Every 4th of July my great uncle held his company picnic at his house. He had a fair amount of land complete with wooded area, a pond half way wrapped with a deck and a bear. Yes, a big ole' happy black bear named Dakota. He was kept in a large cement shelter shaped like a garage with a fenced in playground and tall pines. Dakota's space was better than the space for the bears at the zoo!
During the day everyone was entertained with fishing competitions, a band and of course the largest potluck feast one could set their eyes one. As the night opened an entrance for the stars to polish the sky, we made our way down to the pond. A small portion of the ponds edge was lined with people on their blankets and lawn chairs. On the other side of the pond my uncle and a few more relatives had fireworks arranged ready to put on the show of the year. The year that holds my strongest memory of the event, I sat on a blanket with my brother, aunt and cousin.
BOOM. The first firecracker was always the loudest to signal the show was about to start.
"Okay guys! Are you ready? We're going to play a game! Guess the colors!" my aunt announced.
"Okay!" "Yeah!" "Cool!" came from my brother cousin and I.
The ten minutes after the original signal cracker were the longest moments of my life. To tell you the truth I was terrified of the loud booms and bangs they made. Every year I was an anxious mess until my dad found earplugs out of the garage for me. After the moments ticked by and the sun kissed the sky goodbye the fireworks set off.
One by one the fireworks soured into the sky and greeted the stars.
“Blue! Blue! Blue!” we all shouted from our quilt.
Then a gold one exploded.
My favorites were the waterfalls, I loved how they twinkled and held their shape for a few seconds as the others burst and competed for space to shine. As the show went on we continued to guess the colors while the reds, blues, greens and oranges painted the sky. After they would explode we watched the color fade into ashes then sprinkle over the pond.
The majestic sparks danced across the sky for twenty minutes, and then it was time for the grand finally show off. One after another the fireworks shot into the dark sky. The vibrant light was almost blinding but too beautiful to look away from. Thick smoke hazed over the sky as the scent of gunpowder filled the atmosphere while the performance closed. The impressed crowed clapped and cheered under the stars; it was the perfect way to end the holiday.
That year, afterwards when everyone gathered together I stood with my grandma and my great uncle.
“Grandma Lucy would have been proud,” my uncle pondered.“No, she was proud. She loved it,” my grandma confirmed with a smile.