Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Well, it happens twice a year here in Texas, and I'm sure, across the southern states. But, being a Yankee, it is new and I admit, still a fascinating phenomena. What am I talking about? When we were headed up the interstate to our new home for the first time, we drove past a large building on the side of the road. It instantly caught the attention of the big boys in the backseat who exclaimed, "Fireworks Warehouse! You didn't tell us fireworks were legal here!! Cool!!!!".

I knew we were in trouble.

Two times a year, 2 weeks before New Year's and 2 weeks before 4th of July, fireworks stands pop-up in every spare nook and cranny of empty lots or alcoves all along the roads. They boast huge signs saying "Buy one get one free" and "Twelve for a Dollar". Who could pass up such deals? I'm guessing it's a boy-thing because my husband admits having great thrills lighting his action figures on fire as a child and I also watched my brother catch bugs and set them ablaze as well. Neither of them grew up to be pyromaniacs. Back home, we enjoyed watching fireworks shows on the 4th of July every year at great distances away. Now, they are lit right in front of my house. On these nights, our neighborhood sounds like a war zone.

My 3 teens will easily say that the best part of living in Texas is getting to legally blow up such items as lego models and GI Joes, however, there is one such creature that isn't having much fun this time of year. While people of all ages enjoy "playing with fireworks", dogs around the area really suffer. Our first summer here, Brutus started throwing up and having accidents in our house the few days before the 4th as people started playing with firecrackers a bit early. I had him at the park watching the little ones play one such evening. I was speaking to a woman when a fire cracker went off in the distance. Brutus immediately tried to jump all 85 pounds of himself onto my lap. I told the woman how hard it's been on him. "You have to tranquilize your dog this time of year. Everyone does it!". Okay, I pleaded ignorance. I had never heard of this before. Sure enough, I called my vet and sheepishly asked for some doggy-downers half expecting to be reprimanded for drugging my dog. "Oh absolutely," they responded, " too many dogs get scared and run away this time of year. Come right in and we'll have them ready."

So, while Brutus will be in a drug induced stupor this holiday, the boys will be in their glory getting to be legally bad! Happy Birthday America!! BA-BOOM!!!!

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