Sparklers and snakes are the obvious nostalgic picks. Alas, bottle rockets are hard to find, and real fire crackers nearly non-existent. I was determined my offspring would know the joy of setting things on fire, to watch them explode, exude noxious smoke, or shoot sparks.
The snakes performed as expected, down to the permanent black charred spots left on the concrete. The smoke bombs came in small round or medium cylindrical. Our observation was that the cylindrical smoke bombs put out more smoke in better colors and lasted longer than the cheaper small smoke bombs.
Sparklers. When I was a child, there was one kind: the metal wire coated with whatever makes sparks when ignited. At large family gatherings, some kid without fail grasped the wrong end, ended up in tears, with burnt fingers, and set something on fire as they dropped the still-sparking wire. Thankfully this was not the case with my granddaughters.
Now days you can pick the dangerous old fashioned sparklers, or choose from an amazing variety of styles and sizes. I found I preferred the ones with bamboo sticks. The kids were less likely to burn their fingers.
We tried a few novelty fireworks. Nothing too dramatic or expensive. We left that to neighbors. Some folks had obviously spent hundreds of dollars on fireworks this year. With all the rain, there was little chance of starting grass fires or igniting houses. We didn't miss going to a public display when all around us was the sound of explosions, the smell of sulfur, and bright colors lighting up the sky. As an added treat, Fort Carson fired cannons in Memorial Park.
Independence Day results in an imitation of battlefield conditions. Maybe we're trying to remind ourselves of the sacrifices that were made to win us independence. My husband wryly observed that our nation's revolution was fought to win us freedom from tyranny and taxation, and freedom of the press, speech, and religion. Don't tread on me. Give me liberty or give me death. And now look where we are.
We still retain freedoms unknown on most of the planet. I hope to do my little bit by observing my faith, speaking my mind, and writing stories with my own message, not something sanctioned by the government or my peers.
What's your favorite firework? More importantly, what's your favorite freedom? If you need a cheat sheet for the Bill of Rights, here's a link: