We celebrated Independence Day with close friends from South Carolina in a beautiful mountain location at Lake Jocasee. The secluded, little cabin we rented was exactly what one might expect - pine floors and ceilings, a stone fireplace and a wooden carving of a ferocious bear to greet those at the door.
Our cabin was in a lovely setting, down multiple gravel driveways, past the many family residences depicted accurately in Deliverance. It was surprisingly soothing, albeit a little freaky, to fall asleep to the sounds of battling banjos and sawed off shotguns firing, but it was the fourth of July, and we are all about supporting the various celebrations of independence joy.
(But that didn’t stop us from wearing helmets to bed or stooping low beneath the windowsills as we sauntered by.)
We spent two days at the lake, visiting with good friends with good boats. (Aren’t these the best kinds of friends?) The children kayaked, canoed and rode the tube thingy until they were so tired they could only communicate with a few random words strung together by exhausted little brains.
“Towel. So cold.”
“Arms hurt. Medicine.”
“Not. Tired. Don’t. Wannna. Go.”
Like every multi-tasking, patriotic family, we packed in as many activities as possible to celebrate the fourth: swimming and skiing, snorkeling and tubing, kayaking and exploring, grilling and s’moring (Another new word for you courtesy of Webster’s Dictionary by Joni.) And because we had to expend EVERY ounce of energy remaining in any of the 10 adults and 6 children, we ended the night with Sparklers on steroids and a bootlegged firework show.
To clarify, the fireworks were purchased legally, and were spectacular. However, lighting very short fuses attached to multiple sticks of fireworks seemingly manufactured in IRAQ with a BIC LIGHTER should not be tried at home. There were close calls with the fingers of some of the adults, but overall, no one was hurt and any skin lost on the fingertips should grow back in upcoming months.
As for the sparklers, I am convinced someone purchased them in a voodoo shop. They looked innocent enough until lit, and then a firestorm shot out of the ends like a Harry Potter wand gone bad. The wisps of black smoke pouring out of the unopened packages should have been our first indicator that these were sparklers gone awry. However, the children thought that they were the BEST, even if all the wide-eyed moms in attendance had to breathe in paper bags to relieve the hyperventilation it caused.
It was a fun weekend which ended with our family dropping our oldest son, Chase, off at an overnight camp with three of his South Carolina buddies. More on that later.
For now I need to unpack, put away our helmets, and rest my singed fingertips.