"I know for sure that everything in life happens to help us live."
Oprah Winfrey

Wednesday, January 4

Starting things off with a bang...

. . . literally.

Down south - in the Carolina region, anyway - they have a charming custom that accompanies bringing in the New Year. They shoot off fireworks, lots of fireworks. Not your run-of-the-mill firecrackers, sparklers, and fountains. Oh nooooo! We're talking fly-in-the-sky, pseudo-professional fireworks here! Those ones that shoot up ever so high, then explode and crackle with colorful designs and noise.

Jim (I'm convinced he's a repressed arsonist!) started at about 10 on New Year's Eve, and proceeded to entertain the rest of us with loads of pyrotechnic wonders, saving an especially pretty and noisy finale for the midnight hour. Up and down the street, many of his neighbors were doing the same. Lots of colors, lots of noise, lots of celebrating.

It was all extremely impressive, considering Maryland has outlawed everything except those black, curling, smoky snake things - maybe sparklers are still legal too, I don't know. I'm really amazed at what's available out there to the regular Joe Blow, backyard fireworks aficionado. Dramatic and pretty, to be sure, but somewhat scary too. These things are nowhere near as safely manufactured as what the big boys use, and indeed, we did have one major malfunction that sent everyone scurrying to get out of the way. Everyone except me, of course... I couldn't move fast enough and would've hurt myself trying to get unwrapped!

So there I sat, on my folded Redskins throw so my butt wouldn't get cold on the concrete step, all bundled up in my coat, gloves, and a borrowed pullover hat from my youngest grandson. I'd also borrowed a throw from my eldest grandson, and was warmly snuggled in, tethered to my oxygen, and enjoying watching the pretties at a relatively safe distance.

At one point, Jim lit a particularly large display, one that held a number of explosive charges that shot into the sky and did their colorful thing. After about 10 of these had gone off without a hitch, the stupid thing fell apart, leaving 4 large explosive charges whirling madly on the street and shooting off wildly in every direction, across his and his neighbors lawns (dormant grass lawns... dormant Southern grass lawns that turn brown and burn nicely when lit by errant fireworks on a chill December eve!) So, one of those things was coming straight at me and I had an instantaneous vision of exploding oxygen (and me!) all over the place! It ultimately veered off and ended up under a car, where it safely fizzled out, but it was, shall we say, almost an early finale! Save for a minor scorching of a neighbor's lawn, and having the snot scared out of us - heh, heh, heh - it was a fun time.


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