July 4th 2011. The day started off at Aaron and Stephanie's house and end 150 miles away with Katie at a fireworks display. It made for a full day! I guess I was really tired by the end of the day because now that I look back at it, I did not take the pictures I should have that led up to the fireworks show.
I should have snapped pictures of all the people lined up on both sides of 119th Street. Everyone carrying their lawn chairs, blankets and coolers, all trying to find the perfect spot to camp out for the big display.
I should have captured on film all the police officers who were directing traffic, setting out safety cones, patrolling on their bicycles making sure everyone was orderly and the night was a success.
I should have captured a picture of where Katie and I chose for our spot. Sitting up against the sidewalk that was parallel with 119th Street. Nestled between two trees with many people around us. There was a young woman with her grandparents, all three of them laying on a blanket with each having a 12 x 12 soft pillow under their heads. While waiting for the darkness to set in, she read on her Kindle and checked her I-phone regularly while her grandma read a novel and her grandpa laid between the two just gazing at the sky.
I should have captured a picture of an older gentleman who came out to watch the fireworks display by himself. His lawn chair sinking in the grass under his weight and swaying whenever he repositioned himself. I privately commended him for venturing out on his own to enjoy something he liked even if he did not have a companion for the evening.
I should have captured pictures of all the people parked in the shopping strip lots who were stretched out in the beds of their trucks watching the sky waiting for that first explosion of a firework to go off.
Or of all the people who made it a big festive night by tailgating in the parking lot. The smell of their hot dogs and hamburgers was enticing.
I really should have captured a picture of the line of people waiting to use the rest room inside the Starbucks! Mothers who were rushing their children into the men's room instead of waiting their turn in the women's long line, shouting to their spectators that "when you gotta go, you gotta go and it does not matter if the room is designated for men only". Or the teenage boy that was with his mom and how she explained to everyone that her son was clutching his chocolate brown comforter close to him because he was embarrassed that the other side was hot pink and he did not want anyone to see it. He surprised her by folding the blanket the opposite way to show everyone that hot pink and then held onto it proudly while laughing at his mom.
I should have taken a picture of where we parked behind the shopping strip and how I insisted on getting my car backed into a tight parking spot so I could escape faster than those around me that pulled in front first.
I should have captured a picture of the trash dumpster next to our parking spots that reeked so bad of spoiled food it will probably be one of the things we will remember the most.
What I really wished I would have snapped pictures of..........was me and Katie. Sitting in our folding lawn chairs, our newly purchased insulated cups from Stephanie's ROOM 5 filled with iced tea, we people gawked and shared our stories of the weekend. I should have moved my chair as close to her as I possibly could and ask her to lean her head to mine and snapped a dozen pictures of us. Or rather handed her the camera and asked her to snap the pictures since she is so much better at that than I am.
The night went by too quickly, the show was over way too soon.....
But the show was spectacular! I got GREAT pictures this year! Sometimes the sparks were seemingly falling right down on us. The picture below reminds me of a palm tree.............
And this one below looks like flashes of lightening going off inside the white fireworks....
This one below is my very favorite. It's like streamers falling from the heavens saying the party is over......
It was a good night with a cool breeze that gave us a magnificent display to enjoy. God bless America and thank you to our soldiers that let us have this freedom.