Friday, July 2, 2010

Memory Lane Friday - July 4th

Okay, this week's Memory Lane Friday topic is July 4th. I have a few great memories of the 4th of July holiday. Not only because it's one of my very favorite holidays, but also because of some of the fun, crazy stuff that happened.

Now, back in March on a different Memory Lane Friday topic (a crazy weather story), I wrote about an adventure my family and I had on July 4th. You can read the original post here. But for main fireworks story . . .

As I've mentioned before, my parents have a lake house in Lake Ozark, MO. They usually go out a few long weekends every summer. And over the 4th, there is a big fireworks display over the lake. All these boats head out to one point on the lake, near a particular resort. Then, from the resort, a fireworks show is lit for all to enjoy from their boats in the middle of the lake.

Well, last year we were out there for the 4th. So we all piled into the boat and headed to that central location to watch the fireworks. Off in the distance, we saw storm clouds moving in. But we didn't really worry about it.

As we waited for the show to start, the clouds continued to creep closer.

Finally the show began. And not long afterward, we noticed that our hair began to stand on end (all of us, except for Andrew, who has a military haircut, so it's too short). And the clouds were closer. Sometimes we heard rumbling and wondered if it was the fireworks . . . or was it thunder?

Soon enough, we had our answer. It was thunder. And there was lightning. So before the show was over, my dad turned the boat around and we headed back to the house.

Before we got back it started raining . . . and HARD. He couldn't see where he was going. So he had to rely solely on his GPS to steer and get us back safely. After a few minutes, we were back, and that's when booming claps of thunder and cracks of lightning began going crazy. It was nuts!

But looking back on it, it was kind of exciting. Not that I'd want to repeat the experience . . . it's just fun to remember, considering we got back safely.

Another memory I have of July 4th is being in El Paso, TX with my grandparents when I was younger. This was back in the early- to mid-'70s.

I distinctly remember visiting friends or relatives and heading up to the rooftop to watch the fireworks display over the El Paso skyline. At first, I couldn't remember whose house it was, but it looked familiar when I closed my eyes and thought hard about it. It wasn't my grandparents' house on Blue Ridge Circle. It wasn't NanĂ¡’s house.

Well, whose house was it?! Uncle Chino's? No. I asked my Oma at one point recently, and she was horrified, saying she'd never, ever let me on the roof, not even with my Sir Rafa right there next to me. Going on the roof was never something they'd ever consider doing, so why would I mention that? (Sadly, it's the Alzheimer's that has ruined some of her precious memories.)

Then it dawned on me. The more I thought about it, the clearer the mental picture became. It was Uncle Joe and Aunt Lily's house!! To verify this memory, I asked my cousin Rik, who's two months older than I am. I said, "Hey, Rik . . . do you remember July 4th celebrations back when we were kids? Didn't we hang out on a rooftop watching the fireworks? That was at your house, right?"

And he said, "It was on our roof from what I remember! You're not crazy! We used to climb up on the roof and watch the skyline as the fireworks went off. :)"

It sure was a lot of fun. I remember somebody (probably my grandfather or Uncle Joe) spotting me as I climbed up the ladder. Now, keep in mind that these were single-story ranch style houses, with flatter, hardly-peaked roofs.

I remember warm, dry southwestern nights with very little humidity, and a warm desert breeze blowing as we sat on the roof under twinkling stars. I remember the twinkling of the city lights as they mimicked the twinkling stars above . . . and then the fireworks started. Very cool.

I also remember having sparklers, and having been satisfied after a meal before heading up to the roof. Maybe we also had some sort of ice cream treats, too. I remember that my grandmother always seemed to have orange creamsicles in her freezer, and Aunt Lily probably had some frozen goodies at her house, too.

So I can't recall any specifics, but I do remember the fun and adventure surrounding the chance to watch fireworks from the roof!! How much fun could that be for a kid!

Of course, these days I don't know how likely it would be for us to climb on a roof to watch fireworks, right? But it sure was fun back then!

Here are my Uncle Joe, Aunt Lily, Oma, and Sir Rafa, circa mid-1990s (possibly '94?). 
This was at Uncle Joe and Aunt Lily's old house on Paraguay Street.

For the rest of this week's Memory Lane Friday posts, click on the button below:

Next week's Memory Lane Friday topic, by the way, is "A Game."


varunner said...

I've always wanted to watch fireworks from a rooftop. Lucky you! What a fun memory :-)

Nicole said...

Glad you got back safely and out of that water!
Watching fireworks from a rooftop is really fun. Have done that a couple times, sometimes wish we could see them from here so we could do it again. =)

Have a happy & safe 4th!

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