Holidays ...

Fireworks. Watersport. Family.

The 4th of July never disappoints, on any front. July 7, 2024

Some years, one gets a little more stage time compared to the others. We honor that, as the emotions run high when you bring everyone together for a few days each year–but we wouldn’t want to have it any other way.  We will take the drama, all of it, as long as we are together.

The fireworks display, in particular, has always been an area of every emotion possible.   Certain members of my family put it together and it adds a layer of fun, chaos, worry…and family stories that never die.

Our history of fireworks goes back years…

The 4th has always been enjoyed by a lake at our family camp in New Hampshire.

When I was little, 4th of July festivities started with family friends coming over to celebrate. Roger brought sparklers and a few firecrackers. He was always up for a good time and liked to bring fun for the kids–because he was actually the biggest kid at heart! 

He had an old cannon like my father did, so they would light them off, to create an echo effect from across the lake.  The neighbors were warned, “fire in the hole!” was shouted, and we all scattered and covered our ears. Boom! A tradition still today.

As the years went along, the fireworks got bigger with new characters being in charge of the display.  We added more height, color, and greater sound with every light.  We could hear folks from around the cove on their porches oohing and ahhing over our efforts.  

My grandmother was a worried mess on the day of our 4th celebration.  Now that I am older, I don’t blame her at all! 

Sometimes things would get shut down, and even a fireworks hiatus occurred for a year.  As a kid, I looked at the adults as spoilers.  Now that I am older, though, it horrifies me to think of the close calls we actually had.  Not to mention the destruction those things caused.  

Every year we laugh at our fails as we reminisce, and count our blessings that things didn’t go really wrong–we were very careful, despite the list you are going to see below.  

If you were a fly on the camp, these are some of the situations you would have witnessed:

  1.  We caught a bush on fire, out in front of the camp one year.  It went up like an inferno!
  2. The woods beside the camp caught on fire, and we had to do a mad dash to extinguish it.
  3. There was a firework that was designed to spin on a tree.  It spun so hard, it fell off, kept rolling and went under the camp.  That one required much scrambling, hooting, and hollering.  My poor grandmother nearly had the big one during that incident.
  4. Countless fireworks went into the water, causing a most interesting gurgling sound.  The fish got a show.
  5. And last but not least, the raft caught on fire one year.  In our desire to get the fireworks away from the property, we have gone to dragging the old raft out from shore and using it as our platform, far from the woods, people, and camp.  It also provided better visibility for our display and we figured, safer, as it was surrounded by water.  However, not so safe for a wooden raft.

And maybe it’s something about the day, the 4th of July, that wreaks pandemonium on our family–it’s not just the fireworks. One year, my cousin brought his new wake board. The longtime water skiers of the family decided to try it, and my sister fell so hard upon trying to get up on it that she ended up dislocating her jaw and got a concussion. Thank goodness for life preservers, and a bunch of good swimmers! She was okay, but, we put the wakeboard away and haven’t seen it since!

Safety first! I assure you, we are not a bunch of drunks, being haphazard and wreckless with fireworks and boats.  Just a family that tries to do the right thing, but somehow manages to have interesting situations find them on the 4th of July. 

It’s a fun day–and seems to define how my entire family stays together.

Gatherings like these are important.  A family that plays together–and works together–stays together.  And we all keep coming back!

I hope you had a great 4th of July!  Here’s to summer, staying cool, swimming a lot, and enjoying each other’s company.

With love,