So we bought fireworks, took them to Arkansas to shoot them off, and I did a bunch of woodworking. Saw a couple of movies too.

With Evan working every day that most people are off, we had a bit of a hard time working in a vacation and in fact, we didn’t work one in at all. We decided to take Evan’s day off and drive over to Mel’s brother’s place near Fayetteville and spend the night and pretend it was a vacation. To further promote the illusion, we bought more fireworks than usual (actually splurging on the $79 prepackaged bundle of black powder based entertainment), spent the night away from home, and visited the Pea Ridge civil war battleground.

After a month of rain, fire was not a problem so I felt no nervousness about stopping in Arkansas to buy bottle rockets. Those are illegal in Oklahoma (and every other state I’ve ever lived in) and the fireworks stands in Arkansas know this. They are frequent alongside the highway near the state line and they all have large banners proclaiming the presence of bottle rockets for sale. We first went to Pea Ridge and did the tour and stopped at the first fireworks stand after that. This was several miles outside of Rogers and not near the state line at all but when we walked up and asked for bottle rockets, they immediately asked if we were from Oklahoma. Apparently, there is a lot of interstate commerce this time of year.

The bottle rockets from my youth were notoriously unreliable and dangerous but these were much higher quality. In Texas, they would begin the anti-bottle rocket diatribes in June and warn us that these things would catch every roof in Texas on fire if we set them off. Perhaps they would set off those cedar shake roofs that were popular in the later 70’s but I always thought they were a bit alarmist. Plus, I always questioned the wisdom of choosing good kindling as a roofing material. Still, the modern ones are far superior with fuses that burn for a very constant time. No more of those that burst just after exiting the bottle. And they’re cheap! For $4, we got a gross which is really too many. Even after doing the inevitable experiments of multiple simultaneous launches, we still ran out of interest. And there were three of us shooting them off.

As darkness came on, we grilled burgers and moved the party outside.  Mel’s brother is building a house on his beautiful property and so there was plenty of construction scraps laying around to make a bonfire with where we roasted marshmallows and made S’mores.  Then we started on ‘the big stuff’.

I live having a teen aged son around who wants to do studly things like light fuses and so between the two of us, we launched the entertainment.  His eyesight is better than mine and so he could actually see the fuses in the dark.  Everyone else sat on lawn chairs and watched.  And right after the last big boom, a light rain started and so we didn’t even have to worry about putting the fire out.

We drove back to Tulsa the next day (July 4th) so Evan could go to work at the city pool.  When he got off, we decided not to go to a fireworks display downtown since it was such a bother.  Instead, we went to see a movie (Evan Almighty).  Since it was during prime firework time, the theater was almost deserted which was good for us.  When we got out, we drove home past home after home where they were setting off their fireworks and so it was like a continual fireworks display all the way home.  I guess we didn’t have to have gone downtown after all.  When we got home, the poor dog was hiding back in the very back of Erin’s closet behind the hanging clothing out of fear from the booms all around.  She’s getting hard of hearing and so she didn’t hear us calling her.  As a result, we had to play hide and seek with her and almost never found her.

I took off the rest of the week to do some woodworking but that’s a story for another entry.