Friday, June 13, 2008

It's The Fourth of July!

… or some of my neighbors apparently think.

While I admittedly live in the suburbs, it isn’t like I’m in the middle of unincorporated nowhere. Fireworks are illegal in Illinois. Some people near me don’t quite get this however.

For the past two years, the Fourth of July has been a month long celebration. Actually, I shouldn’t exaggerate. It only seems like a month. It’s generally been 11-13 days. And when I mean celebration, I mean one to two hours’ worth of fireworks going off on a nightly basis. These celebrations aren’t the cute little popping things but actual real large fireworks. And the celebrations go on until 11pm or later.

The first year we lived here, I closed the windows, gritted my teeth and put a pillow over my head – all to no avail unfortunately. I don’t tend to be one of those people who falls asleep easily and being irritated really prevents me from sleeping. And unfortunately, Little Miss is a lighter sleeper than I am and the least noise wakes her.

Last year, armed with the knowledge that the fireworks weren’t simply a one or two night occurrence, I decided to inform the local authorities if they got too bad. So on June 28 last year, we heard the first 45 minute celebration.

The next night, my husband took a bit of a drive in a neighborhood behind us. We found the culprits. In fact, it was really easy, as neighbors were dragging large coolers to their house. Nope there wasn’t going to be a loud series of fireworks that night or anything!

At 9:45 on the dot, the fireworks started going off. At that point, we realized that we didn’t know technically which police to call. We live right on the cusp of two counties (literally my neighborhood is half in one county and half in another). And there are three possible towns that neighborhood could be a part of or it could be one of the tiny bits of unincorporated land. Fortunately, when there are large fireworks parties going on, the police are quite helpful in tracking down who’s in charge.

About 20 minutes later, there was an abrupt ceasing of fireworks activity. And then twenty minutes later, I believe they let off their entire remaining stockpile at once. Neighbors down the street also apparently had some fireworks issues, as my husband saw the cops talking to them one night as he was trying to figure out who the moron was shooting off fireworks that close to our houses. Someone apparently didn’t like that idea either.

For the last two nights, we’ve had the random bottle rocket go off here and there at night, but nothing like what we saw last year. Then again, it’s only June 13, so maybe they’re practicing to be sure that the month long celebration is up to snuff.

However, it’s 3:45pm right now, and I’m currently hearing occasional fireworks. Isn’t the joy of fireworks seeing them? At night? When they’re visible due to lack of other light? Someone please explain.

And don’t get me wrong. I love fireworks. They’re gorgeous and fun and cool, and I love to see the new developments they’ve created each year. But not at 11pm when I’m trying to sleep. Night for a two week stretch. And definitely not in enough proximity to my house that I worry about one landing on my roof and starting a fire. Oh, and don’t get me started on the unattended large illegal burning people do sometimes by my parents’ house!


Mama's Losin' It June 14, 2008 at 1:17 AM  

Yuck. I don't care for fireworks much at all. I can't believe you have to put up with that so EARLY too!! It would drive me nuts!!

Mabunny June 14, 2008 at 8:06 AM  

Sounds like you live around a bunch of rednecks Michelle, lol.
(whoooeeeee huney hand me anuther beer and lets us watch dem dare purdy colored lights...)

Michelle June 14, 2008 at 10:31 PM  

Mama's Losin' It -- It does drive me nuts -- not that this is really that unusual an occurance (being driven nuts!). But seriously, it's June 13, people! Hold off on the fireworks a bit.

MaBunny -- actually, given the quality of the fireworks, I don't know if it's really rednecks. Although maybe the rednecks are fireworks connoisseurs and therefore have high quality ones? Hmmm

Kim Stagliano June 15, 2008 at 7:01 AM  

Oh yeah, these people drive me nuts too. We had neighbors who set them off constantly. Do you secretly wish for one red ember to land on the Dad's crotch? Not his house - I wouldn't wish that on anyone. But a hot dog? Yeah.

Found you from Manic. :)

Michelle June 15, 2008 at 11:03 PM  

Kim -- Hi, and welcome! I've seen you over at Manic's, too. I'm with you in not wishing a burning house on anyone. But my mom also had a sparkler incident many years ago, and I'm not sure I'd really wish that on anyone else. Well, ok maybe... Ask me again in three weeks!

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