I’ve always considered myself about as patriotic as the next fellow when it comes to being proud to be an American. Heck, we even have a big American flag around here somewhere that we used to fly from the front porch on the patriotic holidays like President’s Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, during the Olympic Games or just for the fun of it.
But we haven’t flown the flag at our house since 2012. Not because we have anything against it nor that we’ve become less in love with our country, but simply because that was the year we built new porch railing, complete with posts that have no flat surface on which to attach flag staff mounts.
I know that’s a pretty sorry excuse and that a bit of ingenuity could come up with a way to mount the flag but the truth of the matter is that I’ve been too lazy to put my mind to it and Mr. Parkinson makes it very difficult to do anything that requires the use of both hands.
Anyway, as I sit here writing early on this much-needed rainy 4th of July morning, I’m feeling just a tad guilty for not being nearly as into the spirit of the holiday as I should be.
Seldom, if ever, has a year gone by that Loretta, the kids, when they were youngsters, and I have not attended some sort of July 4 celebration and then grumbled about the traffic jam that always happens right after the fireworks show. We’ve even been known to waste a few dollars at one or another of these perennial travelling fireworks tents to have our own little show.
However, I’m reasonably sure that we never spent more than 25 or 30 bucks, nor did we find it necessary to start celebrating around the first of June like a bunch of folks in our neck of the woods chose to do this year.
There has not been a night since the first of last month when I have not heard fireworks going off somewhere within a couple or three miles of our home.
Most of the time I’ve been unable to actually see them but the nightly booming has been fairly steady for over a month and it finally culminated last Saturday night as a steady roar that began just before dark and was still going on at midnight when I went to bed. I enjoyed the show one of our neighbors, perhaps half or three quarters of a mile down the road put on that lasted, off and on, for about three hours. I’m not sure which one it was but it was not one of the early starters. Those have been much farther away.
In fact most of the noise was too far away for the fireworks to be more visible than vague flashes of light on the horizon of any direction I chose to look. It actually sounded like a war zone and the blasts were too rapid to count. There were at least several dozen per minute. It sounded like we were under attack by mortar fire from all sides and the enemy was closing in to finish us off. I would not have been much surprised to have seen the red army come screaming like banshees with bayonets mounted down the back forty pasture. History would record it as the battle of Charlie Brown Road.
The booming was still going on, although it had become sporadic and more distant and the neighbor’s show seemed to be over when I went to bed. The walls of our house are so thick and well-insulated that the distant booming did not keep me from falling asleep as soon as my head came in contact with the pillow.
Then, at 10 minutes past 2 a.m., our big indoor dog woke me up barking and simultaneously there were a couple of booms so loud they jarred the windows. I ran out to the porch and heard two more equally loud blasts that were coming from somewhere up on 52 which is up on the ridge directly south of our place but it was impossible to tell exactly where. I’m assuming they were made by cherry bombs or M-80s, both of which are illegal, because there was no sign of the fire flash that would have been visible that close by. There comes a point when patriotic becomes idiotic even though the namesakes of Samuel Adams and Jack Daniels, or at least some of their close relatives were most likely involved.
Sunday night the incessant booming had only been going on for an hour or so when Mother Nature decided to upstage the revelers with her own version of a fireworks show while she quickly doused the human effort with a steady down pour.
I have no idea what will happen tonight and we have no plans to take in one of the municipal fireworks shows that will be going on all around us. Besides, Mother Nature is promising a repeat of last night’s show and Heaven knows we need the rain.
Reach longtime Enterprise columnist Ike Adams at [email protected] or on Facebook or 249 Charlie Brown Road, Paint Lick, KY 40461.