Sunday, July 5, 2009

Almost Up In Smoke -- A Scary 4th of July Just Passed By!

In all the years we've been hosting fireworks, we've never had a night quite like last night! T'was a night to remember, with a happy ending... but it didn't start out very promising, for sure!

We had at least ten onlookers last night, all arranged in lawn chairs behind a stack of wood (we felt quite safe from any potential unanticipated glitch). We carefully irrigated the lawn all afternoon and into the evening so everything was well saturated.

As we sat marvelling at the glorious displays of color, light, and noise (rather wimpy, compared to decades ago, and today I'm thanking God for that!), one of the fireworks fell over sideways, shot across the yard toward the house, set a pair of jogging pants afire, then spun around and headed out toward the front yard, hit a tree, did an about face, and then headed straight for the startled, and suddenly scrambling, onlookers.

Dawn and Isabella were both hit by two pieces of one hot, flaming mass -- Isabella just a wee bit (thank God!) on a tiny spot on her face; another chunk of the same piece hit Dawn squarely -- and very, very hard -- above the liver. Yet another piece hit Casey in the back (she was already headed out of the area with her mom and Jamie the moment they saw the firework start to take on a life of its own). Again, hot, ow-ee and scary, but nothing fatal, 911-ish or too terribly awful. Again, I say PRAISE GOD! And again, PRAISE GOD!

As soon as we made sure everyone in attendance was OK, Wendy spotted the flaming jogging pants sitting on a garbage can against the patio screen, pointed toward the flames and said, "I think your house is on fire!"

I ran over and threw the flaming pants away from the house onto the cement patio, and they seemed to go out. (Not long after, they flamed to life again, but Jackie spotted them and put the kibosh on the flames for good.) Everything else looked fine, but we wandered around the front of the house too to be sure that no errant sparks had ignited any part of the lawn or shrubs that hadn't been as well watered as the back yard had been.

Of course Phil felt terrible. (He was setting off the fireworks, as he always did - heretofore without incident over many, many years.) Grandpa Dennis felt horrible (for having bought the fireworks). They both looked shell-shocked and miserable. The girls were scared and crying; one swore she'd stay home next year instead of coming out for fireworks! We all assured the men that none of it was their fault; but that didn't do a whole lot to assuage their feelings.

All in all, a powerful reminder of how potentially dangerous an errant firework can be. No one was seriously injured but all of us grown ups agreed that next year we will stick to pop-its and sparklers for the yard and watch everyone else's bigger stuff from afar. (All around us on all sides were very serious fireworks displays -- from Ft Lewis, the Puyallup Fair, and other public venues -- so we continued to enjoy the show long after we put ours to bed.)

Also yesterday, we rode bikes at Orting for 15 miles, and I went out this morning (from home) and rode for another 6 miles or so.

It's very hot here again today. Jamie and I went for a one mile walk while Jackie weeded the front lawn, then Jamie sprinkled Grammie Jackie's back with water to help cool her down. Then she selected several roses from our garden to take to Grandpa George later today. (He just had some surgery and is at home recovering slowly.) She also made two cards for Grandpa George. He loves those cards sum'pin' fierce because they're created with such love and care from one of his wee ones! (I made him one from his kitten, since the kitten can't write and misses him, too.)

I finished up an Elance project (I think) this morning; will know for sure after I hear back from the client.

That's about it for this time.

(That's enough excitement for one weekend, ain't it?)


Mary Jo R said...

WOw I should have been there!!!but my brother's fireworks were exciting enough and frankly after I left his!!!! University place had fireworks going on in our neighborhood for HOURS ..Poor kitties they never have experienced quite that much explosives.....
I actually had to take our my ear in order to rest it was soooo loud...

Mary jo R said...

errr that was supposed to be
"take out my ear"...for those not means take out my hearing aid...