Growing up in Utah where more than a couple inches of rain in a year made for a big rain year, fireworks weren’t something that people had easy access to. Fireworks were mostly banned all throughout my time living in Utah. The only fireworks that were easily obtainable were things like sparklers and snappers, but that didn’t mean we ever got to use those fireworks.
My parents were big believers in using what was free when it came to things like fireworks. Each 4th of July my hometown would put on a mediocre at best fireworks show that was free to the public. Because those fireworks were free there wasn’t a need to buy things like sparklers and snappers. Plus, if we really wanted a fire, we could build one in the family’s fireplace in the basement.
The only experience I had with fireworks when I was a kid was from friends who had parents who sneaked fireworks into Utah from Wyoming. We used to have thousands of bottle rockets that we would shoot off into the air and sometimes at each other. I also learned how to make homemade fireworks with shotgun shells and tennis balls. That was the extent of my fireworks use.
Now I live in a state where fireworks stores seem to be around every corner during the summer. Want a thousand bottle rockets? It only takes about $4. Want a firework missile looking thing that will rocket up into the air at what seems like the speed of sound and then explode into a mushroom of fireworks light that mimics those big fireworks used in the big fireworks shows? Only $4.
Casey and I decided to buy some fireworks this year for the second time in our marriage. The first time was when Addie was only three years old. We bought a jumbo mixed pack of fireworks and used about three of them before we were all too scared to use any more of them. Those fireworks sat in our apartment for the next two years until they were eventually thrown away. This year we decided to put the fear aside and buy some fireworks from the fireworks store.
We went into the store and came out with a mixed bag of fireworks. The only fireworks we knew how to use were the bottle rockets and the sparklers. The rest we were going to have to guess.
Fast-forward three hours and we had made the decision that we were grounded from fireworks unless we had someone present to light them for us. Why? Because I ended up with my neck catching on fire (I literally saw the flames on my neck) from a cheap bottle rocket that spit fire out of its backside as it shot into the air. We also nearly caught the house on fire when a little firework that was supposed to rise straight in the air decided instead to shoot off to the side directly at where we were standing 50 feet away by our house. The firework hit the house and drove a hole through the siding. Seconds later smoke began to seep out of the cracks of the siding as the firework burned between the siding on the house and the house wall.
That was it for us. The rest of the fireworks were doused in water and we were done experimenting with fireworks. Turns out maybe we are a better fit for Utah than we thought we were.
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