Just the Other Day: Fireworks

With the Fourth of July, come the big fireworks displays. Rockets launched into the air, bursting into big colorful shapes, often times stacked on top of one another.  They fall toward  the ground like rain, drawing ooo’s and awes, until they dissipate. Another rocket shoots through their path, into the sky to continue the show. Loud thunderous booms add to the excitement, celebrating the freedom of our great country.


While some will buy additional fireworks to set off in addition to the public displays,, my life seems to be filled with natural fireworks all year round.


For example: We bought a vintage Alaskan, pickup camper in Washington. We’re still looking for an old truck to carry it, so we had to trailer it back to Minnesota. On the way home, we opted to spend the night in the camper, rather than a motel.


Melissa, June and I were trying to get to sleep while Edgar insisted on exploring every square inch of the new camper – in the dark. Toward our feet is a wide horizontal window with an old roller shade for privacy. Edgar got behind the shade. Backlit by street lights, he was a silhouette behind a screen, pacing back and forth like an alley cat walking the top rail of a wooden fence during a full moon. It was hilarious; the show he was putting on.


I’ve no idea how he did it, but he managed to snap the shade, releasing it. The shade retracted at a high rate of speed, back up on the roller with a couple extra spins at the end! ZIIING- WHAP-WHAP-WHAP!!! It scared the bejeebers outta that cat, and he took off running!


Have you ever seen a cat run a quarter mile…full speed…inside an eight-by-seven-foot box? It’s a hard cross between comedy and danger. The best you can do is to cover your head with your arms, and pray that you don’t wet yourself laughing during the ruckus. (Fellas, tightly crossing your legs or rolling onto your stomach is strongly advised.) What a nut! After this outburst he spent the majority of the night under the bed.


In the morning I took June for a walk down the Centennial Trail, a paved recreational path just outside Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.  It’s was a beautiful morn; cool fresh air, sunshine and tall mountains in every direction I looked. A six-foot high chain link fence separates the trail from houses in the area.


June on her leash, saw a chipmunk ahead and took off after it. The retractable leash whirred as she pulled out the entire fifteen feet! She was as close as I’ve ever seen to catching that little booger.  Two feet beyond the end of June’s reach, the critter jumped through the fence.  June nearly jerked my arm out of its socket, then continued tugging, pulling me over far enough so she could reach the fence.


Safely on the other side of the fence, the chipmunk turned and gave June a piece of his mind. June barked back – an argument between the two ensued.  The furry little critter charged back at June, jumping toward June’s face. I wasn’t sure if he actually came through the the fence until I pulled June back toward me. With all four feet clinging to the wires, an inch from my dogs face, the chattering and subsequent barking continued.


I yelled, “June! Leave it!” And pulled back on her leash. “Have you lost your cotton-picking mind?” I asked. “If that chipmunk latches on to your nose, you’re going to get hurt! You might even lose and eye!”


June returned to my side. The chipmunk momentarily retreated, then charged though the fence at June! June took off running away from the crazed rodent.  The leash whizzed as she ran. Reaching the end of the line, she nearly pulled me off my feet.  I stomped my feet at the chipmunk and yelled, “Get outta here!” The chipmunk turned back and ran to the top of the fence. He jumped to a tree branch and continued chattering at us. I yelled back, “Go home ya little five-inch terrorist!” He disappeared into the leaves and branches..


I tried to regain composure while looking around to find the dooty-bag I dropped during the mayhem.  That’s when I noticed the two bicyclists, wearing black spandex trimmed with lime green and orange accents. They sat atop their seats, each with one foot on the ground. Apparently they had watched the whole thing.


The rider on the right adjusted his black plastic helmet and said, “Lucky chipmunk!” I bent over, picking up my dark green plastic sack, then stood up and said, “Lucky dog!”  We all shared a good laugh. I walked off to the west with June, they pedaled away to the east.


I don’t need extra fireworks? Real life offers the best fireworks displays, happening around us every day!