Happy July 4th!

July 4, 2013 in Random Pedaling

Decorated bike for the City of Coppell July 4th parade.

Mom and I went all out last year, actually the past two years, during the holiday.  We purchased flags, pinwheels and patriotic ribbon to decorate our bikes.  We had a blast riding to Starbucks and through the park.  The pinwheels flipped around on her basket, while the flags flapped on the back of my commuter.  The decorations stayed on past the 4th, 5th, and 6th, but eventually we took them down.

Mom retired this  year.  Yay mom!  She worked for Alief Independent School District for 31  years.  Retiring from a school district in Texas is so complicated that those retiring beg for help. Those who survived the process listen to the sobs over a cup of coffee, and share horror stories of what happens if papers aren’t signed on certain days.   Thanks to the complicated system, our 4th is postponed so my mom can jump through hoops.  Without her to ride with me to the City of Coppell’s July 4th parade, the decorations are on my patio instead of my bike this year.

I loved July 4th when I was a kid, mainly because of streamers and fireworks.  I loved the smoke bombs, and the sparkling spinners that flew in the air.  We purchased roman candles, which my father set up in bricks promising that it was safer than holding.  Now I know that he was right, but at the time I was jealous of the neighborhood kids who chased each other with colored fireballs.

Black cats were a source of contention between me and my father.  He urged me to set off the entire pack.  I found the act wasteful, and made him purchases his own pack so I could unravel mine.  Why settle for 5 seconds of noise, when you could have 150 individual chances to play with fire?  Dad also enjoyed the terrifying BOOM from the loudest fireworks.  I think his favorite was called a magnum, or a 150?  The mini-bomb was a quarter in diameter and sat about two inches tall.  One year we learned that these were no longer legal, but the fireworks stand owner was a neighborhood friend, and sold my dad a few on the side.  I imagine they aren’t allowed because they sound like a house exploding, or because they ruptured the ear drums of terrified children all over Mission Bend and beyond.

That year I watched my dad, giddy with excitement, light the fuse and run.  I stuck my fingers in my ears and prayed.  I asked God to not let us get arrested, and that I please not lose my hearing.  Both prayers were granted. After my father had his fun, I continued to pop my Black Cats and play with sparklers until we’d made a sufficient mess and it was time to watch fireworks on TV.

Enjoy your 4th!  Protect your ears!  And enjoy the fireworks in your special way.

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