Drizzle to drama

So here I sit, late Saturday night, comfy in my living room, warm blanket tucked over me and around my cold, bare toes (where did this frigid-for-May weather suddenly come from, anyway?), fire crackling in the fireplace we thought had been put to rest for the season, my husband and daughter tucked into their beds, and my shiny new laptop before me. (Fun!)

Earlier this  evening, on the way home from some belated Mother’s Day celebrating, we traveled roads familiar as they are part of my daily commute to the office. But on this cold and drizzly day, my family sat with me as we meandered neighborhoods a town away from our own. And we stumbled into a pleasant surprise.

What we thought was thunder teasing us from the distance, actually was the noise of a fireworks show. The sky lit up before us, pulling us in its direction. Although just a few miles from our home, we actually don’t know the area we soon found ourselves driving, looking for hints of color and light from the sky, all the while wondering the inspiration for such a display, months before Independence Day and a week before Memorial Day.

We turned and twisted back roads, letting the fireworks guide us until we were close, and found an empty parking lot with a great view. We gathered Maeve from her carseat and stood close at the front of the car.

Maeve’s naturally large brown eyes were wide with delight and then with surprise at the sounds and scope of it all. Her little hands clutched Tom’s shoulders and the brown of her eyes — dancing with fear and intrigue — pushed to the corner of her eyes, taking it all in. (Last summer’s brave baby at fireworks is no longer!)

As the cool drizzle highlighted by the glow of streetlights began to take hold of us, I grabbed an umbrella from inside the car. For the next 10 minutes or so, my little family huddled together under the round polyester shelter, gazing into the night sky, taking in the magnificence.

There was something wonderfully peaceful among the loud pops and bangs of fireworks because I was sharing such a surprise moment with my little family. A moment that neither Tom nor I discussed, planned or paid admission for. It was simply a ho-hum, everyday-kind-of-drive suddenly interrupted by brilliant greens, pinks and blues in the night sky.

Memories made most unexpectedly.

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4 Comments

Filed under Children, Family, Husbands, Love, Maeve

4 responses to “Drizzle to drama

  1. trixieintransit

    Fireworks. surprise fireworks.

    We had a moment like this back in 2003, my husband and me. We were vacationing in Wales and I was down with a 104 degree fever. We were staying in a manor house and had a corner room. The weather was foggy, cold and rainy. I was confined to an amazing 4 poster bed and only left it when nature called. My sleep schedule was set to “always”.

    At some point in the evening, we heard a pop. Hubbie went to the floor/ceiling windows and cranked them open. In came the cold (which felt good to my feverish skin)…and there before us was an unexpected sight: fireworks directly in front of our room in celebration of a wedding being held on the property. (We had no idea at the time why there were fireworks but would ask in the morning.) We sat on the floor, wrapped in blankets, staring into the sky. We could almost touch them. It was breathtaking and wonderful and unexpected and we were sooo in the moment.

    I was much better the next day.

  2. Way cool. Those are just the best kind of surprises.

  3. Diane Conroy

    Hey Gretchen, did you end up in South Plainfield? We had a wonderful fireworks display that night to celebrate 100 years of our Volunteer Fire Dept.

  4. Yes, yes, yes Diane! That’s precisely where we were! Very cool to stumble onto it. Hope you enjoyed it, too. — g.

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