdogs. While he manned the grill, I helped his mom set the table and the boys took advantage of the time to shoot off bottlerockets.


They set up a PVC tube and used it to systematically shoot off bottle rockets … for HOURS. Dude loves bottlerockets, Jazz loves smoke bombs, and that’s how our boys spend the evening hours, blowing stuff up while we wait for night fall.


Sometimes, Kevin’s sisters’ families join us, which is always a lot of fun, but most of the time, it’s just us, Kevin’s parents and his uncle doing our own thing. The entire neighborhood gets into the spirit of the holiday and before long, the skies light up, fill up with smoke and it looks and sounds like a war zone. We have some pretty good fireworks, (in my opinion), but my in-laws’ neighbors must spend a FORTUNE because theirs is ALWAYS very impressive.

In fact, this year, all of us “old folks” were sitting around waiting for the guys to get set up, when we looked up and there was this miniature hot air balloon floating past us. Apparently, it’s some firework you can shoot up into the air and it expands into a hot air balloon and drifts off; it falls to the ground when the fuse burns out. It was the coolest and most peaceful thing I’ve ever witnessed on the 4th of July.

We’re totally looking for those next year. (I wish we had taken a picture of it).


The boys absolutely love the 4th of July. And they’re at an age now that they completely take over shooting them off. We can just sit back and enjoy ourselves. (Though Kevin, who also LOVES this time of year, usually gets up to “help” after a while. Actually, I got up to help, too, only I wasn’t helping because I enjoy shooting them off, [I’d rather just watch], but because a storm was blowing in and we needed to shoot all of our fireworks off before the rain hit).

I must say, we picked out some pretty awesome fireworks this year. (Actually, Kevin talked to the guy in charge and asked him what was the best – he didn’t steer us wrong), but I think we bought too many. Not only did we buy a lot, but Kevin’s uncle bought a lot, too, so it took us a while to shoot them all off.

We had just shot off the last of our stuff and was walking through the yard, picking up debris, when it started to rain.

We stuck around and had some dessert and talked about the more exciting points of the evening.

My MIL made an ice cream cookie sandwich and Dude ate the whole thing.


(Oh, to be young and skinny enough to handle all of those calories at 10:00 o’clock in the evening. *sigh*)

We finally got home at midnight.

And that was our 4th. We never really do anything exciting, we just hang out with family and stuff our faces.

But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

P.S. Jazz felt bad because he placed his lighted punk on one of the tables to go in and get something to drink, and it sort of marked up the table. I hope my MIL was able to get the black mark out. Oops!)

P.S.S. Since I’ve been digitizing old movies, I’ve been noticing my hillbilly accent (which I never really knew I had before I started watching those videos). Kevin has been giving me a hard time about the way I talk, so I started paying attention to how he talks and though his accent isn’t as bad as mine, still, he HAS one. Ha!

P.S.S. See my in-laws’ pergola? That’s where Kevin got the idea for our pergola. They have have a fountain and everything!


America is not a country ‘chosen’ by God but rather ‘blessed’ by God

Rush Limbaugh was in Joplin Missouri yesterday and gave this motivational speech:

Whether you like Rush or not is irrelevant. (Do I like Rush? Meh. I think he takes his satire too far at times, but his messages are pretty powerful. Don’t disagree with me if you’ve only heard snippets of his show a few times in your entire life. It’s not an “informed” opinion if you’re not informed). LISTEN to his message. It’s about how great America is and how this country provides opportunities for everyone – it’s up to the individuals whether they take those opportunities or not. (Notice I said “take them,” not stand there with their hands out and expect someone else to give it to them).

Rush delivered a message about American Exceptionalism that focused on the uniqueness of our country’s founding 235 years ago. He spoke of the importance of freedom as well as America’s tradition of helping those in need.


Though I appreciate Rush making an appearance and giving the good people in Joplin a much-needed boost, I think pulling a semi full of his tea was a little tacky. Granted, he gave it out for free, but still, it seems a little unsavory to advertise one’s wares in a disaster zone.

At any rate, I thought it was a good speech and thought I would pass it along. It seems the “trend” nowadays is to make America out to be the bad guy and I think it’s high time we start fighting back and REMINDING people just how great this country is.

I skimmed through the comments on The Blaze’s article and I find it terribly interesting that liberals can do nothing but insult the man. They never give a REASON why they dislike someone, it’s always the same “he’s ugly,” “he’s an idiot,” comments.

I always want to say, “Dude, what’s your issue? Who cares what the man looks like or how you rate his intelligence, what exactly is your beef with what he is saying??

I mean, let’s be rational a moment, shall we? WHAT exactly about Rush’s speech offends people so much? He talks about how GREAT America is. He talks about the power of the INDIVIDUAL. He talks about America’s sacrifices and strength. He talks about how Joplin will rebuild and be better than ever and how they will set an example to the rest of the country about how INDIVIDUALS, how PEOPLE will come together and make it happen because that’s what people do when there’s work to be done – they roll up their sleeves and they get it done.

They’re not EXPECTING the government to do it for them.

What exactly is there to take offense to?

I think people who take offense at motivational speeches like these are so entrenched in their own hateful biases that they can’t see beyond their self-imposed bitterness.

How terribly sad and shallow.