3rd & 4th of July — Fireworks, cute shirts, threatening women, and wildfires
Well, golly. I started this on the 5th, but now that the 4th was a good… three days ago, it already seems old. Oh, well.
One of the good things about living in a megametropolis is that there are not only multitudes of firework shows on the 4th; you can always find displays on the 3rd, as well. (We found that out, last year, by showing up on the 4th for a display that never happened because it had been held the day previous. Bummer.) On the 3rd, one display was only about 7 miles from our house, and we thought that maybe we could see it from the backyard. But, after dark, we went out and had a look around and determined that there was no way that would be possible. So, we decided that Wesley and Grant and I would walk the 3/4 mile down to the end of the road to see if we could see them from there. (Ethan didn’t want to go, and Martin stayed home, since Audrey was in bed.) Since we left the house just a bit before 9:00 p.m., the boys were pretty excited because it felt, to them, rather clandestine to be out “so late,” outside. It was like the potential for fireworks were just a bonus to the adventure. Maybe I should have driven; I’m sure it was still over 100* out; it was a hot walk, even though it was dark out. But, when we got to the end of the road, there were the fireworks, just starting. We sat and watched for the 20 minute show. Indeed, there was no way we could have seen them from home: even with a clear view across the desert from where we were, the fireworks were no more than 5 or 10 degrees off of the horizon…
On the 4th, our family got the closest we have ever been to a firework display. Takes a small town, I guess. My father-in-law and his wife live in Desert Hills, which is adjacent to Cave Creek, which, despite its proximity to Phoenix (indeed, it’s now pretty much a suburb), has managed to maintain its small-town feel. It’s very much an “Old West” kind of place, with cowboys, real and those who just wear the garb, reigning. My in-laws themselves live on a few acres and have three horses (two that they own, and one that they board). My mother-in-law is more of a cowgirl than my father-in-law a cowboy, so she is abundantly thrilled that Audrey adores the horses, and loves to let their year-old colt, Chipper Boy, “sniff” her as she kisses his velvet nose.
Anyways, Carol works, very occasionally, at a clothing store, the Cave Creek Cowboy Company, which happens to be directly in front of the Post Office, and a field behind the P.O. was where they were lighting fireworks from. The owner of the store invited his buddies and employees, grilled hotdogs and hamburgers for everyone, and we all brought our own drinks and a side dish to share. I brought slaw, and our own homemade buns. A cake, too, but we left it, accidentally, at Herb & Carol’s house (we all came back and had a slice, late, after the fireworks).
Normally, I’m not a Western-wear kind of gal, but I found one of the best blouses EVER. With Carol’s employee discount, it was very reasonable, and I asked Martin if he’d buy it. He said, “Sure,” or at least I thought he did… Turns out he didn’t remember saying any such thing, but I didn’t realize that until after Carol had already put it on her debit with a few other things she was buying, too. Ack. So, we had a tense moment there, but it turned out for naught, because Herb and Carol ended up buying it for me, for my just-passed birthday, though Martin and I wondered if they were “inspired” to do so after one or the other heard our disagreement on the subject.
Anyways, here’s the shirt: (No, that’s not me; it’s from the Wrangler 20X website.) And, no, I don’t wear it knotted with my bellybutton showing, either. I did wear it on Sunday, unsnapped with a light blue tank underneath, maternity clothes be… darned. I love clothes with itsy details that probably only make a difference to me; this one has ’em in spades: rhinestone snaps, plus tiny brass grommets, a funky/unique pattern with little specks of silver (which you can’t see in the pic), and nifty, simple embroidery over the darts in the front and back.
Back to the fireworks, etc.: A storm blew in, which made us a bit apprehensive; we didn’t want the show to be cancelled. But, it quickly blew out, lowering the temps by a good 20-25*, leaving a breeze and only a few sprinkles. The same storm dumped many inches (some reports said up to 8″) of rain in the mountains a few miles to the west of us, where a raging, 9600 acre fire was threatening the small mountain community of Crown King, where my parents have a cabin that is about 90% of the way through a near-total rebuild. The rain all but extinguished the entire fire. Whew!
A little before the fireworks started, up walked a former co-worker of Martin’s. I must say, I was less than thrilled to see her, because in my hubby’s 17 years+ at his employer’s, this woman was the most blatant flirter ever, even right in front of me. Martin said, “So, you’re not in Florida anymore?” She said, “Nope. Got a divorce, moved out here, got a horse.” I don’t know why (probably rooted in some less-than-generous feelings towards her, unfortunately), but this description of events sounded really hilarious to me, and I couldn’t help but laugh. I didn’t feel any better about her when, after I came back from taking Audrey for a walk, there she was, planted right next to my hubby, chatting away, monopolizing his time. Thank God for husbands that are full of integrity. I wasn’t upset at him at all, just at her. Ugh.
Finally, nearing 9:00, the fireworks started. Being only a hundred or 150 yards from where the fireworks were set off, it was LOUD. Audrey liked it for about the first two or three, then decided that she’d had enough. I ended up taking her back to the truck, where she wanted to sit, clicked into her carseat. She put her blankie over her head, and there she stayed. She was OK if I shut the door, so I watched, standing right outside her window, getting sprinkled with ash and paper bits from the fireworks.
We didn’t get home until 11:00… it was a good night. Happy birthday, U.S.A.!!