Are We On Fire?

The dark sky exploded with the rhythmic sound of shooting fireworks followed by the oohs and ahhs of the gathered spectators. Laughter echoed around the yard as my uncle and his helpers lit another row of large pyrotechnics for the backyard entertainment. The burnt smell of gunpowder intermingled with the sweet clover smell of the Montana evening. Bellies were still comfortably full from the overabundant dinner buffet that seemed to offer every possible dish we could have wanted. Lounging in the cool grass, with my daughter snuggled close and holding the hand of the most handsome man ever, I was completely and totally content.

Suddenly a flaming ball zipped passed my head while others exploded around the lawn. Screaming and yelling suddenly filled the air as everyone scrambled for cover. Fireworks exploded all over the lawn in every direction possible. After what seemed like forever, the explosions stopped and a layer of smoke covered the now empty lawn chairs.

“What the hell just happened?” came one yell breaking the silence.

“Did someone put that mortar in upside-down?” came another voice, possibly my uncles, with a slight chuckle.

“Dad! You set me on fire!” yelled my cousin from the other side of the grass as she quickly brushed off the embers.

My husband, who was just dating me at the time, had leaped at the first sight of pandemonium, ready to jump to the rescue. He stood there, surveying the scene, waiting for the show to be stopped after the debacle. This was his first time meeting my extended family so this was all new to him. Much to his surprise, everyone laughed after making sure no one was really hurt, checked the rest of the mortars waiting to be lit and started the show back up.

Since the fireworks were scaring my daughter just a little, my husband suggested we climb to the top of the fifth-wheel, parked just far enough in the distance, and watched the remaining show from the roof. She readily agreed so that’s where we finished the evening’s festivities.

Both of my parents were born and raised in Montana, so my childhood was filled with trips to visit the gorgeous state every summer. They both have very large families, so when I was younger I didn’t understand why all the neighbors came over every time we visited, when it was in fact all of my family. We are a loud and rambunctious group, especially when we all get together and are unapologetic of our behavior. We like to have a good time, and getting together for these celebrations is always looked forward to.

My uncle and his family are especially close to my family. My cousins are actually closer in age to my kids and there is a natural bond they all have. They go months and months without seeing each other, but the minute they are back together it’s like they were never apart.  My extended family was very guarded when meeting my husband because I didn’t exactly have a great track record (read about that here). My uncle even told my dad he wasn’t going to like him. After spending a couple days with him, they quickly changed their minds and thought he was just as great as I did (and still do)!

This 4th of July display was the perfect representation of my crazy Montana family who I couldn’t love more. I loved it even more that my husband fit right in. It was just another of the many reasons why that guy is my perfect match!