For as long as I can remember I have loved fireworks. The booming sounds, the bright colors, the fact that they bring people together, I don’t know exactly, but there is something about them that excites me deep in my soul.
I was extremely lucky as a child when we would spend our July 4th in Colorado visiting my grandmother and my uncles, because they would take fireworks to a whole new level. We would go with them to the giant fireworks store and thanks to my mother’s Texas driver’s license, we would get access to the back room…where all the really, really AWESOME fireworks were kept. The ones that you had to swear you were not setting off in Colorado, but instead were transporting across state lines to destroy God’s earth somewhere else. Of course, my uncles had every intention of setting them off in Colorado, in fact they planned to light them right in my grandmother’s suburban driveway. In hindsight, as an adult, I can see the potential for danger in this plan, but as a child, I was in heaven.
The bigger the base of the rocket, the better for these
boys men, because that totally meant that their two nieces were going to laugh and squeal with delight as the firework went screaming into the night sky and came crashing back down again, hopefully not on the neighbor’s lawn. My grandmother’s driveway had a small drain pipe in it that was the perfect size for a bottle rocket to fit inside and nothing was cooler than seeing the mud and sludge that would come shooting out of it along with the bottle rocket when my uncles had finished lighting it. They would shoot fireworks from their cars as they drove them slowly down my grandmother’s tiny street. In fact, y’all, my uncle used to shoot bottle bottle rockets off his 14th floor apartment balcony in downtown Denver. It was a simpler time back then, I think.
So many of my greatest childhood memories are in Colorado, with those uncles, my grandmother, my sister and to a lesser degree my parents, not necessarily because they were my parents, but more because they tended to fade into the background for me during those visits. I used that time to soak up every moment, every minute with my uncles, in particular, as childless men, they catered to our every whim, seeming to make every wish come true, all while making us laugh until our stomachs ached.
It pains me to know that this 4th of July, in one of the most beautiful states I know, so many people are not able to have official 4th of July celebrations because they are simply trying to cope with the devastating loss of their homes from massive wildfires. The fact that it comes so close to a holiday that is symbolized by exploding cannons of sparks somehow brings it to a whole new level of importance. The firefighters who are out there in temperatures bordering on triple digits simply trying to save more families from the losing all of their possessions is to be commended and honored. To remember the memories of my childhood, to help the state I love, and to celebrate the uncles who still call it home, this 4th of July I will be making a donation to Care and Share.Org, which is the food bank for Southern Colorado.
Care and Share is doing amazing work on the ground right now. They are providing both evacuees and firefighters with food and supplies, which are so needed. Raising Colorado (one of my favorite blogs, as you know) shared on Facebook that they even took the firefighters clean socks!
Click here to donate to families in need: http://give.careandshare.org/