When I moved from Nebraska to the east coast, I knew there would be differences and similarities. It’s been fun to venture out and experience things that are common to many, but unique within their context.
Last night our mission was dinner and fireworks.
I’ve never been much of a fireworks fan, I mostly find them loud and scary unless I’m far away and just watching the light show explode in the sky.
My kids on the other hand have always enjoyed the heat and energy that go with the very same noises that make me want to cover my ears.
They’ve missed the tradition of lighting bottle rockets, sparklers, and the assortment of explosives carefully selected for the one night of the year that they were allowed to ‘play with fire’.
After dinner we ventured to New Hope, a town that is difficult to describe. If you’ve ever vacationed in Northern Minnesota, you might describe it as ‘Dorset on steroids’ (that would be on mega steroids!). I’ll have to find a way to describe it someday, but for now the focus is the fireworks show.
We found a spot on the bridge that spanned the river connecting New Hope, PA and Lambertville, NJ. I don’t know that I’ll ever grow accustomed to the harshness of the north-eastern accents. The language is the same, but somehow foreign at the same time.
A mediocre sound system pumped old rock and roll into the evening air. Next to the sound system, there was a small boy perched on the base of a statue. He was protected from the bugs and the evening chill, his small body almost swallowed by the hooded jacket he wore.
His dad handed him a sparkler. His arm was stick straight and unwavering. We watched as the sparkles flickered in one direction toward his hand as it burned out. It didn’t last long, it was almost as though the sparkler wasn’t having any fun and wanted to end it quickly. Another one found its way to the boy’s hand, and this time there was movement. Small circles, the sparks flew a little further into the air.
I couldn’t see his face, but I could imagine how his eyes lit up as he realized that he had the power to make diamonds fly.
The fireworks began with a countdown from 10, led by a local long time resident.
The crowd of strangers consisted of small groups of family and friends became one voice as we shouted each number in descending sequence.
I had to chuckle. After everyone shouted ONE, there was total silence. Everyone knows 3, 2, 1 BLASTOFF! or ready, set GO!
But what do you shout at the end of 10, 9, 8……1!!!???
The leader of the countdown jumped in after a few seconds and shouted BOOM!
Squeals of delight filled the air as children and adults reveled in the light show that was launched from the pontoon deck parked on the river beneath us. The play by play commentary of the young boys beside me said it all.
Their observations accentuated over and over with the phrase, “wow! It’s almost like ‘eye popping 3D’!”
I think it was ‘eye popping 3D.’