Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Gearing Up for the 4th

This year we are home for the 4th of July.  When we took stock of our fireworks, we realized that we only had several handfuls of firecrackers and some packets of sparklers. This called for some serious action.  Meaning, a road trip over the state line.
The trip takes about an hour.  Right over the state line, there are two major warehouses, one on each side of the interstate highway.  We hit both and hauled in some fireworks.  (Though nowhere near what some were buying.  Seriously, some people had truck beds loaded up.)

I always feel a little angsty at these places because buying fireworks seems so reckless--literally your money goes up in flames!  But, mostly I try to enjoy it and not fret.  

I have never spent even close to this much on fireworks!  But it also thrills me to imagine the wacky possibility of something like 16000 firecrackers going off at once.
I love cruising around looking at the other shoppers and at the names of the fireworks and the hokey artwork on the packaging.  I mean, what really distinguishes one firework from another?  Does the one with images of race cars on it really create a race car like sensation in a way that the one with a killer shark on it does not?  Doubtful.
I also love how every few feet there are No Smoking signs.  I particularly liked this one located near these shopping carts loaded with firecrackers.

Look at all of those packs of firecrackers!  When we buy fireworks here, they always throw in several big handful of these for free.
Of course, we're frequent enough fireworks customers to have special items we always look for or remember to avoid.  This is one of our favorites.

The name of it just cracks me up.
The first time we lit one of these our neighbor was over.  He is a grown up man who like many grown up men I've found, is crazy for fireworks.  We were lighting some smallish ones like this on our driveway.  Well, true to the description, the little wheelie thing spun around sparking and popping and got going so fast it zipped sideways a little and went up--right up the leg of our neighbor's shorts!  Well, that set him to jumping to get the thing out of his pants, and after we all got over our screaming and realized he was okay, we fell to laughing hysterically partly in relief and more specifically because we now understood the name of this firework in a new way.
Every time we see it now we talk about that unforgettable event.
Like underwater firecrackers.  We don't always see them, but when we do, we recall the time that one of us threw one in a lake and just then, before it exploded, a fish darted up and swallowed it.  My son says then the fish exploded into pieces.  I didn't see it, so I always say, "Are you sure?  Really?  I can't believe it. Not really in pieces?"  Which only makes him insist more vehemently that that is exactly how it was--bits of fish floating up in the lake.  Hmmm.

After we bought our fireworks and turned toward the highway to head back home, we stopped at this roadside stand to buy boiled peanuts.

When I first moved to the south, I had never heard of boiled peanuts.  We stopped the car and just like here, people were boiling them in big pots like this.  I was so surprised and put off by the fact that they are scooped up out of hot water right then and there and served to you wet.  The peanuts inside are sort of soft, mushy, and weird.  However--they are crazily delicious too once you get over the unusual texture.
My idea is that you can only ever eat boiled peanuts in the car on the way to or from one place to another.  However many you eat just then is it because you cannot eat them later or after they cool.  Some bars around the city have taken to serving them with beer, but they are not the same as the roadside ones.  Perhaps I am a boiled peanut snob--if there is such a thing.


  1. That fireworks place is amazing! I think it is illegal here to buy fireworks for personal use, we only get to see them on big public occasions. ( We live in a bit of a nanny state here in Melbourne!) I'd love to be able to put on our own fireworks display,it would be so much fun; and I've never heard of boiled peanuts either, this is why I love reading blogs, you just learn something new every day!
    Have a great week, Julie x

  2. No I have never heard of boiled peanuts....we have black peas here in the north of England. Best eaten hot on bonfire night next to the bonfire and watching the fireworks.

  3. Boiled peanuts sounds odd to me. Sorry, but it does. And I love all things peanutty! I have never seen anywhere selling fireworks like that. Wow. Here, we only buy them for Bonfire Night and New Years, and the supermarkets stock them then. It must be nice to enjoy the fireworks without being freezing cold at the same time! I hope you all had fun on 4th July. x