Monday, July 9, 2007
And we went Fourth into the wilderness...
We must have had the craziest Fourth of July ever. It really started all falling apart On Saturday, June 30th. That was when our neighborhood had scheduled to do the big fireworks show. So we got AJ all hyped up to see fireworks, got to a good spot early, set up our chairs, bug-sprayed, the whole nine yards. And by some miracle, it wasn't raining, like it had been for the last consecutive 3 weeks. So we sat there until 9:15, until someone came by telling us they had cancelled the show because it was too muddy to reach the "launch site" and they were going to light them the next night. (I'd like to take this moment to thank the genious who thought that waiting one day would dry out a mud puddle that's been there almost a month.) So we took our disappointed daughter home and told her we would come back tomorrow. But of course, the next day it was raining again and so they were cancelled, again. Fast forward to the Fourth of July.
Craig's piece of junk car finally kicked the bucket on the 3rd, so we spent most of the day on the Fourth looking for a new car. This is not a fun activity for a hungry, tired 2-year old. Need I say more? I was about ready to drop by the time we got home. But AJ still wanted to see fireworks. She wasn't goign to let us forget. I tried to find out online where firework shows would be that night, but everything had been postponed our cancelled so many times, nothing was accurate. We finally ended up rushing out of the house at the last minute with no plan, just trying to drive around and find a group of people camped out. We found one group pulled off the side of I-35. "OK" we thought. "Let's try this. I mean, a group of 50 people can't be wrong, right?" Wrong indeed. We sat there until the "fireworks" started. AJ's so excited she can barely contain herself. Then off in the distance, and I mean DISTANCE, we see these tiny little poofs of light. Can you say LAME-O?!
So we frantically throw everything back into the car and try to move onto another location before it's too late. We can see them going off now, some farely close to the house, but get to where they are. AJ's squeeling in the back seat because she can see them going off and can't wait to go watch the "Fi-wawks". At this point, Craig says, "Fine, we'll just go buy some little fountains and do them ourselves." We stopped at the grocery store, but alas, 'tis illegal to have fireworks in Ft. Worth. So it took us a good 45 minutes to find a firework stand. When we got there, it was a madhouse. Fireworks were flying off the shelf like food during a famine. We bought our little $25 pack of fountains and asked where we could go to legally light them off. The lady told us about this guy who owned a few acres of private property and was charging $10 per car to get in and you could light off your fireworks there. They even had maps of how to get there. So we figured we'd just go for it, but we didn't have any cash. We drove around in circles until we found a gas station, but of course, there ATM machine wasn't working and the debit card machine was down as well.
So off we go again, feeling pretty discouraged at this point, but still not willing to give up. We eventually found a gas station who's ATM was working, got some cash and drove out to the guy's property, which I might add, was in BFE! We drove up to the fence where the crazy lady is making change, and I behold the craziest sight I have ever seen in my life. The had crammed probably 300-400 cars onto their 10-acre property. Remember that it had been raining and flooding for weeks, and to say there was mud everywhere would be an understatement. And here are hundredes of people, lighting off their fireworks, in every direction. At one point, I was actually scared for my life. It looked as if a bomb had gone off in a firework factory. I am not exagerating. The explosions were so constant, you couldn't even talk to each other. Drunk people shooting off mortar shells, 8-year old kids firing roman candles; it was the grossest display of irresponsiblity I have ever seen. The fireworks were amazing, but I can only say that because I lived through it.
We pulled our car into the property and hadn't gone maybe 20 feet before our car was completely stuck in the mud. But as part of our $10 fee, they had mud-patrol guys on four-wheelers riding around getting people un-stuck. They got us moved to a point where we could at least park. Craig walked around to the trunk to get out our chairs while I got AJ out of the car. The mud was so bad it just sucked your shoes right off your feet when you tried to walk. And to top it off, while Craig was standing at the tunk, he stepped right in a huge pile of fire ants. I have never seen anything swarm so fast.
He's freaking out trying to get his socks and sandals off (that's right - was was wearing socks with sandals) and I'm trying to get my feet unstuck from the mud while AJ's squirming to run over to the fireworks, and all the while, constant booming and sparks flying everywhere people screaming and laughing, mud flying everywhere from the cars getting stuck. Chaos doesn't even begin to describe it.
We finally got settled in and lit our stupid little fountains, while everyone around us are lighting these huge fireworks. We stayed about twenty minutes, then packed up and went home. Or tried, rather. We got stuck again and while they were helping the guy in front of us get out, the four-wheeler's tires started spinning and flipped mud all over our car. What's that you ask? Were the windows down? Of course, they were. So now the inside of our car looks about as muddy as the outside, as do we. We looked like a commercial for Orbitz gum.
All in all, I'm just grateful we made it out of there with no injuries (other than Craig's ant bites). AJ definetely got her fill of fireworks for the year, and I got my fill for the rest of my life. I hope everyone else had a Happy Fourth!