Sunday, July 5, 2015

Independence Day

My nephew Burke fires up the grill--literally!

Last year I spent the 4th of July in the emergency room, being diagnosed with diverticulitis, so I missed out on the fireworks and fun. I'm happy to say that this year I enjoyed a more traditional Independence Day, joining family and friends for a barbecue, visiting, and fireworks.

Plenty of food, since everyone brought side dishes and homemade ice cream.
I brought the coleslaw in the yellow dish and my strawberry ice cream.

Although my brother Jeff and his wife Dana now live in Glendale, in the Phoenix area, they keep a house here in the White Mountains. In fact, I have it on good authority that they plan to move back here, hopefully in August. They and their older kids decided it would be fun to gather here for a 4th of July barbecue like we used to do in the old days, and so that's what we did on Saturday.

More food!

Jeff and Dana provided the burgers and hot dogs, along with buns and condiments and drinks, while the rest of us brought potluck dishes. There was a ton of food, and it was all great!

Rain clouds hovered overhead but held their moisture

It had rained off and on all day, heavily at times, so some people were nervous about the fireworks being cancelled for rain. In fact, 45 minutes away, the big show in Heber-Overgaard was cancelled because it was just too wet. Our show went on, though. Our typical weather pattern during monsoon season is rain in the early to late afternoon, but rarely in the evening. I felt confident that we'd be able to enjoy our fireworks, and I was right!

Chairs are set up in the driveway, ready to enjoy the show after dark.

Once the meal was done, the fireworks program was still more than two hours away, so we passed the time in a variety of ways. Most of us older folks sat and visited. We had our chairs in place, with the best seating in town. The program is presented at the local high school, and Jeff and Dana's driveway happens to be right across the soccer field from the football field. The fireworks literally explode right over our heads. Some years we were actually covered in ash and bits of paper by the end of the show!

Some people took selfies while being photo-bombed
by their younger brothers.

Many of the younger folks took walks or gathered in groups to talk...

...or to share things on electronic media.
(Burke, Elsie, Dylan, Jacob, and Mark.)

The little ones loved playing with sparklers (that's my niece Callie).

Dana was highly popular with the younger set, handing out and lighting sparklers.

Eventually the time passed and the lights on the fields went dark. Then everyone took to their seats and the spectacular light show began!

The individual fireworks on the ground were visible across the field.

It was beautiful. You can look at this picture and take my word for it...

Or you can watch the video of the grand finale (1 minute 23 seconds), filmed from my chair, below!

The next day, being Sunday, was our weekly family dinner. Everyone in our family was there, including a special visitor: my beautiful, camera-shy niece, Savannah, who came up from the Valley to enjoy the Fourth with everyone this weekend. To my surprise, she allowed me to take her picture while she and her cousins played games after dinner. It was a great end to a wonderful weekend!

Savannah, Sarah, Jacob, and Chris play Uno.
5 July 2015

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