Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A Stray Shot

The Fourth of July was a blast. Our annual tradition of fireworks at home went off without a hitch, even though we were worried the lack of rain would provide ample fuel for a wildfire. We had a fire extinguisher at the ready and figured we could handle any small blazes that popped up from falling cinders.

Ron and Joy and their two kids were staying with us all week, and my parents came over for the celebration. Playing in the pool until dinner, Hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill, tons of side items, and then the fireworks.

I guess there was on hitch I will mention. Ron and I handled the fireworks duty, and all was going well until I came up with the idea of shooting off two artillery shells at the same time. I set up the launch tubes, and Ron and I stood ready to light them off simultaneously. It went wrong.

I must have lit mine a second before Ron did, and when my shot went off the thrust of the it knocked over the other launch tube. When it went off it launched horizontally (we had our launch tubes set up on a table about 4 feet of the ground in the middle of the back yard) right towards where we all were standing. Including the kids.

For a second I thought about how beautiful it was, and how amazing the explosion looked so close to the ground. Then my brain went into gear and I realized if the tube landed a few inches to the left on the table one of our kids could have taken a shot to the gut. I also realized that where the shot landed at the edge of the treeline there are mounds of old grass clippings- a fire was sure to follow. Ron grabbed the fire extinguisher and did fire watch duty by the trees while I continued the show. A bit more cautiously than before.

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