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Amazing Fourth of July--

Every year, we go to the street across the river to see the fireworks and have a picnic, slogging ice chest and chairs across the field to find a good seat. This year, mom got an invitation to a fabulous old queen's July 4 party. It was in his large, complicated house, stuffed with odd little antechambers, memorabilia, the signs of an 80+-year-life, well spent and well worth every year.

This is in a really posh neighborhood--we drove past Lance Armstrong's house, several starter mansions, and one or two castles, winding up Mount Bonnell.

When the fireworks started, we all went outside, up a tight metal staircase to a deck on top of his house. All of Austin spread out around us like gold dust--we could see as far as Round Rock, a full city away--someone pointed at the house next door and said that was the highest point in the county, but it wasn't more than ten feet higher than we were. The view was breathtaking.

The huge, looming fireworks were petite from where we were standing, but there were other displays. Round Rock, Elgin, someone thought they saw Bastrop--we could see all their celebrations, too. Some were nearly invisible red flares on the horizon. Not only did the cities and suburbs have their display, but every backyard firework that could fly above its house, every contraband roman candle, green flares by the University of Texas tower, sparkling clouds over the lake--we could see all of them, like the entire county was celebrating together.

I'm not much for patriotism, it's too often a lash to drive the mob forward, but this was special. Sometimes I'd look at fireworks and think about how many other people were celebrating at the same time - like a gunpowder-laced communion - but here, I could see rockets and bursts of flame sparkle across the full spread of the city that I love, and felt just a little pride to be a part of this explosive-happy, crazy nation.

/schmaltz

Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
itza
Jul. 5th, 2007 02:51 pm (UTC)
Gosh, that sounds amazing!

From where we were (stayed home), all was damp and darkness, with a few pops in the distance.
spottylogic
Jul. 5th, 2007 02:54 pm (UTC)
It was magical. There was also a phenomenal pecan-caramel tart, and I'm experiencing a lot of real estate envy.
kt_kat
Jul. 5th, 2007 02:59 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'd enjoy myself in that situation, but probably come away with a dreadful, jealous, bitter taste in my mouth. (>.<)
spottylogic
Jul. 5th, 2007 03:07 pm (UTC)
It's hard to be too awfully jealous of what an 82-year-old has done with the fullness of his life, but it did give me a few nagging pains of unsatisfied-with-life, yes.
kt_kat
Jul. 5th, 2007 02:56 pm (UTC)
Aww, lucky! Last year we tried to go downtown to watch the show but you have to get there 4 hours early to even park anywhere close to it, and escaping is a hell all of its own! So we just used our own porch and watched all the stuff going on in the neighborhood below from our own porch.
spottylogic
Jul. 5th, 2007 03:06 pm (UTC)
Yah--that's what we normally do. We usu. park near Austin High School and hike through the nearby field. It's not Zilker, but it's across the river from it.
paka
Jul. 5th, 2007 05:01 pm (UTC)
Well... it's sort of like Christmas.

You know how, Christmas really is about being with your friends and family? Both because the basic reason for the holiday (winter is harsh) hasn't changed, and because in the face of corporate mandatory-happiness triple-gingerbread-cappucino shopping frenzy, your family and friends are what truly matter?

A country is nothing more than a big community, and everyone wants their community to do well, be friendly and tolerant and generally well-liked for good reason. So ironically, beneath all the trappings of nationalism, you actually do get the feeling of a community. Something that really matters.

If that makes any sense?
spottylogic
Jul. 5th, 2007 05:11 pm (UTC)
It does...National pride is so hard right now. Particularly being in the "politically convenient scapegoat minority" camp, with 50 different reasons to dispise and ridicule the government, you have to make a conscious effort to weed out the good, polish up a bit like the good silverware for a day, then put it back in its drawer.
lord_veralix
Jul. 5th, 2007 05:02 pm (UTC)
You seem to be in a very 150x150 pixel mood. =P
spottylogic
Jul. 5th, 2007 05:08 pm (UTC)
Aroo? My care bears icon set's a little oversized, yeah, I made them kind of bulky, but they were too cute to shrink down much more...
lord_veralix
Jul. 5th, 2007 08:50 pm (UTC)
I can't deny that Tenderheart bear is lovable and cuddly but I've always been partial to Grumpy Bear myself. *stares*
spottylogic
Jul. 6th, 2007 02:19 pm (UTC)
Same here :) I think I've got a grumpy bear hanging over my bedroom door, right over the slytherin banner :)
lord_veralix
Jul. 6th, 2007 06:53 pm (UTC)
Okay, as much as that's really geeky, I have to commend you because that is totally bad ass.

I want a Ravenclaw banner myself. =P

PS. 2 more weeks. ;_;
spottylogic
Jul. 6th, 2007 07:05 pm (UTC)
I really can't wear my Grumpy Bear purse in public, though, that's beyond gay and into some strange realm of candy-raver queerosity into which I do not wish to venture.

Two more long weeks! :) I've got my copy reserved. Or did I get two copies? I can't remember...
mercuryisme
Jul. 5th, 2007 06:29 pm (UTC)
Fourth of July, to me, is about celebrating what our forefathers intended for the country, rather than what the country has become today. While I'm not very happy about our government at the moment, I think our independence is absolutely something to be proud of. We began on good principles. Maybe we can return to them.
spottylogic
Jul. 6th, 2007 07:05 pm (UTC)
That's a positive look at it. Thanks :)
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )