What's the Fourth of July without a little smoke, a little noise, and a lot of colored lights shooting off in all directions? The city of Santa Rosa banned all fireworks earlier this year, so folks around here just moved their celebrations out of town.
Fireworks have long been banned in the rural areas of Sonoma County (although that doesn't seem to stop the kids around my rustic neighborhood from shooting them off). So it's cities like Rohnert Park, where we found ourselves today, that get all the business.
There were so many people at Rick and Shirley's annual barbecue that I was a bit overwhelmed. Aiden did fine, all day long, but I had a few minor serial panic attacks. I found dark corners to hide in, though, and I managed to stay out of the line of fire when the water balloons started getting tossed around (with malice, I should add).
At least I got to see a few friends and most of the family. We've all been so busy that it's been hard to get together lately. I even got to hold my great nephew for a while, so it was worth all the trauma to get there and the trouble to stay out of people's way. I took my baked beans, and they were a hit. I'm told they were good, but they were gone by the time I got around to eating anything.
And the fireworks were just as loud, smoky and brilliant as ever. A police car showed up at the end of the court, made its presence known, and then moved on. I guess that means we were keeping things "safe and sane," as they say. It certainly made very little impression on Aiden, who slept peacefully through it all.