Everyday is an Adventure. Embrace it

Posts tagged ‘fireworks’

Boomsday 2012

While I’ve been looking for my outlook to change back to an adventurous one, my family and I had an adventure without realizing it 🙂

On September 2nd, we decided to brave the crowd and venture into downtown Knoxville for the annual Boomsday event. This was the 25th anniversary of the huge 30 minute long firework display put on by the city of Knoxville. The developers of this event expected about 400,000 people to attend the largest firework display in the nation. If I had to guess, I’d say that over 400,000 people were there despite the bad weather forecast!

We started off the day in Market Square, grabbing sub sandwiches from Subway. Bellies full, we went to the middle of the square where a street performer was makes balloon animals. Our teenage kids (16, 15, 15, and 14yrs old) participated in a band session with this guy. He played a flute while the kids drummed on his instruments. Several passer-bys stopped to watch such local entertainment. 🙂 They drew a pretty good sized crowd too 🙂
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Next, My oldest son’s girlfriend stood by as the nice man made 2 balloon animals for her. Receiving her balloons, she said, “Even though I said I wasn’t going to have fun today, this is cool.”…as she smiled 🙂
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We then walked to the East TN Museum of History and the kids took in some local History.  The Museum had the 3rd floor open! The kids got to see the old library that is not normally open to the public 🙂
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Last, we walked across downtown to Volunteer Landing on Neyland Drive. The roads were blocked off to motorist by local law enforcement so it was safe to walk. 3 radio stations were broadcasting, there were many vendors selling everything fried you could possibly think  of, and there was Live Entertainment from several stages. Boats leisurely floated along the Tennessee River and the atmosphere was wonderful! It felt like the fair. It took us about an hour to totally relax, leave work & worries behind, and …lose the kids 🙂  Okay, not really lose them in a panic – we lost them to their own excitement as they went their separate ways to meet up with friends, play games, win prizes, and act stupid without adult supervision 🙂
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It was absolutely what I needed to pull out of my stubbornness & give my mindset a 180 turn-about. Nick told the kids to meet us at different intervals at a HUGE yellow rubber ducky 🙂
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We spent the whole day downtown, even when it rained 🙂 It was nice!
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 At 9:30pm the firework display started. About 15 minutes into the show, the sky broke open & rain began to come down in buckets! No sprinkle warnings! Hundreds of people ran for cover and we found solstice under a bridge for about 5 minutes.  Everyone fit under the bridge except my youngest son and I. My oldest son would have fit, but he was trying to be his girl friend’s umbrella. Finally, we made a run for it… through a crowd of people, all 6 of us attempted to stay together as we ran through the rain for cover. We were drenched! Soaking wet. Nick was trying to save the pizza we had bought earlier as he ran ahead, but ended up almost busting his rear-end wide open when he slipped and lost a box of soaking wet pizza on the ground. hahahahahahaha      He wasn’t hurt and didn’t fall. We eventually made it to the truck and all piled in. Wet, soppy soaked, we sat on the top of a parking garage parked in line to exit for an hour before we were able to leave.

It was the BEST Boomsday ever!!! I haven’t had this much fun in a looooong time!  🙂

 

I think I may be back 🙂

Fireworks, Fun, & Family

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My Amazing Stranger

Occasionally through life, we are granted the gift of meeting extraordinary people.

Smokey's Baseball Game 2010

Smokey's Baseball Game 2010

As we sail through life, it’s easy to forget some of those people who made an impression on our lives in a small way. Like an amazing stranger that you never see again. Life gets busy, booked up, full of working hours, too many things on our “to-do” lists, people go home (busy) each evening and watch TV for several hours…until they retire for the night. We simply just do not have the time to think about someone we met briefly many years ago that made a tiny impression on our day. I am guilty of this as well as others are. So, this morning I have thanked God for several chance encounters I’ve had with people over the years. (I’ve been working on my memory since July of last year and recovering those lost memories has been progressing as I sift through pictures. I take pictures so often, there are many to remind me about specific days. Especially if there was an emotion attached to a photograph…and, I’m a chick…so their’s ALWAYS an emotion.) 

Right above the players

In the "Fan" section directly above the players.

I remember the first baseball game we attended. I didn’t know the real rules of the game, so I kept asking a friend (who sat 4 seats away with 2 empty seats in-between us) why different things were happening. He was frustrated, frowned a lot, and finally said, “Look, I came here to WATCH a game. Okay”? I smirked and thought to myself, “Fine, I’ll ask someone else 😛 “.   I looked around, observed most of the women were melting in multiple layers of make up, stumbling up and down the stadium steps in high heels, and only talking to other women. The men that sat near or next to them were holding a beer, hot dog, or pop and staring straight ahead at the game. The men were focused and the ladies were socializing in the sweltering heat. The men occasionally gave a head nod or fake smile to the women. This seemed to make those women very happy (or at least they smiled big and chuckled loudly).

So, I turned to my oldest son & told him I’d be back in a few minutes, stay put. He nodded. You see, both of my boys had asked me questions about the game, trying to learn it as well & I couldn’t answer their questions!  😦  My dad never really watched sports or played any, so my brother wasn’t into any sports either. My mom… Are you kidding?  I had to learn them on my own. I squeezed out of the row of seats and went up the steps to the vending areas. I walked around for a few minutes, watching people interact with each other. Most of the men were in their own world’s. As they walked, went in & out-of-doors, ordered food, or were going up & down the steps… their minds were on the game – I mean like total game zombies. That’s not a bad thing either, but I needed to find someone who was into the game enough that they could answer some simple questions, yet, I wouldn’t be dangerously snapping them out of another reality into mine so sudden it resulted in brain damage or a scream at me!  🙂   From observation, I could already tell the other women had already scarred the men’s mindset: “Will she ever shut up? I just wanna watch this game. Why does she come with me? I’m not flirting with any one. Geez!!”

I found one!! A very slender older man wearing a green shirt was standing in the 2ft X 3ft smoking section. He was staring at the field, but there was nothing going on down there. The game had like, paused. I lit a cigarette and stirred up the courage to say, “Hi, would you mind if I asked you some really dumb questions before the game gets started back?” He looked at me oddly and answered, “I guess.”  I said, “Great! Thank you. Can you keep up with me if I go really fast- so you can watch the game?” He looked at his shoes, took a deep breath & said “Sure.”  So, off I went:

Me: “Why is that guy on the mound throwing the balls away from the guy with the bat? Doesn’t he want the guy to hit the ball?”

My Amazing Stranger: “Strikeout. Pitcher wants to only barely stay within boundries…wants batter to swing & miss.”

Me: “Oh… Why Are the guys waaay out in the field running so far & hard to catch balls that going to land near their own players closer up the field? Why doesn’t the other player just get or catch it?”

My Amazing Stranger: “guard the base. don’t leave it” …taps finger on chin… “Or lazy player and over compensating player.”

Me: “hmm, okay…why so many intermissions?

My Amazing Stranger: “Drink Beer, gotta pee”

Me: “Thank you! Am I bothering you?”

My Amazing Stranger: “No”

Me: ‘Why are there so many people over on that bank past the outfield?”

My Amazing Stranger: “It’s free. You can’t see the game.”

Me: “What’s an inning?”

My Amazing Stranger: “the # of times a team is in the field/at bat”

Me: “How many are there?”

My Amazing Stranger: “9”

Me: “Tired of the questions yet?”

My Amazing Stranger: “No, but the game will start soon.”

Me: “Okay, Who are the good guys?”

My Amazing Stranger: a got a chuckle out of him..”There are no good or bad guys. The Smokies are in white shirts and pants.”

Me: “hm, yeah that’s what I meant to say.”

***Queue the Awkward silence***

Me: “Will you be back to smoke soon?”

My Amazing Stranger: “In 2 more Innings.”

Me: “Could I come ask you more questions as my kids ask me?”

My Amazing Stranger: “Yes”

And with that, he put out his cigarette and went away. We met two more times and I asked probably 30 more questions about the game, players, and things they did on the field. Each time he didn’t seem aggravated or bothered by my questions. I think that he understood that I really wanted to learn the game we were watching and that the questions he answered, I told my boys when we parted.  That was when I added the Reds to my bucket list. My Amazing Stranger was from Cincinnati  🙂

July 4th…the rest of the story

The boys, a friend, & I went to the Great Smokey Mountains National Park today. We were meeting up with some great co-workers for an outting.

It was absolutely beautiful in the mountains today. We had discussed hiking up to the waterfall (which is an item on my bucket list), but rain began to come down in buckets. The only waterfall we saw was the heavy rain sliding off the side of the pavillion we were at. We all had a great time & I very much enjoyed myself 🙂

On our way home, we saw a M60 tank near the side of the road outside of Cosby. We turned the car around, went back & took some pictures. I was so excited!!  My second tank!!!!  I admired the chasis and the suspension differences in this field machine & the other one I had seen. There were obvious differences.

After we arrived home, it was nice & quiet in the neighborhood until around 10pm. That’s when my neighbors started popping off their fireworks again.

I am happy to report that after last night’s fiasco, their shooting proximity was remarkably better. Not one of their fireworks came toward my yard, house or car 🙂

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Incoming…Take cover!

First, I’ll say I am not against partying or having fun. My personal philosophy is to enjoy as much of every day possible. Now, on with this adventure…

Every year, around the 4th of  July, my neighbors decide it’s party time. They are evening drinkers every day after work & they love to have large get-togethers at their home for sporting events, birthdays, pool parties, etc. In this way, they are pretty normal neighbors. But, on July 4th, they get a bit extreme. They buy hundreds of dollars of fireworks, liquor, & beer inviting as many people into their home & pool as will squeeze into their space.

I love July 4th, the freedom it represents, seeing family, friends, the day off work, and the fireworks.

This year was different than last year though. The festivities started on Thursday, June 30th.  I got home from work around 7pm. The street I live on is a small, narrow, deadend – no outlet street. When I pulled in, I couldn’t get home. There were cars parked on the street (which is illegal where I live). This left no place to drive the short distance to my home. After a few minutes of sitting at the entrance of the road, an owner of one of the vechiles staggered into view & said:

“Well hi dare huney, Ount me ta move a car for too?”

I smiled, nodded my head in agreement, and tried not to giggle as he started his car. He backed into a car parked behind him, put the car in drive, drove straight into the car parked in front if him, then backed up again & pulled out. I don’t know where he went, but I never saw him again.
I finally made it to my driveway. About 5 hours later, the fireworks started. Ah, I love to watch fireworks. The colors, the smell, the way they light up the vibrant night sky and illuminate the evening.  It didn’t bother me at all…until I realized my house was under attack!
Throughout the evening, my neighbors had continued to drink & obviously they were wasted. They were aiming the fireworks at my house! Then, one hit my car. I’m was pretty ticked at this point.

I went outside and immediately I heard my drunken neighbors,

“Sorry Babydoll. Axxideeet. Really, Uhmmmm, wanna beer?”

I went to bed and prayed the house didn’t burn down in the middle of the night. Two days later on July 2nd, around 9pm, the fireworks started again.
This time two of my neighbors were shooting. Both neighbors were aiming over my house. Both neighbors were drunk off their arse and one was having a pool party. Some were shooting fireworks from their hands while in the pool! That’s New 😛
On July 3rd, I decided to arm myself with some fireworks of my own…so I could join in the fun & SHOOT back 🙂
We had been shooting back & forth at each other for 30 minutes when one neighbor called a truce. (I think I made a pretty impression on the trunk of his car with the Mini Pearls I launched his way.
So, the firework war has iced for now. We’ll see how tomorrow goes.

On the flip side, the boys & my dog had a lot of fun.

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