Never Mind The Professionals

Dear Rachel –

So yesterday, Jeff and Julie invited the two of us over for a Fourth of July cookout (yes, I know it was on the third, but you know, Saturday versus Sunday). I warned Jeff that I would be late, because I was working in the booth this weekend, and as it so happened, Logan came over on Friday and stayed overnight, so the boys were together through last evening. So basically, I showed up on behalf of the family, and nearly three hours late. At least they still had some food left.

And since it’s the middle of summer, there was still plenty of time before they would set off fireworks.

You might remember Jeff and Luke (though I don’t know if you’d actually remember Luke at all – I’ve only really made his acquaintance this year, since joining the men’s Bible study, now that I have nothing else to do with my Saturday mornings anymore) setting off the fireworks last year at Jeff’s place. I know you enjoyed their firepit, and the s’mores, and all those traditional nighttime summer activities they had made available for all of us that they’d invited over.

For what it’s worth, I shot some footage of them setting things off. It’s not particularly well done, but at least this way, the police can’t recognize any faces, and arrest them for any illegal activity.

I don’t honestly know how well those videos turned out; clearly, the f-stop window is nothing in comparison to the human eye, both in terms of quality and field of vision. But it’s this we’ve got if we want to show what happened to folks like you who weren’t there.

Even as Jeff and Luke were doing this, I found myself thinking about some of the footage I’ve been going through since the accident, or rather, since finding the camcorder and all of the tapes of our vacations and what have you. It turns out, we’ve actually done this ourselves once.


It was late in the summer of 2005, after Jim Bretz suffered that car accident, and was in a convalescent home. As a result, he wasn’t managing his cottages, or having them available as vacation rentals. So we need to find somewhere else to stay when we went to the island that year. It was also a short stay – barely more than a long weekend – because we’d already done a trip to California (Legoland, Knott’s Berry Farm, and the like) that year, and I was only allowed so much in the way of vacation time.

I think it was you that found out about the bread the bed-and-breakfast location on the north shore of the island (as opposed to both the Bretz and Meier cottages we spent our weeks on the island before and after this particular visit, which were both on the Easter shore, within walking distance of each other), and made the reservations for us. You even knew the folks – I believe they were the Greens – that were running it (although they weren’t the owners – I guess they’ve been hired by said owners to run the place). They even took us around the lake and their motor boat at one point during our extended weekend.

All of which is to introduce the one time we decided to buy fireworks on our way across; we stopped at some place near the Indiana-Ohio border – although if memory serves me correctly, we probably could’ve bought fireworks in Ohio as well, seeing as it was legal there too. But the Indiana locations tend to advertise more heavily on the turnpike, and indicate where we could conveniently exit and return to our travels.

Anyway, the pictures are probably worth more than my words. So here was our one and only attempt at fireworks on our own, rather than leaving it to the professionals.

As I’ve said before honey, I hope you enjoyed it. Happy Fourth of July.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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