War and Peace

At any period of your life, did your extended family have big “get-togethers” around
Independence Day? is our question of the week.

As everyone should know by now, I grew up in the Washington, DC suburbs. The Fourth of July was a big deal when I was a kid.

When I was little, and we lived in an apartment in Maryland. My father, mother, brother, sister and I would go to a big park and watch major firework displays. When I was just a bit older, we moved to a house on the Virginia side of the Potomac. We’d go with our father to pop-up firework stands and buy all kinds of fireworks, fountains, spinners, sparklers, Roman candles, you name it. They were inexpensive and although he was normally tight-fisted, Dad would indulge for holidays, and most of our neighbors did the same.

We’d even start early with ‘snakes’, those cubes of compressed carbon which you light and incredibly long, curling snake-like cylinders of ash slowly grow from them. It was my mother’s appeasement of our excitement and the wait for the sky to become dark enough to set off the real fireworks. I still love those snake-things! I think it still evokes my youthful anticipation of something bigger later to come.

When my nieces were small, we’d take them to big firework displays, much like those we attended when I was little. The one year we did our own again in a big way was on the Bicentennial. We have Super 8 films of that night of. We all went nuts making a red, white and blue feast, too.

When my sons were young, we went to big displays because Colorado was not fond of personal fireworks. We had good times, even though on one year an automatic sprinkler system went off and drenched us along with many of the families. At least the weather was hot and we all laughed it off.

Fast-forward a number of years to all of the family moving to Kentucky. My oldest niece and her husband would take huge amounts of fireworks, (large and small), to my sister’s place outside of town. We’d gather and have a big cook-out with many different side dishes and desserts. We’d bring in friends, and sometimes even extended family would travel in.

Alas, those days have gone.

Everyone is scattered. My sons are in and out of town; the niece and her husband work longer hours now, and older members of the family are now gone or are unwell. The grandkids are with their other sides of the family more often than not.
I always hope that they are creating memories as good as the ones that I have.

We’ll celebrate, but quietly.
There is a lot to be said for quiet!

About Tonette Joyce

Tonette was a once-fledgling lyricists-bookkeeper, turned cook/baker/restaurateur and is now exploring different writing venues,(with a stage play recently completed). She has had poetry and nonfiction articles published in the last few years. Tonette has been married to her only serious boyfriend for more than thirty years and she is, as one person described her, family-oriented almost to a fault. Never mind how others have described her, she is,(shall we say), a sometime traditionalist of eclectic tastes.She has another blog : "Tonette Joyce:Food,Friends,Family" here at WordPress.She and guests share tips and recipes for easy entertaining and helps people to be ready for almost anything.
This entry was posted in big plans, childhood, Family, Fourth of July, Holiday, memories, Miscellaneous, Tonette Joyce, traditions. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to War and Peace

  1. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I agree, quiet celebrations are nice. When I posted on Monday, I thought we’d have a quiet holiday as well, but my husband invited a friend who brought her family, and then two daughters, two grandkids and my mother showed up! Still not a huge gathering, but enough to make a fun day.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Elaine Cantrell says:

    We never had any of those snake fireworks. I bet they were fun.

    Liked by 2 people

    • My reply did no show up again! Elaine, Jeff also mentioned the snakes. I suppose the fascination of them is the incredible amount of the ash-coils that they put out from the 1/2 inch cylinders they start out being. I have not had any in years, but we could also find ‘sparkly’ ones that were lighter and had golden flecks, but they were more expensive, so I usually just bought more black ones!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It sounds like you have many fond memories of the Fourth.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Jeff Salter says:

    yes, much to be said about peace and quiet.
    Where we lived — for 26 years — in a neighborhood where the houses were scarcely 10 feet apart, people would shoot them off in the street and you know they were landing on rooftops, car tops, and backyard trampolines. In fact, the next morning, you’d have to rush out and pick up all the trash, including spent sparkler wires…
    No way to get to sleep if your neighbor across the street is blowing up bombs hardly 40 feet from your bedroom window.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Joselyn says:

    Peace and quiet, amen! I enjoy fireworks shows, but not the random ones lit off wherever and whenever for the week before and after the holiday. I’ve jumped out of my skin a couple times in the last week because one went off so close.

    Liked by 3 people

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