Monday, July 4, 2011

I Can See Your Fireworks

I'd been feeling a little glum today that I wasn't going to get to see any fireworks this year.  My kids are too little to stay up for the city fireworks and the family fireworks/gatherings were largely shifted or changed this year such that there were no fireworks this weekend.  I had settled on watching the NYC fireworks on TV and they were incredible. B and M watched too as they cycled through baths and M declared them "amazing"

But it just isn't quite the same as live...

 I have been lucky enough to see some truly big fireworks in person (DC - 4th of July  & Paris - Bastille Day).  That said, I've gotten to see some much more personal fireworks in small towns -- my personal favorite being Okeene, the site of the Dotter family gatherings most 4ths of July.  (You can read my sister's synopsis here).  We have had smaller still fireworks at the lake and I've loved the fireworks at all sizes.  I particularly love the Dotter family fireworks where everyone sings patriotic songs along with the show--- we are singers all, for those not familiar with our musical traditions.

Today, it looked like it would just be the tv and New York's show (I am partial to DC's, for sentimental reasons).  However, at 9:30 I began to hear the tell-tale popping sound of fireworks all around.  I wandered outside in hopes that just maybe I'd spot one.  As luck would have it, I could see small fireworks in a few different areas, all to the north where there are fewer buildings and less light pollution.  I sat on my driveway for awhile just enjoying the most convenient show ever and being pleased that we live on a very slight hill, which is a great advantage in very flat Oklahoma.  About fifteen minutes later, the shows were quieting down and I went back inside to await the "big" city fireworks at 10pm.  I had attempted to view them last year with little luck, but thought I'd try it.

At 10, I could hear the popping firing all around so I went out and to my great delight I had a perfect few of fireworks just to the northwest. (Deer Creek?) It was ideal.  Standing in my own front yard on a relatively perfect night with a great (although not completely unencumbered) view of the whole show.  To the east, there were traces of the Edmond show and due North down the street several smaller fireworks continued.  Still no luck to the south.  I tried to wake B to join me, but he was too far gone.  Brent joined me for a moment, but headed back in, and soon I stood there alone in my long dress, in my damp grass on a quiet Oklahoma night enjoying the fireworks thanks to a flat state filled with many tiny towns celebrating all around me.

 Suddenly, I was back to car and airplane rides in my life on the 4th where I have gotten to see tidbits of shows all around in the flat of the dark Oklahoma night.  This celebration of freedom and sharing of light across the state is a treasure I haven't found as much elsewhere, even in the lights of the DC fireworks that lit our way  as we drove away home to Oklahoma one brilliant 4th of July night. We returned to the small town fireworks and ease of celebrating in our own front yard.   Who knows, if we're not with family next year, maybe I'll host a fireworks watching party randomly here in my own front yard where we can see a great show and many little shows all celebrating together.

We are so lucky to live in this amazing country and to enjoy the treasures of our own little state.  Thank you to those like both  Brent and my  Grandfathers and my cousin Jason who have fought to make that possible.  There are not enough words to thank you for the sacrifices you have made so I get to have simple pleasures like this, but know you and all those that are and have served are in our hearts and prayers.

Happy Fourth of July! I hope you found some fireworks to light this magic night and if not, come join me next year as the view from here is just right. 

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