So I called up my friend with the horses and said "Hey, whatcha doin' on July 4th?" She said she couldn't leave the horses because the fireworks scared them too much, but we could come out by her. And that was just what I was hoping she'd say!
We didn't ride the horses this time because she needed to keep them calm for when the fireworks started. Most of her neighbors had some pretty big fireworks displays going, and they were probably much better than what we saw on post last year. My friend also spent a small fortune on fireworks for us to shoot off. She had fountains and roman candles and sparklers and all sorts of fun stuff. There was a big area of land away from the horses and the house that we shot them from. Every once in awhile she'd go check on the horses and they kept creeping farther and farther into the trees until we couldn't see them anymore.
Hunter loved holding the sparklers. She had really long ones that he could hold easily. He didn't like the short ones. He'd say, "No, hurt me!" when I tried to give him a short one. Drew's favorite fireworks were fountains that shot a parachute guy out of them. He'd run and find the parachute. A few landed on her roof (and she was very greatful she had a metal roof instead of traditional shingles!)
We had a good time, stuffed ourselves with hamburgers, watermelon, German potato salad (that is actually supposed to be cold, not warm), and chocolate cake. Shot off some fireworks, and had a much nicer time than we would have if we'd stayed on post.
Also, please say a quick prayer for the Napolitano family. John II would have been 40 yesterday, and having lost a SIL who would have been 30 last year, I know how much those milestone days hurt!