Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Accidental Patriot

Nice afternoon and evening on the lake with my inlaws yesterday. We had intended to just boat over to The Point for dinner, but stumbled onto a full-blown pre-fireworks gathering, complete with Phil Williams. So we tied off and spent the evening at the red, white and Bud soiree.
Seems like drinking Budweiser on the Fourth has become like eating black-eyed peas on New Years.

(How does Budweiser do that anyway? An independently owned restaurant, an independently owned dockside convenient store, and an outdoor buffet, and all are stocked with nothing but Budweiser.)

So anyway, at some point as the sun was setting and the sky was pinkish and dusky, four orangey-pink round lights appeared, coming slowly and in a straight line from the west. Maybe ten thousand feet above us, flickering like japanese lanterns. As they got above us, they seemed to climb higher and then the light dimmed and then flickered completely out, revealing a smallish black silhouette then rose up and away, or in one case, slowly fell.
A group of six appeared after that, behaving the same way.
We never did figure out what in the heck they were.

The firework show was nice but somewhat haphazard. The promoters had intended for it to be coordinated with music, but dude got a late start and then it seemed, had to light every rocket by hand, making it hard for him to keep up with the beat, as he had to run between crates of explosives and dodge heavy smoke and sparks.
At one point the music stopped and the fuse-lighter man was only about halfway through his stash. He kept lighting in silence as the dj's scrambled to come up with a suitable patriotic song to accompany him.
They settled on Rocky Top. Then Celine Dion singing God Bless America. Then some other crap.
Finally finally at long last the finale, which was quite pretty and we quite sure, had killed the fuse-lighter man.

We rode back across the lake afterward in the dark, which I have to say, is extremely disorienting. Eveytime we do it, I am amazed that my father-in-law can figure out where we're headed and manage not to hit anything.
My in-laws wanted to load up the boat onto the trailer so that they could take it to Norris the next morning. The first time they had tried doing this in the dark. And with lots of other drunken boats milling around trying to load up as well. didn't go well.

We first tried to load it on a slanted slope with my mother-and-law driving the boat.
She missed the first try and the second.
So my father-in-law tries to drive up on it and it seems to be good until we drive out of the water and we see the boat is all crooked and leaning.
We try again, drive out, and hear a loud crack and the boat threatens to fall over into a foot of water. (This is a large pontoon boat so it's really frightening).
Turns out, one of the top rails of the trailer had snapped off and was floating in the water.

So at this point, my mother-in-law and I are absolute nervous wrecks. Amazingly though, the boys decided to give it another go on a more level surface and actually got it on properly (the broken trailer bit wasn't as essential as I had thought).

I'm always impressed with people who have the confidence and patience to try and try again. That's not my style. I'm a throw-the-textbook-across-the-room-and-sob kind of girl.

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