Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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Thursday, January 1, 2015

FIRE! Works

Happy first day of 2015!
Due to last night's revelry (We welcomed in the New Year by drinking root beer, eating chips, working on a puzzle and watching Horatio Hornblower.) I am giving you a warmed-over post. My favourite New Year story.
I hope you enjoy it!
Happy New Year!

The holiday season that year started like any other . . .
My husband, Grant, loves fire.
Really.
When we lived on the farm, our neighbours always knew when he was home. Inevitably, his presence was betrayed by the large column of smoke emanating from our property. And his tall figure silhouetted against the flames, happily poking whatever garbage he had been able to find.
Our farm was amazingly trash-free.
After our move to the city, his love of fire had, of necessity, to be squelched. For the good of the neighbourhood and our own personal safety.
Neighbours can be notoriously crabby when it comes to garbage fires in their back yards.
Just FYI.
For these reasons, he commuted his love of fire to a love of fire . . . works. They sizzled. They sparked. They exploded. They were a budding ‘pyro’s’ citified dream. They filled the void left by his unfortunate, but necessary, separation from fire.
He began a tradition. Fireworks on New Year’s Day. It was a relatively safe time. The world heavily coated in fire retardant – commonly called snow. Everyone in a festive mood, ready to celebrate.
Permits and regulations were disregarded. One merely had to invite the mayor and his family over for dinner and a show to get around those. I mean, who’s going to ticket the mayor?
We won’t go there . . .
There was a large snow bank in a field just outside of the town limits. Perfect for the display. An array of fireworks, chosen specifically from the abundant possibilities, were thrust carefully but firmly into this bank to hold them steady before their spectacular flight.
Grant had everything organized. Our second son and his friend were on hand to light things up. Strictly in order.
Chaos controlled.
Explosions only on his command.
The stage was set.
The first sparklers went off without a hitch. Starlight exploded in the sky. Red, Green, White, Blue. The display was dazzling. We oohed and aahed on cue. Everything was proceeding well.
Then the event.
One candle had ideas of its own. Not a good thing when you’re a firework. It went up, but before it could fulfill the measure of its creation, its trajectory . . . changed somewhat. 180 degrees, in fact. Straight into the box of remaining fireworks.
For a moment, Grant stared at it, perhaps too shocked and surprised to really take in what had just happened. The firework spluttered warningly.
He screamed.
Not a good sound in the middle of a fireworks display. In an amazingly graceful leap, he cleared the snow bank, taking the two boys with him. The three of them landed in an ungainly heap.
Then, totally abandoning dignity, they scrambled frantically for the snow bank the rest of us hid behind as the real fireworks display began behind them.
It was like a scene out of a movie. For several minutes, the crackers fizzed and shot everywhere, sending up showers of sparks from wherever they happened to land. A few even made their way skyward. It was spectacular. Amazing. Fun. Everyone screamed and laughed . . . and ducked.
Then . . . silence.
After waiting several minutes, Grant finally figured it was safe to move. He crawled behind the snow bank, using knees and elbows. Sort of like a soldier approaching a bunker. A very cold, snowy bunker. With exploding things inside it.
Yes, just like a bunker.
He emerged some time later holding the still-smoking box, with the remnants of his collection and a very chagrined face.
Fortunately, no one was injured. But Grant never again held a fireworks display. For one thing, he was out of fireworks.
For another - how could he ever top that?

14 comments:

  1. Hilarious! Wish I could have been there to see it all! Thank goodness nobody was hurt! Scarey at the same time!
    Love,
    Chris

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes, the best stories are the ones where we narrowly skirt death. Funny, that.

      Delete
  2. Scary and funny - which honestly makes the best kind of story! Your son would have loved my neighborhood last night - it was 4th of July all over again! Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  3. My husband did "almost" the same thing exact with more harrowing results. I'll have to explain one day soon. He's not allowed to play with fire anymore either and can't understand why I won't let him burn the ditch line out in front of the house to start his new flower garden! Men can't live with them...can't shove a firecracker up their butts! Believe me I tried.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bwahahaha! Let's not get our husbies together . . .

      Delete
  4. I kind of wish I had seen that, on the other hand I never want to experience that level of cold brought by snow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yp. Just imagine how your fingers get when you have to work with something cold. Like that. But worse . . .

      Delete

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