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Not entirely according to plan, but it all works out in the end…

Posted in Crazy Wisdom on Tuesday, July 8, 2008 at 11:43 am by flerly.

The Southern Lights Pyro crew assembled at the Guin 4th of July Fireworks show. A couple of us went by during the day to see their setup, and were surprised to find the people doing that show had heard of us.

Week of party, despite all the work, was really a fabulous week of party. Another great week with sis and her hubby — sis made me go to the Birmingham bus station to squish a penny just so she could get a picture. Almost a full week hanging with the frewtnut niece, the new Senior Chief, and the frewtnut great-niece was just so extremely nice. Words cannot express how much I miss them when they’re not around. A week wasn’t nearly a long enough visit.

Wednesday more of the extended family started making their way in. Our shopping list of people to feed went up every day, 9 Tuesday, 17 Wednesday, 25 Thursday, 48 Friday, and 70 Saturday. It was starting to feel like a week spent at the grocery store or in the kitchen, to be honest. It was pretty tough to stay on top of everything, but there were plenty of volunteers around willing to handle various tasks for us, so it all worked out pretty smoothly.

The Bed & Breakfast was amazing, and thoroughly impressed. It also made for a nice escape a couple of days, as I know sis and I both independently took mom up on a chance to drive her over there, where we sneaked a nap. It was a week of late nights and early mornings, so a nap was a rare gift. People just kept telling us that we were pulling it off very well, and I guess that kept us going.

In my book, though, it was a huge success primarily because my mother finally got to meet James’ family, and they all hit it off just great. Mom has told me a dozen times already how much fun she had, and how much she enjoyed talking about this or that with somebody in James’ family. They were all very welcoming of her, too, and I really hope that the memory of this doesn’t fade, so she’ll be more likely to join us in a smaller family gathering with them soon — like a Thanksgiving or Christmas. I really don’t feel like I had the time to worry about how mom was doing during it all, so it was a huge relief to hear from her and others just how well everything went.

Honestly, I spent most of this entire week just smiling. Everywhere you looked there was somebody you wanted to see and talk to, or people who were just meeting who were getting along like old friends. It really was a family gathering of huge proportions, and looking back, I still can’t believe that we endeavored to try to do it at all, let alone seem to have pulled it off. I don’t remember a week where I got so many hugs, or flowers, or kind words. It all made me feel sort of rock star, I have to say.

You know, there were some expected little bits of drama, as always happens with big groups of family and big quantities of alcohol, but it was all well and handled in the end. Nothing managed to put a damper on the occasion or our mood, and honestly, most of it faded away with the sobriety of the next morning anyway. I did manage somewhere Saturday evening, either when we were guiding the masses back to their cars after the fireworks or later hunting down people who were MIA, slip and pop my foot again, causing it to swell up and be all purple for Sunday morning. In fact, we spent most of Sunday feet propped up, sleeping through movie after movie, and didn’t leave for home until well into the evening. We all needed the rest, and I was walking much better that night after a day off my foot.

The fireworks show itself, well, it was a hell of a backyard display. I think a lot of folks are blown away by James and Pete’s style of show, as most public displays are really boom — ahhh — boom — ahhh, pretty much one at a time, fade out, and letting the crowd ooh and ah over each one. That does make for a cheaper show, but honestly it does get old. James and Pete tend to model after bigger professional displays, where the goal is to keep the sky lit, and leave the crowd speechless. Many people were remarking that the whole show was like one big finale, and with the rush from the weather and a slight technical difficulty, it did sort of turn out that way. The ACTUAL finale sequence did not go off correctly, and thus in my mind it never really did seem to work up to the proper ending. They just couldn’t take the time for the pauses and such, as, well, nature’s lightning show was threatening to overshadow our own show. But anyway… the new intro and set piece were a big hit, and that was really the only new thing we were testing. 10 thumbs up, guys.

All in all, I couldn’t be happier with the week and how it turned out. It was so hard to leave yesterday, and it’s so hard to think about everyone going back to their normal lives so far away. Sis was trying to cram my car full of things, as if we’d never be coming back over, and I had to say “Do you think we’re burned out on seeing you? Or are you sick of seeing us?” She just laughed and said they hoped to be burning up the roads to stay with us for a while next, and we’re already volunteered for Thanksgiving again. Next on our big travel agenda is definitely a trip to San Diego, since James still hasn’t been. We’ll be back in Alabama for the Mule Day fireworks show, end of September. And, when the smoke clears from this show, we’ll see what else is in the fireworks pipeline. If we can pull off a show in the middle of a huge family reunion, heck, I figure we can pull off anything now.

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1 Comment

  1. fluffyluggage has made a Comment

    That’s absolutely awesome! Sorry about your foot…Eeek! Sounds terribly painful. I hope you’re doing better now, or very soon. 🙁

    It’s always good to plan something super-huge like that, and then to have it go off just as planned, or at least with a hitch you can move around. Congrats, and great job! You know you’ve done your homework when it all goes smooth like that, and when you have to make small changes, you do them with grace and no one is the wiser! 😉 <3

    July 11, 2008 @ 10:04 pm

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