Monday, July 5, 2010

The Natives Were Restless

Sunday night before sundown, we took a drive west of town to look at some storm clouds that were hovering darkly over the horizon. When we got back into town, the streets were absolutely deserted. You would have thought the town was dead, but you would have been wrong. All of a sudden, as we drove past the Cozy, a burst of green and gold sparks exploded overhead. A little cluster of people were setting off fireworks on the lot where the old Phillips 66 used to be. We pulled over to watch, but soon saw that there were fireworks going off all over town. Getting home was like driving through a war zone. At every turn, we ran into rogue firework displays being set off in the middle of the street. The skies were filled with shrieking and popping.

We decided to go to the high school, to watch it all from the bleachers, but it was very windy and cold, so we didn't stay there long. We went back to the house to light our own fireworks. I had bought some from the Ness City Rotary Club, which had set up a stand inside the old Auto Parts building.

I got one of those whirly-deals that you nail to a telephone pole and light it and it spins around and shoots sparks. I always thought those were cool. I got a couple of helicopters. One was a dud. The other one spun around and lifted off and buzzed off into the air. Very cool. Dang, I wished I had more of them. The lady selling fireworks had thrown in a pack of 5 roman candles for free, but they were cheapy roman candles, and were kind of boring. I had sparklers and black snakes and glow worms for the girls. The whole time we were outside, the night sky was exploding with colors and noise from other fireworks in the neighborhood. Siss! Boom! Crack! Kablooey! Sizzle! Sparks shooting, flying, raining down.

Since I've been an adult, I've mostly lived in places where fireworks are outlawed. You go take your lawn chairs to some outdoor display, sit there and "ooo" and "ahh", and then you sit in a horrendous line of cars to get out of some clogged parking lot. I can't get too excited about that. But shooting off your own fireworks in a town gone wild is something else again.

Today the girls and I played tennis, and scattered across the courts and the school yard were little scraps of burnt cardboard, the crash-landed remnants of a high-flying 4th.


  1. there is nothing like shooting off one's own fireworks. you describe it perfectly!

  2. My fave fireworks are bottle rockets (illegal), helicopters (a.k.a buzz bombs) and tazmanian devils. I have also heard of a little ground thing called a "hen laying eggs." I guess it sits on the ground and shoots off little fireball "eggs." Next year I'm gettin' me some.

  3. Yeah, I love those helicopters (buzz bombs).

  4. what i really wanna know is.....just how many days of vacation a year do librarians get, anyway??? i think i should have gone in to library science, 'cause miss monie always seems to be going "off" on a trip somewhere.

  5. Ha ha. Yeah, I admit I manage to work in lots of trips. Here's the thing ---I've always looked for jobs that would allow lots of vacation time. That's more important to me than pay. Librarians don't get paid a lot, but the upside is, it's a more lowkey job, and so it's easier to take off. Plus, colleges are good, because they close on holidays, so those are extra days you get off. I only had to take off two days this time, because we got Monday off for the 4th. We have a fairly generous PDO benefit. We get 10 PDOs for any reason, and then we accrue 1 vacation day a month on top of that--so 12 vacation days plus 10 equals 22 days. And we can roll over 10 vacation days if we don't use them. I work for a private, not-for-profit college. If they ever start cutting my vacation time, I'm out of there.

  6. totally agree that time off is more important than pay. i'm so glad that you are able to take the trips.....'cause then you write about 'em and we get to read about 'em. and that's a vacation of the mind...kinda..sorta..for me.