FIREWORKS

I don’t usually write on Monday, but Monday usually isn’t a federal holiday, so I’m breaking the rules a little bit.


As we know, yesterday was Independence Day, the Fourth of July.


No one can complain louder or longer when the weather turns hotter than Elaine, usually around the Fourth of July. Last year, the beervirus canceled the smalltown fireworks show that we had been accustomed to attending. Last Fourth of July, Elaine and I decided to beat the heat and the beervirus and take a car ride to Snowy Range, Wyoming. As the name would imply, Snowy Range has of all things, snow, even on the Fourth of July. It also has an abundance of wildflowers, crystal clear lakes, waterfalls, and last year, a bunch of people hiding from the beervirus.


Lately, I have watched and read people on social media discussing the pros and cons of Independence Day fireworks. It seems most people like fireworks as long as they are not by their house or they don’t like them at all. Me? If you have seen fireworks, you have seen fireworks. Some are pretty, some are loud. I guess if I was a dog or suffered from PTSD, I might have a stronger opinion.


For reasons unknown to me, Elaine told me she wanted to attend the smalltown fireworks show this Fourth of July. I agreed it would be fun, knowing in the back of my mind, Elaine nor I would want to actually make the one-hour drive to the show.


None of what I’ve written deserves a Monday story. But here is the crazy part. Elaine and I awoke Fourth of July morning and decided to duplicate last year's trip to the Snowys (Not misspelled, you can call them that). It definitely was not going to be hot; the flowers would be pretty and we enjoy car rides together.


Back to fireworks. Fireworks are legal in Wyoming. Fireworks are not legal in Colorado. Colorado is in close proximity to Wyoming. Rebels from Colorado simply go to Wyoming to buy fireworks to shoot over their neighbor’s houses.


To keep a balance of trade between the states, weed is legal in Colorado. Weed is not legal in Wyoming. People from Wyoming go to Colorado to buy weed. They take the weed back to Wyoming and blow smoke into their neighbor’s windows. See how that works. balanced trade.


Approximately ten miles north of the Wyoming/Colorado border you will find two 24/365 retail fireworks stands. Did I say stands? I meant buildings. I’m not sure how far from the border Colorado keeps weed. I think Wyomingites need to drive a little farther.


These fireworks buildings are in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by pastures. Driving past the fireworks building I noticed people were camping in the pastures around the building. Maybe as many as a hundred sets of campers. I pointed out the campers to Elaine and continued on to the Snowys.


So far, this story is not worthy of Monday, however, the campers were a little strange.


The Snowys were, well, snowy. The lakes were crystal clear. Not a lot of flowers this year. In spite of a bunch of beetle-kill pines (millions, maybe billions of them) the scenery was spectacular. (The Snowy Mountains rival the Tetons, without the grizzly bears.)


Elaine and I stopped for lunch on the car ride home. We had decided to stop for lunch in the big city that is home to the state university with the stereotyped mascot. The mascot became outdated when Colorado legalized weed.


Get to the crazy part, Monner. After a wonderful lunch, Elaine and I started our trek home. Driving past the fireworks buildings on the way home, I noticed the number of campers had doubled. Being the brilliant thinker that I sometimes am, I mentioned to Elaine, “I’ll bet they are going to shoot off fireworks here tonight. Too bad it’s not closer to dark, we would just stay.” We continued our, another hour-long ride home,


While unpacking the car Elaine said,


Elaine: Do you see my sweater? Me: I think it is in the backseat. Elaine: It’s not, I left it in the restaurant. I will see if they will mail it to me. Me: How much did you pay for the sweater? Elaine: Twenty bucks, but I love that sweater.


Elaine can make a sweater in about twenty minutes. I’ve seen her, the knitting needles are going so fast they sometimes catch on fire. Now we are going to spend forty bucks to mail a twenty-dollar sweater.


Me: Neither one of us work tomorrow. Let’s go get the sweater tomorrow. Elaine: I’m not sure I want to drive there again. Me: I’m sure I don’t but I will.


Seven dollars for gas and three hours of time makes way more sense than buying or knitting a new (construction language) sweater.


I was dreading the trip to pick up the sweater. I said to Elaine, “Let’s go back and get the sweater now.”


Reluctantly we started another trek to Wyoming. Crossing the Wyoming/Colorado border looking off in the distance I noticed fireworks on the horizon. It was not quite dark.


Yep, they were shooting fireworks in the pastures surrounding the fireworks buildings. As we got closer, I noticed the crowd had grown in size again. I can only guess how many campers had visited Colorado during the day. We need to keep trade balanced.


Elaine and I picked up the sweater from the restaurant, which is a story in and of itself, but not worthy of Monday. It is now dark. Heading home, and on the horizon the fireworks visible again. As we drove the display continued and got more intense.


I was overwhelmed. This show had been going on for more than an hour. I was getting emotional, this was the greatest fireworks show I have EVER seen. Nothing can compare, not stadium shows, not big city shows, and not smalltown shows. I stopped on the highway just to watch.


I told Elaine this was one of the best car rides we have ever been on. I said to Elaine, “You didn’t forget your sweater, God took it from you so I would see this fireworks show. It was divine intervention.”



And that, my friends, is worthy of writing on Monday.


Because I mentioned Elaine knitting, I will not mention yarn. However, it is OK if you order some.


Our crazy lives!


Monner

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