Thursday, July 7, 2011

Childhood Memories

When I was a kid, the 4th of July actually tied with Christmas as my favorite holiday. It was pretty much the same thing every year—always to my aunt’s. We’d watch the parade in the morning then go to the park in the early evening so my cousin and I could ride the carnival rides. (Dressed in matching outfits…our mothers thought it was cute…my slightly older cousin and I could pick one souvenir to commemorate the occasion and choose either popcorn, cotton candy, or a snow cone—not all three—as a treat.) One of my earliest memories is riding the Ferris Wheel with my uncle and my cousin. (It ended badly, which is probably why I remember it so well. I must’ve been around three or four at the time, and as I recall, I got scared and pitched such a fit that the operator had to stop the ride and let me off—much to my mother’s embarrassment, I’m sure!) The carnival adventure was followed by trooping to the hill overlooking the small lake and watching the fireworks. I was always a little sad when they fired off the, what we called, “Niagara Falls” and the “Old Glory” displays, signaling the end of the show.

As an adult, I still love the 4th. I don’t do carnival rides anymore—still scarred by the Ferris Wheel incident I guess—but I look forward every year to the fireworks. There’s something about the night sky exploding with lights and color that never ceases to enthrall me. And there’s another thing about them that fascinates me—how do they do it? How does the manufacturer manage to make the fireworks explode in shapes, whirly gigs, and patterns? Is this a stupid thing to think about while I’m sitting there watching the show? Probably—my youngest daughter thinks so— but in all honesty, pondering this does add to my sense of wonderment.

Which brings me around to a realization—there’s a lot of things that I can’t figure out and I’m glad. Sure…I like to be informed about “stuff”, but the “not knowing” does add a certain mystery to life, a certain excitement. It would be boring if I could no longer be amazed.

So how about you? What are the things in your life that still astound?

That’s it for this week—I hope everyone had a great 4th!

Best,
Shirley

2 comments:

Sharon said...

well, I won't ruin your amazement about the fireworks. I am married to a metals chemist, so I *do know how they do it .

The site of the mountains always fills me with awe. Just the shear size of them and how old they are. I can drive about 1 hour west and hit the Blue Ridge Parkway. What a beautiful place to drive in the fall.

Casey said...

I once wrote a historical romance called "Diamond Rain." It was about (among other things!) the fireworks prepared for Queen Victoria's Jubilee. I had great fun researching old fireworks-making methods and have a better appreciation now when I watch fireworks shows.