Wednesday, July 8, 2009

July 4th

I didn't post on the 4th because we spent part of the day in Ringgold, GA with my son playing his first game in the state tournament. That tournament ended last night and the Acworth Warriors placed 2nd! I was so proud of the team.

I didn't cook out on the 4th because we weren't sure how many games our team would play that day, but we did participate in what I think is the best part of Independence Day ---- The FIREWORKS!

We went to see the city of Woodstock's fireworks. Acworth's fireworks are fine too, I'm sure, but we started watching Woodstock's fireworks when we lived there years ago and it's become a tradition when we're in town for the 4th. So off we went to stake out our spot at the Lowe's parking lot.

We left at 7:30 p.m. to get a good spot. Plenty early enough, we thought, but we were surprised to see how many people were already staked out for the festivities. We drove by the liquor store and saw about 20 people setting up chairs. I thought that was a dumb place to set up, but after we got stuck for about an hour in the quagmire of the Lowe's parking lot after the fireworks were over, we realized the genius of the liquor store location.

On top of that, there is a very relevant, hip, and happening church right across from Lowe's in the old K-mart building. (I miss K-mart!) That church was having a big party in the parking lot, waving people in to park, serving food, boasting on the loudspeakers about their bathroom access, and playing music really, really loudly.

We had to listen to their music all evening. U2, Bruce Springsteen, Nat King Cole, and other music I didn't even recognize were the soundtrack to my family's fireworks outing. Thanks, rock and roll church. You almost ruined my night. Even during firework time, they blasted their tunes to show how cool and "non-religious" they are. It made me envy the happy people at the liquor store.

Still it was a good night. The fireworks display was awesome. Even the wait to get out of the parking lot didn't spoil the night.

When I was growing up, fireworks and the 4th of July went hand in hand. We would load up in the van and go to Hills Department store. I remember my dad putting me on top of the van so I could see better. Maybe that actually happened. Maybe not. Regardless it was always one of my favorite times.
Hills isn't there anymore. Sad, because it wasn't only a part of my life on the 4th. It was a big part of my childhood, with the popcorn and the Coke freezes, and the countless Barbie dolls I saw and wanted. The time I got lost and some random guy took me to the customer service counter so they could page my mom and my sister made fun of me for being scared. Buying my Holly Hobbie mug for the express purpose of drinking hot chocolate. The time when I was a teenager and my mom, my sister, and I were in line waiting for popcorn and we heard a bullet come through the front of the window and we ran back into the store, but my sister just fell on the ground too afraid to move. I'm not sure it was actually a bullet. I think it was a rock that a car had kicked up and it had hit the window. Still watching my super cool teenaged sister on the ground in fear was kind of payback for her making fun of me when I was only about 7 and lost in Hills.

Yep. Good memories.

I hope those are the kinds of memories my son is holding onto when we drive down to see the fireworks in Woodstock. Even if he remembers the slight annoyance of the loud music, his big memory will be of anticipation, playing catch in the parking lot while waiting for dusk, and the awesome display of fireworks that capped off a great Independence Day.

I'll tell him the story about his Aunt Sherri being scared of the rock that hit the window at Hills too. That memory should live on.


A. said...

I always watched the fireworks from the Hills in Star City outside of Morgantown. :( My grandma used to take my aunt and I to hills and lay-away a bunch of school clothes for us. I always thought it was so fun.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Wait... is that the Hills near the Patrick Street bridge? With the Big Bear grocery store next door? If so? Memories, hon. Memories. We would always sit along Kanawha Boulevard or sit in my uncle's apartment and watch from there.

Tina said...

Actually the picture is of a Hills in Pennsylvania that I found on the Hills Department store website. It was the the picture that looked most like the Hills in Beckley that I frequented in my youth!