Thursday, July 06, 2006

Texas Fourth

I talked yesterday with one friend from New York and one from California, and discovered that the Fourth of July is celebrated very differently here in Texas than elsewhere. In a big city, there are lots of flammable buildings crammed in close together and not a lot of open space to shoot off fireworks, for starters. That means you have to gather hundreds of thousands into an arena or on a river shore to watch the explosions -- it's safer that way.

Here in Big Sky country (with apologies to Montana) things are a little different. There are whole square miles void of any flammable buildings and plenty of space to stretch out in, so fireworks are plentiful. Plus you can see literally for tens of miles in any direction, so you've got an expansive view.

It's not unusual for very small towns or sometimes even neighborhoods to set up a big show, complete with the blossoming colored rockets you usually only see on TV. Heck, even Andice (pronounced "and ice" supposedly because a big storm split the sign over the only general store in town so instead of reading "Beer and ice" it just read "and ice" -- believe that or not as you like, we're gonna stand by it anyway), barely more than a junction in the road comprising no more than a hundred people, puts on a big display.

Granted, you have to be careful of brush fires and such, but we got a nice dose of rain in the last few weeks so that wasn't a problem this year. In fact, the photo at the right, taken from our yard, shows a big storm front that moved in earlier on the Fourth. It gives you an idea of the kind of horizon-to-horizon views that we have.

So on the night of the Fourth of July, 2006, Annie and I camped out on the back porch in our rockers, dogs cavorting around, and watched three different fireworks displays from three different cities on the horizon going off. It was quite a show. We didn't have to fight any crowds or pile into the car -- it was just us, the animals, and some mighty loud explosions. Off in the distance to the east were the remnants of that big storm front, and occasional sky-brightening flashes of thunderous lightning. Kind of nature's own fireworks, I suppose, and it somehow made everything just right.


anniesbuddie said...

WOW! I guess the stuff Annie & I watched on Saturday night was just the warm-up.
We had Mother Nature's fireworks on the 4th...sat in the LaFumas on the screened porch & watched the sky lighting up behind the pecan trees while listening to the rainfall.
Just going to have to save that box of aerials a little longer.

Denise said...

It was raining here, so like true Yuppies, Rick and I sat in his Toyota SUV, ran the air conditioner, listened to Bob Dylan belt out some tunes and saw the fireworks from the dry safety of a car!! In our defense, we did go out on the golf course to watch the fireworks, but when we were sitting there, holding an umbrella over our heads while the mosquitoes feasted on our ankles, we looked at each other, said, "We're CRAZY!" and headed to the safety of our car. Next year, we're putting a margarita machine in the back seat and really celebrating the Fourth!!