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Our 4th of July

July 5, 2006

This summer, I believe, will go down in our family history as The Summer That It Rained. And Rained. And Rained.

All looked good yesterday — it was hot as blazes and sunny, so once we were ready for our cookout, we got in the pool to cool off. Our guests arrived, we swam, we ate, we talked, and just as we were about to get everything cleaned up so we could head over to the fireworks site, we began hearing the distant rumblings of thunder. (Although I convinced one of our younger guests that it was just our next door neighbor’s pet elephant, Humphrey. Pretty good name for an elephant, don’t you think?)

So we got everything in the house — including the guests — and waited. There was thunder. There was lightning. There was a torrential downpour. There was even a brief period where we lost power and were stuck making small talk in a pitch black house. Just as the rain was starting to slack up, we decided to tune in to the radio station for the Official Word on whether the fireworks had been canceled. The announcer said that there was a 2 hour window between storm systems, and that the fireworks would proceed as scheduled, beginning around 9:30. Yay! Unfortunately, it was after 8:30 when we got that news, so we had to mobilize in a hurry. It was 9:00 when we left, and we got there with just a few moments to spare before the show started.

I had found an article on pointers for taking fireworks pictures but didn’t have time to read it thoroughly enough — mainly because it seemed I was going to have to read my camera manual. I hate reading manuals! — so I took both of my cameras and took copious amounts of pictures. Here’s one of the better ones I got with my digitial camera:

fireworks.jpg

I generally get pretty good pictures with my film camera, so it will be interesting to see which turns out better. I prefer film, but the digital camera provides me with some instant gratification, and I am all about that!

Anyway, about halfway through the fireworks show, it started raining again. Luckily, my brilliant husbandhad prepared for that possibility by bringing our patio umbrella:

fireworks2.jpg

About 5 minutes before the fireworks ended, we heard some sirens, followed by lots of flashing lights and emergency vehicles on the other side of the parking lot where we were parked. A man in a nearby car came over and said, “You all better be careful. Someone was just shot.” He got in his car with his family and left. Not too long after that, the ambulance came by, flashing lights and using the siren. One of the men in our group said that there was a person in the ambulance. The local news reports haven’t said anything about someone being shot, so I don’t know what happened. It rattled me enough that I wanted to put the kids in the car and hide, though. Just call me Chicken Little.

So, that one potentially scary incident aside, I can say that it was the wettest 4th of July we’ve ever had, but for the most part it was a lot of fun!

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