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7.05.2011

14 MINUTES AND 32 MOSQUITO BITES

I love America.  I feel privileged and humbled that for whatever reason I was born here.  I know that most of the world doesn't have the privileges, the excesses, the freedoms, the opportunities that we have available to us as Americans.  I have a flag holder, but don't have a flag on it.  I vote, most of the time, but this past fall I ran out of hours in the day and didn't make it to the polling center before it closed.  Freedom is good because it gives you choices and it's bad because it gives you choices.  Growing up in the 70's our household, like most others in America, jumped on the 1976 year of the bicentennial celebration band wagon.  We actually had an American Eagle sofa (were we cool or what!), one of those groovy milk cans painted black and embossed with yes, another American Eagle.  We flew a flag and painted all things red, white and blue.  It was akin to a year long 4th of July celebration.  Yesterday was the 4th of July.   We sat out in the duskish time zone waiting for the town fireworks display to start.  We waited and waited and waited.  Finally they started.  And, 14 minutes later they ended.  I am convinced that wherever they bought them had a buy one get another 4 free because there were numerous duplicates of some of the light designs in the sky.  There was no music, no real pomp and circumstances.  Start to finish it was a mere 14 pretty dismal minutes of a mediocre fireworks display.  I don't understand fireworks really.  I mean, what is the purpose?  What are they supposed to do for us?   What do they really signify and have they lost their true meaning over the years?  My dad never cared for fireworks displays and I don't ever remember being taken to sit out on a blanket at 10 p.m. to fight off mosquitoes.  I cared about it as a kid, but as I grew up I joined my dad in his lax approach to all things fireworks.  My oldest sister got a too near a cherry bomb and got burned on her back.  And, when my daughter was 2 she grabbed the lit end of a sparkler and closed her hand around it.  Our Fourth of July that night consisted of her crying most of the night with severe burns on the palm of her little hand.  I'm not a late night person so any event that begins after dark is not something that I have a deep longing for.  I continue to be puzzled with fireworks. It seems like such a waste, wrong time of day for me, and a bit over hyped for what you actually get - 14 minutes of light displays in the sky.  Why?  Can anyone tell me what fireworks really do for you? 

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