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Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Firecracker's Fuse, A Tale from the Inside




No, not from the inside of the firecracker. I hear tell it’s just some stinky powder stuff in there. I’m talking about from inside the house. Yeah. The important word here is INside.
Perhaps a little background information is in order. Every July 1st through 4th my family (OK, my husband and son – leave me out of it for now) runs a fireworks stand from our garage. They do this for two reasons.


  1. My husband puts on a public display every year for our community. It is held at our church with a potluck supper, firecrackers for kids, military salute and the finale of a fireworks display set to music. It is quite a production, draws a big crowd and I am so proud of him for the fantastic job he does with it.  But, blowing up all those fireworks can get expensive, hence, the fireworks stand. We use the proceeds from our stand as funding for the public display.
  2.  They just plain love fireworks.


Running a fireworks stand is great fun.  Anything I might have been heard to say to the contrary should be ignored. It’s fun because I wouldn’t trade the community outreach of our public display for even a nice quiet 4th with nothing to do. The display is AWESOME!!!

Now, that said, let me go a little further. Heat is not my friend. I would go so far as to say heat is my enemy. We do not get along well. We don’t work and play nicely with one another. We don’t even try anymore. But because our founding fathers chose to sign the Declaration of Independence in the dead of summer, we now have this wonderful holiday forever stranded there as well. Long story short, I can’t sit in the fireworks stand for four days and swelter. Furthermore, no one wants me to. I hear tell I can get a little grumpy if I’ve endured the heat for anything longer than two minutes.

So, I stay inside. Yeah, I feel guilty. Well sort of. We have extraordinary help for our stand. They do much better than me, probably because they actually like fireworks. I’ve personally never been able to make that admission. But I have found things I can do from the inside that are helpful – or maybe they’re just humoring me?

I can make signs and price tags. I can count money and pay expenses. I can keep track of change, debit card machines and cash register paper. I can turn on the outside lights when it gets dark and I can help desperate little children find the bathroom when Dad has been gazing at artillery shells for a little too long.  Oh yeah – and I can cook. Our fireworks stand workers insist on being fed. Fortunately they like “to-go” burgers and fries and carry-out pizza. But I do cook for them too. This year I made brownies, tacos and red/white/blue rice krispy treats. I have an extra especially awesome Pinterest board for 4th of July with lots of fun recipes and decorations. But the main point here – it is all done from the inside.
Customers don’t see me. I don’t see them. If the Statue of Liberty stopped by to replenish her torch, I wouldn’t know it. (We did have someone bring their pet snake this year. Kind of glad to have missed that.)  I don’t know the difference between a missile and a shell. I don’t know why they call those square things a cake and don’t even get me started on the box/brick/case issue. No, I was meant to enjoy 4th of July from the inside.

My son and I were discussing our favorite months this past week. His favorite month is July. Mine is January. “Why?” I innocently asked. “Why would you pick July as your favorite month?” He started naming off the reasons. Summer, sunshine, warm weather, county fairs, no school, and – you guessed it – Independence Day!

I hated to admit it but those very same reasons are all the things that make July my least favorite month. Oh well. I’ve made it to August now. Just get through my second least favorite month then we’ll be on our way to autumn.  And that same son who loves July, I am fond of reminding him that he is the main reason I have unfriended summer. He was a summer baby – forever changed my thermostat. But that’s another blog.

And the meaning of all this (if you’ve read my blogs before you know there is always a moral to the story. I’m as bad as Aesop.) We’re all different. Some of us like things others of us don’t. And guess what. We’re both weird. We can’t point our fingers and call someone else strange because they’re different than us. It takes all kinds of people to make up our world. Just how successful would anyone’s fireworks stand be if not for the people “inside” the firecracker – where it’s nice and cool I might add. And btw, that’s supposed to be a metaphor. It applies to more than firework stands!