It’s Sparkler Time

4th of July has been a problematic holiday for me. I’m very patriotic, and I love the food (is there anything better than a slightly burnt beef hot dog off the grill, accompanied by potato salad, baked beans, and Classic Lays? No, there is not!), but the fireworks… they are an issue.

There are three basic scenarios when it comes to fireworks:
Scenario 1: You can shop around, sometimes weeks or months in advance, even to the point of crossing state lines, to buy your own. As a kid I loved those giant prepackaged deals that had all types of fireworks in them. These can be great for the younger crowd, but there is such a feeling of disappointment when they have all exploded or fizzed out. No matter how big the package or how great the price, you still wish there were more. Also, now that I’m a grown up, I’d have to be the one to light some of the fireworks and clean up afterwards. And I’ve always hated those burnt marks that are left on the street. Ugh.

Scenario 2: You can go see a live fireworks show. First you must scour the Internet to determine the where and when and how. Then you have to pick the right outfit and shoes to withstand grass or mud. You have to bring water, snacks, and possibly folding chairs or blankets. Then you have to figure out the exact right time to arrive, which should be early enough that the parking situation isn’t too bad but late enough that you aren’t waiting hours for the thing to start. You have to deal with crowds of people and tons of food trash. Don’t want to park, walk, and stand for hours? You could do what we did one year- drive all around the city trying to find the perfect spot to see the fireworks, thereby missing most of the actual show. Jeesh.

Scenario 3: You can lounge around the house, eat a fast food dinner, and view whatever fireworks show you can find on TV. This is a more comfortable and less stressful option than the others, but it often comes with a general feeling of sadness. You feel like you should be doing more; after all, it is the holiday celebrating our national independence, and, gosh darn it, you are not at work! Sigh.

I have endured the angst- and occasional triumphs- of all of these scenarios because I love those store bought fireworks that spin around really fast and make that whirring sound and spit out colored sparks. I love that loud crackling and popping sound you can hear at a live show. I even love the music they put with those fireworks shows on TV. Fireworks are make-you-feel-like-a-kid thrilling and a great way to celebrate, so you just have to count the cost and go for it one way or the other. This year we’ve chosen Scenario 1 by way of a potluck at a friend’s house. It’s sparkler time for me! Woo hoo! : )