When I was growing up it was the usual Black Cats, sparklers and Roman candles. My dad would light one of those stinky old cigars and it would burn forever with my brothers sneaking an occasional puff. It's glowing red tip was perfect for lighting our firecrackers. I shudder to think of all the hazards my four brothers and I skimmed by without a single accident. God was watching out for us.
But my daughter has grandparents who live on a farm. In the middle of nowhere--where almost any type of fireworks is allowed or at least ignored as long as there isn't a burn ban in effect. Over the years Tony's celebration of all things that go bang has grown to include all my brothers and their families, even neighbors have opted out of the town fireworks to come out to Dad's farm for the big show. The kids have traveled two hundred miles to get the "big stuff" over the state line and bring it back. Everyone in the family contributes to the staggering pile of gunpower filled canisters waiting to illuminate the night sky for our delight. Golly we have fun.
The whole things doesn't always go off without a hitch, mind you. Twice we've been rained out. Once, because of a custody battle with my daughter's ex, my grandson couldn't be there for the 4th. No problem. We moved the whole celebration to Labor Day so Josh could enjoy it with us. I think that was my favorite Independence Day. He felt so special because we saved everything so that he could be there.
Now, the whole thing is noisy and crowded and I love every minute of it because it's become a family affair. Cross your fingers and pray it doesn't rain us out this year. I've got a trunk full of firecrackers in my car.