Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Fourth of July

While waiting for the fireworks to start here on the beach at Malibu, I could not help but remember other sets of fourth of July fireworks. When the kids were small, we took them to the fireworks on Town Lake in Austin. The music of the 1812 Overture always signalled that the fireworks were about to begin. Sitting on the shores of the lake seeing the fireworks refected in the lake was a wonderful way to celebrate. During the years when our kids were in school, vacations were summer events. We tended to travel over the fourth of July because it gave us an extra vacation day. We've seen fireworks from a campground in Montana, from a hotel parking lot in Dillon, Colorado, and from the highway in Phoenix. We've been in France twice on Bastille Day. The first visit we ended up at a hotel overlooking the Valley of the Volcanoes. From our restaurant's picture window, we could see dozens of villages celebrating with firework displays. The most impressive firework display I've ever seen was Bastille Day at the Eiffel Tower. People filled the Champ de Mars beginning with picnics on the grass. As it got time for the fireworks, it was standing room only - and you had to stand to see because everyone was standing. They told the history of France choreographed with music and a lighting display.

This year Debra and I went to a private beach in Malibu. Before the big show from the barge, I enjoyed watching the families shoot off their fireworks. The kids would get closer and closer to where the Roman candles and rockets were being lit. It brought back the memory of our first year at our Hutto house. We now lived in the country so we were going to do our own fireworks. Thomas begged to get to hold one of the Roman candles. It backfired into his face. Our celebration turned into a trip to the emergency room. We could see Round Rock's fireworks in the distance as we drove in. The emergency room treated the worst of it. The plastic surgeon finished the job. Now you would never know it happened.

But it was fun to watch the waves coming in, the families enjoying themselves. One group of kids had dug themselves a fortress complete with mote, big enough to sit in and covered with beach umbrellas - looked like a great temporary club house. The big fireworks were set off from a barge in the ocean. This year Malibu had three barges in separate locations. I'm not sure who sponsored them this year, but in year's past you would recognize the names from the Hollywood stars who live here. The clouds have been moving in early the last few days, and the taller displays were hidden behind the low lying clouds, coloring them red and green. But we could see a lot and they were beautiful. We could even see parts of the display from one of the other barges in the distance.

Fourth of July - picnics, parades, concerts, fireworks. A fitting way each year to be greatful for the freedom we have.

1 comment:

Karen said...

That sounds cool. I drove back from Austin Monday afternoon and was tired when I got home. Since I am in a new city and hadn't found anyone from church who was going, I didn't have the energy to look up where I should go to find fireworks and then dodge all the traffic. I prefer to go when I know the "back way." I do feel like I missed out though. Last year I volunteered at Edmond's picnic. I drove the trash cart. And to be honest, I really missed doing that this year. Maybe I can find a niche here next year.