Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Rocket's Red Glare

To know me is to know I'm afraid of fireworks. I've always been sick to my stomach terrified of them, and yet perversely drawn to them.

I'm a grown up now and fear is still there, but the capital F is gone from it. Last night as I waited for the fireworks to begin I felt pensive and maybe a little contemplative.

And as I was lying on my blanket amid the excitement of the children and the general tolerance of the parents and the whatever other emotions were hanging in the air around me, and as I was contemplating my pensive mood I thought, "You know, this is the way I should be feeling tonight. These fireworks are supposed to symbolize the bombs bursting in air, the light from which showed Francis Scott Key that the American Flag was still flying through the battle at Fort McHenry. I'm supposed to be feeling sad and grateful and humbled that so many have had to die to ensure freedom for me and for my family."

All we have of freedom, all we use or know - This our fathers bought for us
long and long ago.~Rudyard Kipling, The Old Issue, 1899

"And so you see," I said to myself, "you are right on the mark. You are patriotic and sympathetic and an all around top-notch person."

At least that's what I told myself. Probably what really happened was that I was ascared of the fireworks and I didn't get invited to the family BBQ and family BBQs, as we all know, are the real reason for the 4th of July.

I think patriotism is like charity -- it begins at home.
Henry
James

9 comments:

Dave said...

I wanted to light the blooming flower fireworks with you but saved the time with just me and the kids. Save you the pressure of seeing flame come toward you out of control. Sorry we missed the bbq but we had fun anyway Moncur style.

MamaB said...

There was a family BBQ??? Dang! I didn't get invited either! Maybe we'll have to have our own BBQ...the Moncur-Baer BBQ. Wanna come over? The kids can jump on our trampoline that is now in the ground!

Emily said...

I agree that you are a top-knotch person. Thank you for putting the dictionary link. I found a new favorite word. (cantankerous) I have always enjoyed a good firework show. But the big "F" word has now entered my world invovling fireworks. When our windows shook from such a loud boom we cautiously ventured outside to see what it was. It was the neighbor with a beer in one hand and a homemade cannon in the other. We were sure we would be scraping body parts off our car in the morning.

Mom said...

I'm sorry, I'm sorry! I was (at least) 100% sure I had told you "Mark's between 5 & 6 - be there!" I'm senile - what can I say. Mark asked if I had talked to you and I told him I had - I'm a nut. When we got home at 11:00 p.m we found your message on the machine. Anyway the situation has reminded me (painfully) of one of my least favorite memories - a time when I wasn't invited to a family bbq. It was our first married summer and Dad's family was getting together at Blake and Norma's house. They talked about it while we were there but nobody said "YOU ARE INVITED". Dad said of course we're invited - we're family and he made me go anyway. Well, I showed him and everyone else! I was so rude and snotty to everyone but especially to Grandma Palmer who we all know is just the sweetest, kindest person in the world and did all she could to make me feel welcome. Not one of my prouder moments! I probably never got around to telling her I was sorry before she died.
I'm glad you had a good Moncur-style party. We love you all and missed having you there.
I'm seriously considering starting my own 4th of July traditions that don't necessarily involve hot, crowded parades and noisy late night fireworks. Any ideas?

Misty said...

Ah, I thought I'd at least get in one barb before I let it drop. It was just miscommunication. I got a great nap that day, that's Moncur style.

Annie said...

don't feel too bad, we didn't know about the bbq either. granted we were 300 miles away! we'll join you for the next one though.

and yes, top notch you are! and i would have preferred a nap too!!!

Kristin and Steve said...

Everyone says you are a top notch person, but I think I know you better than most, and I'd put you more in the middle range of notches. I don't think you'd feel comfortable at the top...too much pressure.

My mom forgets to tell us about stuff too. In fact...She had a party for Steve's birthday, made him cake (never mind that I haven't had a cake made for me since I was seven) and invited everyone over and didn't tell us, so we didn't come. She called to complain the next morning. I explained to her that we had several conversations about how we would be going to celebrate Steve's birthday with his family...(weird). She still denies this alleged conversations took place but I'll tell ya, they happened.

Anyway, lets hear it for miscommunicaitons!

baileyfamily said...

Misty, you crack me up. And yes, you are a top notch person.

Lisa said...

Hey Misty! Thanks for commenting on my blog. I think you bring my total readers up to a whopping 5 or something! My sister is the same way about fireworks. So are the kids sometimes. We just stick cotton in their ears and they seem to do okay! Good luck on the 24th!