Happy Birthday, America!

My brother turns 29 and the country turns 229. Isn't that weird.

Little story about my brother and America. He was born on June 29th, 1976. Bicentennial Baby. If I remember correctly, his due date was July 4th, 1976. I don't think he would have gone through life without any ass-kickings had he been born on that date, but damn that would have been cool.

This is all heresay because I was just turning 3 myself so what do I know. I'm pretty sure my mom (if she'd ever comment on this) would set the record straight. I know I was supposed to be born in August but came out about five weeks early weighing in at a scrawny 5 lbs. 6 oz.

So, it's America's birthday. I'm writing this a day later, but you get the idea. Last night was the first night in a long time that Mrs. A and I didn't have to call the cops because our neighbors were firing off firecrackers at two in the morning. In fact, it was a relatively calm evening. Kids went to sleep pretty well, dog didn't freak out. There were a few pops and what not, but overall I think it was quiet by about 10:30. Mrs. A had a wicked headache, but after some drugs and some readin' to, she passed out. And, AND, Yogi slept all through the night!

I thought he was dead.

Most parents do that. First time a baby sleeps through the night when they're infants especially, you get that mindset in the morning of, "Oh, God! They've got a blanket wrapped around their head!" Now it's just a relief. He's over a year old and the likelihood of him not being able to breath is greatly reduced, so it's a blessing and nothing to panic over. In fact, tonight he'll wake up at 2am again.

Last night was also the first time in a long time that we actually had fireworks to light ourselves. Yes, they were sparklers. Yes we got some pictures. Yes someone got burned a little. I remember back to my days as a kid when dad would come home with a box of stuff from across the county line and we'd spend the evening in the backyard with the black cats, bottle rockets, sparkler tanks, pinwheels, roman candles, smoke worms and punks. We'd have a few friends or family over and do a bar-b-que or order pizza and just have a blast, pun intended.

The height of the gun powder frenzy was the pop-bottle rocket fights I'd have with my friends when we were in high school. We'd stand in the cul-du-sac and light a PBR and wait till the fuse was almost out, then we'd throw it at a friend. Ah, yes. Nothing like the possibility of digit loss or blindness to make an afternoon more enjoyable. We had a neighbor when I was growing up that made his own fireworks. Everyone had this guy as a neighbor growing up. He had 7 fingers, a but of pet turtles and snakes. He invented a lot of things. He also had a pick-up truck and smelled of tobacco and dirt. He had a great backyard, very lush and jungular. Anyway, he'd always put on a great show. But the 7 fingers is why Mrs. Austin won't let me play with fireworks now. Even though I'd never actually deal directly with powder and fuse assembly, the danger of blowing my hand off or one of the kids eyes out is just too much.

I'd love to find a friend who owns a farm. I had a friend in CO who lived occassionally with his grandma on the family farm and we'd go up on the 4th to have a bon fire and dinner and firework shooting party. Man that was great. That was in college when we could drink too.

I'm making a great case for myself, aren't I? Drinking and blowing your fingers off. Yee haw!

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