Today we celebrated the 4th of July – a holiday that became something of a challenge for many people here in Eugene. First there was the Civic Stadium fire that happened recently, which cast a sad pallor over the forthcoming holiday festivities. And maybe it was because of this fire or because of the drought we have been having which caused the City Council to ban fireworks in some areas of Eugene. Fortunately, my neighborhood is outside of this ban, but I felt bad for the people on Facebook complaining about how they had already gone out and bought fireworks before this ban was enacted. (They probably would have gone somewhere outside of the ban zone to enjoy their fireworks.)
Not only was this going on but there were a few people in my neighborhood watchgroup pleading to neighbors to not set off fireworks this year. Some shared stories of how the fireworks frightened their pets and others of how the fireworks affected their PTSD. In fact, some people posted signs in their front yards giving notice that a combat veteran lived there and to please respect their situation and not set off fireworks.
I understand their feelings and I get it that it bothers other animals, too. But I was irritated by this whole thing because the 4th of July is only one day out of the year. (Someone else in the group suggested people keep their pets somewhere safe or wear noise-reducing headphones.)
You know, it used to be that the only thing people worried about during the 4th of July was fires.
I still went out and bought fireworks. And we still set off our fireworks, today. The neighborhood watchgroup set up a “noise curfew” from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., so we went outside to do our fireworks shortly after 9.
But the day got off to a shaky start for some people – literally!
I was surprised to learn that an earthquake had occurred this morning in a nearby city (Springfield). It was registered at 4.2. Some people reported feeling it but we didn’t feel it at all. Well, Jesse and I were up, but we didn’t feel it. And Jennifer and hubby slept right through it! Our local friends were on Facebook posting about it. Unfortunately, one family we know really felt that earthquake. She said it felt like it was going off right under their house! Yikes! I am glad they were not hurt but really felt for them because it was a terrifying ordeal for them. (Like us, minus Jesse, they are from California, so they’re used to earthquakes. But we just don’t get many earthquakes here in this part of Pregon. Hasn’t been an earthquake here for some time! I didn’t even know there COULD be an earthquake here! I guess they can happen anywhere.)
Soo, yeah. We enjoyed fireworks today. Yay! We also baked cookies, ate hot dogs and pizza and had cupcakes.
Jennifer wanted to bring outside her pet rat, Salazar, to enjoy the show, too. I warned her the fireworks would scare him but she insisted he would be okay.
Turns out he wasn’t. The poor thing got scared. Jen had to take him back inside.
Here’s Jesse with sparklers.
And Jesse watching fireworks going off.
Jesse watching fireworks, Take 2.
Jennifer “watching fireworks.”
OK, no, really. She’s paying attention.
See? She’s being all patriotic and everything.
Jesse got a lesson from his dad on how to toss a lit firework.
Jesse with sparklers again.
Annnnd our water bucket caught on fire. I guess fire beats water!
Unfortunately, Jesse burned his hand this time. It was not a bad burn, though.
After the sparkler incident, Jesse was too nervous to enjoy the last sparkler. Being the good big sister that she is, Jennifer went out to help him feel better.
We had a fun 4th of July. Unfortunately, we weren’t done with our fireworks until 10 minutes past the curfew. What can I say? We’re a bunch of rebels – and isn’t that how our country won its independence in the first place?