It wouldn’t be Fourth of July without black cats rat-a-tatting in the street and bottle rockets screaming through the air. It’s the one night that neighbors have license to blow things up in their own driveway without the rest of the street calling the cops. The Fourth of July brings out the redneck in even the most wealthy and conservative among us.
And thanks to my own redneck-for-the-night neighbors, my family and guests were literally showered with the closest, most personal of firework shows.
After a wonderful meal of grilled brats and burgers, we invited our guests to join us on our upstairs deck to enjoy a private viewing of the city’s official fireworks show. From the relative comfort of patio chairs, we looked forward to the unobstructed view of the annual show hosted at the city’s International Balloon Fiesta fields. We had no idea just how many fireworks we were about to enjoy.
We jumped in our seats when loud bang was followed by a bright flash of green right above our deck. Two more bangs followed more flashes. And then silence. We sat back, ready to enjoy the real show.
Instead, our wonderfully considerate neighbors allowed us to enjoy their private fireworks show free of charge. For two hours, we were allowed to share in each explosion. They were even generous enough to let some of their sizzling fireworks crash onto our tin roof.
Bang! Thump, thump, thump, szzzzzzzzz….
Really, it made the entire evening so much more exciting than we’d planned. Instead of viewing the beautiful, choreographed display glowing to our west, it was like our own stereo version. And the neighbors didn’t even charge us.
When the street above us finally went quiet, we were disappointed to think that two hours worth of illegal fireworks was all that our wealthy developer neighbor could afford. How sad that the slowing housing market was hitting so close to home.
Thankfully, we were wrong. No sooner had one neighbor finished his show than another started the next show with even bigger, brighter, louder fireworks. He, too, donated more than a few still-sizzling fireworks to our now littered roof.
I had no idea how lucky we were to have such wealthy neighbors. They shared thousands of dollars of pyrotechnics with our entire neighborhood, motivated I am sure, from some deep, philanthropic place within their heart.
I’m still trying to find the perfect way to tell the developers who live on the next street above us just how very grateful I am.