Friday, July 04, 2008

4th of July, Newton River Park

First of all, Happy Fourth of July to all Americans! I hope you all enjoyed fireworks and barbecues of your own today. :)

I worked early for the second 4th of July in a row. Work was, to put it quite mildly, total anarchy. According to several Acme employees, the Shop Rite in Brooklawn, not far from Audubon, lost almost their entire meat inventory when their freezers died...and all their customers now had to come to us or not have meat for their barbecues. I can't believe how many people were doing their big shopping trips today! It must have to do with most people having this weekend off. The lines were down the aisles when I bought a 5-lb bag of Domino's Sugar for $1.99. I wouldn't have bought it if it hadn't been the last one left, if the sale hadn't been so good, and if I wasn't completely out of sugar. Customers were cranky, too - it IS still the beginning of the month. Thank goodness I went on break and got to and from work with no problems.

After I finally got out of that mess, I rode home as quickly as I could, changed into shorts and sandals, put the sugar in the sugar container, grabbed my purse and the cupcakes, and headed over to Uncle Ken's. Dad, Jodie, Jessa, and I drove out to Uncle Ken's daughter Samantha's house in Cinnaminson for her barbecue party. I didn't know she had a pool and didn't bring my bathing suit, but I still had fun eating, watching all the older kids jump into the pool, and chasing Samantha's adorable two-year-old daughter Faith around the backyard and playing catch with her. She has a good arm for a two-year-old. Her brothers must be teaching her.

After we got back in, I rested for a few hours and listened to patriotic old-time radio programs. The "50 Best Radio Shows" set I bought in 2004 came with a few World War II-era shows highlighting America and American history. I listened to two episodes of Cavalcade of America, narrated by Burgess Merredith, and began the Norman Corwin special We Hold These Truths (on the Bill of Rights) before I decided it was clear enough to head out to the fireworks.

The clouds had been on and off all day long. We had a shower this morning just before I went to work, but it hadn't rained since then. Of course, the moment I head out to the fireworks, it starts raining...but not enough to put a damper on the festivities. I made a quick stop at the bank to deposit my paycheck in the ATM machine (since it's on my way anyhow), then headed off to Newton River Park.

Since I'd crossed the White Horse Pike to go to the bank, I decided to watch the fireworks in the park this year, instead of at CVS or the bridge between Collingswood and Oaklyn. I walked around for about 20 minutes, looking for a reletively dry place to sit and just enjoying the festive atmosphere. Though most people were sitting in their cars to avoid the rain, some sat on blankets or tarps on the hillside, and there were even large groups of late picnic-ers by the playground.

I finally found a big, fat old stump in an area by the water that seemed to be completely empty. I'd only just sat down and made myself comfortable under my umbrella when I heard a tremendous, heart-stopping BANG! I whipped around to find a glittering cacophony of sound and color soaring over the rooftops of Collingswood. It was absolutely gorgeous, rain or no rain. I especially loved the heart-shaped ones. That's so neat, how they do that, and so different.

It was still raining when the fireworks ended. I wasn't really wet, thanks to my umbrella, but I didn't want to push it after getting soaked last year, so I didn't stick around for Haddon Township's fireworks. It was just as well. There was massive traffic on the White Horse Pike going back, and it took me longer than it should have to get home.

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