for the past several years -- since before we moved out to georgia even (four years ago? REALLY?) -- we've been used to crazy, noisy july 4th celebrations, often for weeks on end. kids up and down the street playing with sparklers, spinners, and other supposedly "safe" fireworks, often without adult supervision, has become a normal sight for us. and the night of said celebration is usually punctuated by gunfire (the same can be said of new year's eve as well).
this year? strangely quiet.
no fireworks up and down the street starting two or three or three weeks in advance. last night? nothing except the official celebrations heard from a distance, not even the typical gunfire. pretty much everything was done by 10 or 11 pm. the dog still freaked out (she can't stand loud noises), but it was a short lived, quieter freak out than usual because nothing was nearby and nothing lasted that long.
don't get me wrong. the noisier celebrations irritate me, especially since the kids tend to be unsupervised, and we all know the issues with firing guns up in the air. even so, that's what i've been used to for years now, so to have it so quiet and over so quickly was just...bizarre.
even our "celebrations" (such as they are, since we don't typically celebrate the 4th too much) were more low key than usual. saxy picked up some food for a little barbecue, and i do mean little -- brats, burgers, some chips. we added in a can of fruit salad we already had and that was pretty much it. none of the usual salads and sides, no dessert. we sent the kids to bed at their usual time and didn't even bother to try to see what little we could see of the fireworks displays. the rest of the evening was spent watching repeats on tv and reading. i even worked part of yesterday.
and if the rest of our street is any indication, we're the only ones who did even that much, which was odd. especially since the new neighbors across the street have taken every excuse they have to invite over every family member they have and clog the street with people and vehicles every weekend since they moved in. it's STILL quiet over there.
really, the most excitement we had was a sudden mini storm that popped up out of nowhere, did a little drama, and disappeared within an hour. everything got wet, but dried out pretty much by the end of the evening.
i doubt quiet independence day celebrations will become the norm, but it sure would be nice. i suspect, however, the the combination of gas prices, food prices, and the drought just put a damper on everyone's celebrations. as soon as most of that is no longer a problem, i'm sure we'll be back to the noisy, crazy celebrations that we've become accustomed to over the years. just thinking about it gives me a headache.
i think i prefer strangely quiet.
word of the moment: effervescent
giving off bubbles; used of wines and waters; charged naturally or artificially with carbon dioxide; marked by high spirits or excitement