Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Trees

I love trees. I love spring when the leaves come out, all fresh and green. I love fall when the leaves turn beautiful and crisp and are fun to crunch as you walk. I even love to rake them - ok, within reason though.

There were two times though in the past week when trees have been an annoyance, a frustration and downright irritating.

We went to our local fireworks show on July 4th with good friends and their kids. Well, actually I ended up taking Ron and Becca home early in the evening because he was grumpy and not feeling sociable and she NEEDED to go to bed on time. We hadn’t been to these fireworks before so weren’t quite up on where to sit for the best view. We asked a couple of people and the consensus seemed to be to sit on the middle school lawn facing the road and that the fireworks would be visible straight to the east where there is a low tree line. Ok, so we found a great spot to sit, near the porta-potties, in the shade yet with an excellent view of where (we thought) the fireworks would appear come darkness. Oh no. That was not to be. When the fireworks eventually began (we realized that from now on we can wait until more like 7pm instead of 3:30 to secure our parking spaces and seating area) - and we were able to tell which were the ‘real’ ones rather than the multitude of illegal ones going off in the surrounding neighborhoods – they went off more like to the northeast. Right behind a nice tall strand of trees. Within about 10 seconds (or so it seemed) the lawn, which had been quite full of other people either similarly misinformed or who didn’t care if they actually could SEE the fireworks, virtually emptied as everyone gathered up their blankets, chairs, bags, etc. and ran to the left or right in search of open ground with decent visibility. We ended up on a curb, under a streetlight. There were still trees blocking the lowest fireworks, but we could see probably a good 2/3 of them pretty well if we ignored (or tried) the streetlight glare. We threw down a blanket for the kids but we stood and watched. It was a good show – or at least I think it was.

I must say too, by this point we were all tired, having sat in the heat and sun and crowds all afternoon and evening, dealing with keeping 5 (and then 4 after Ron and Becca left) kids of varying ages and genders occupied. Kristi’s 2-year-old son is potty training, which necessitated trips to the porta-potties every half hour. I must say too that he did rather well all day whereas Hannah who is 2 years older had two wet accidents (sigh). So although we were a bit frustrated by the whole viewing the fireworks through the trees issue, when we got to our well-illuminated final viewing spot, we were quite silly and slap-happy. When Kristi’s 5-year-old (his birthday is actually July 4th – happy birthday, Noah!) started shouting the word, ‘Awesome!’ after every single firework, she finally challenged him to come up with a different word to describe them all. Well, a 5-year-old does have a somewhat limited vocabulary, so after the first few minutes, Kristi and I took over. You probably had to have been there for our exclamations of, “too darn low!”, “shimmery!”, “multi-colored!”, “groovy!”, “not high enough!”, etc. to actually sound funny, but we had a blast. It was rather like free association, shouting out the first thing that came to mind that hadn’t already been used. It was probably the most fun I’ve actually had at fireworks in a long time – since there were no umbrellas, raindrops, mosquitoes or crying babies involved. So trees aside, we had a very good time.

I’ll get to the other tree story later – it involves some explanation (and hopefully photos) of how our front yard appeared when we bought our house 3 ½ years ago versus how it looks today.

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