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Cawackers...pop, pop, pop!

New Years Eve was pretty low key at the Spencer household. Grandmom went to bed early while Kari and I stayed up and had a few glasses of wine.

Fire works are popular in Texas as you might imagine. I think that Texans fit the stereotype here, they like guns and fireworks. The bigger and louder, the better. And I think that is great. Around the 4th of July and New Years hundreds of roadside fireworks shops spring up. There had to be enough ordinance in my neighborhood to start WWIII. The first firecrackers started going off around six or seven. Rylee was quite intrigued. We explained to her that they were firecrackers to celebrate New Years Eve. After every string of Back Cats that went off she would rush to the window, point and say "Cawackers! pop, pop, pop!" I thought that she might be alarmed by the noise, but she really seemed to like it. Even with a low key evening I think that she sensed the excitement.

Our neighbors, Heinrick and Audrie, from across the street stopped by around seven and shared a glass of wine with us. They hadn't seen the twins since we brought them home and were amazed at how big they had gotten. Heinrick is from South Africa and has a very pronounced German sounding accent. He is one of those guys that you like the second that you meet him, very animated when he speaks and always has interesting stories to tell. The big kid that he is, Heinrick went out that evening and bought a large supply of fireworks to ring in the new year properly.

Around eleven Kari fell asleep on the couch. We are not as young as we used to be. So I wandered over to Heinrick's place to see how things were going. There was a group of about 15 people camped out in his driveway. Most huddled in lawn chairs with blankets while the young holiday warriors set off strings of firecrackers. Across the street, on the island in the cul de sac, they had a serious arsenal set up. There were at least six batteries of rockets standing close to three feet tall each. I had to get Rylee to see this.

I jogged back to the house, up the stairs and opened Rylee's door. She sat up looking a little dazed, hair sticking out all over, and stuck her thumb in her mouth.
"Would you like to see the fireworks?" I asked.
"Yesh." she said, now fully awake, eyes wide and a big grin.
I slapped some socks on her feet, put a jacket on her and rushed downstairs. I tried to wake Kari, but after three or four shakes and no movement I gave up. (I did check to make sure she was breathing though.) Rylee and I rushed outside for the show. We got back over to Heinrick's with just a few minutes to spare.

I wish that I had dressed her a little warmer, because she started to shiver a bit. It was worth it though, boy her eyes were big as those rockets streaked into the sky and exploded in brilliant colors. The show lasted for about 10 minutes, which was plenty long enough for us. It was really cold. (I know you people in Colorado are saying "You don't know what cold is." But for Texas, it was very cold.) And while Rylee got a kick out the fireworks, the last couple were very loud and made her a little uneasy.

I put Rylee back in bed and then stood outside and watched some of the more elaborate shows going on in the distance. It is amazing what you can buy in Texas, fireworks wise. A couple of blocks away there were professional looking star bursts going up at least 300 to 400 feet in the air. I bet those kind of fireworks really lighten your wallet.

I made it to midnight, but I am not the trooper that I used to be. I was in bed at 12:24, thinking I may need as much sleep as I can get for this new year. It should be an interesting one.

Happy New Year.


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