First, I need to let you know that there are only 9 days left until the Summer, 2017 24-Hour Short Story Contest! Read the details, and see a list of prizes, RIGHT HERE!
We had a fantastic 4th! Early in the day, we drove to our daughter’s house, and helped out in the kitchen for their afternoon 4th of July BBQ. She always insists that I make my spinach dip and flag cake (not to be eaten in the same bite, mind you). There is no secret to my spinach dip. It’s the recipe on the back of the Knorr Vegetable Dip box…sans the onions. My flag cake is simply Sarah Lee Pound Cake, cut into slices and laid in a casserole dish. I then smother it with whipped cream, and lay out blueberries for “stars” and strawberries for “stripes.” This year, Max wanted to help! Yea!! He took over the blueberry and strawberry placement, and did a fantastic job! Next year, he’ll be making the whole thing. 😉
The boys swam and we were able to relax for awhile, getting caught up with our son-in-law’s awesome mother, as well as many other friends and family members.
That evening, Richard and I left the boys there for the night. They like to go to the beach on Anna Maria Island with their sister and brother-in-law, where the wealthy folks set off professional-grade fireworks (illegally) up and down the beach. That show lasts for a couple of hours and it’s awesome! The funny part is watching the half-dozen or so island police officers trying to confiscate illegal fireworks…from thousands of people. Now, please know I am VERY supportive of those in uniform who keep us safe, and who risk their lives every day when doing their jobs. But sometimes, the local government fails miserably, and the officers are the ones who end up on the short end of the stick. Worse, they could be put in a dangerous situation performing a task that is a complete waste of time anyway.
At this particular event, year after year, the scene plays out the exact same way. When the crowd sees the lights from a police officer’s 4-wheeler approaching on the beach, they all stop their “lighting” activities, hold their hands behind their backs, rock back on their heels, and look up at the sky. I think I’ve even heard some of them whistle.
As soon as the officer drives past, those same people will run onto the dark beach, light another huge rocket, and run away again. I’m not sure why the police department even tries enforcing the no fireworks law. They’re legal to purchase locally. All you have to do is sign a form for the fireworks vendor, stating you’re going to use them for legal purposes only.
I, myself, have never purchased nor set off illegal fireworks. We only buy the Walmart-brand box of small (legal) stuff for the boys, and their older siblings help them with the long lighter. We don’t buy flying stuff, nor anything designed to explode. When my mother was a little girl, she saw a boy blow two fingers off with a large firecracker so I have always insisted that the children only have the smallest fireworks.
After the party, Richard and I drove back to St. Pete before dark because we had another neighborhood BBQ to attend. There, we met up with WritersWeekly’s Managing Editor, Brian Whiddon, who also lives in our neighborhood. At that party, a huge storm hit and we all got positively SOAKED when it rained sideways in 50 mph winds! It was AWESOME though the numerous lightning strikes were a bit scary. I managed to get a pretty good video of people laughing and screaming in the rain and wind.
After that, we went back “home,” sat in our “backyard,” and watched the City of St. Pete set off fireworks about two blocks away. The reflection of the sparkling lights on the water was breathtaking!
Before I go, I want to share some sunset pics I took last night. We had a large storm roll in and this was, by far, the best sunset we’ve had here! 🙂
This week’s Masonism:
There was a concert going on in a park nearby and, while we couldn’t understand the words of the songs, we could definitely hear the ear-blistering music, which didn’t seem to have a steady beat. Worse, the thundering bass was echoing through our brains, causing quite a bit of unpleasant stress. So, we shut all the hatches, turned the AC on high, and attempted to drown out the awful noise.
Mason (who just turned 11) came inside at one point, shook his head like an old fuddy duddy, and proclaimed, “People just don’t know what music is anymore…”
Hugs to all!
P.S. Don’t forget to sign up for the 24-Hour Short Story Contest! There’s a limit of 500 spots so SIGN UP TODAY if you want to play!
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Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
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