July 4th used to be a big deal for me.  I’ve spent $300 on fireworks before.  Not anymore.  For one, you can only do that so many years before fireworks get pretty boring.  We also made a lot of our own, and some of the items we used were getting harder to come by.  They also started selling artillery shells.  And most importantly, fireworks have tripled (or more) in price.

We’re always very careful with our arsonry.  As you can see, we shot them in a clear area, far enough from animals, other people, and trees to not be too much of a problem.  There’s a spigot with a hose just to the right in the picture, and all our roofs are metal.  The grass was also damp from recent weather.

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Closer up, you can see we even used a piece of metal as a launch pad with ridges on the sides.  This helps hold them in and not burn the grass, etc.

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We only bought three.  The first was a really cool UFO thing that flew straight up and made a great deal of noise.  We knew we would stop soon, but we were concerned our neighbors didn’t.  Next was a fountain.  These were all great and pretty and then…..

We shot what we thought was a fountain, maybe even a roman candle shooter.  You can see it to the left in the above picture.  Sixteen shots.  So, for what we paid, we assumed it to be minute.  Alas, no.  It was an artillery shell shooter.  We were not far enough away for this.  When the first one went, we were shocked.  We started to back away.  This was not, after all, a glorified fountain or even a roman attack.

They started getting bigger.  We started backing away more.  Then one came at us and hit a gate in “cattle alley”.  Again, we were shocked.  I just stood there trying to ascertain what was really going on.  Then I realized the base had fallen over.

It was aimed straight at us.

It shot again.

The ball had not gotten halfway to me before I turned and RAN!!!

Marcus was well ahead of us and reached the house safely.  I yelled, “RUN!!” nonetheless because well, let’s face it, we’re in pure panic mode here.  I turned around once only to realize I’d rather scar my back than my face, and ducked.  One exploded three feet to my right, sparks hitting my legs and flowers.  At this time I urged myself to run even faster, although I’m not sure that was possible.  I kept waiting to feel one hit my back, hoping against all odds to outrun them and get far enough away to not be in range anymore.  Luckily, the cows were in the upper field and not in any danger.  When they stopped, we were very relieved.

I’ve had fireworks fall over before, not that big a deal.  They were little things that are scary and even possibly dangerous, but not “Holy crap!  Someone’s shooting cannons at us!”  Suffice it to say, we will shoot items such as these from the depths of a 5 gallon bucket the future.  Please be safe.  Your children are watching and want you intact.  Thank you.

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