Smoke and Echoes

Jul 5, 2012 | 2 comments

All in all, it was a quiet Fourth in Oysterville.  We heard rather than saw a few fireworks around town, mostly before it got dark, though we’d been told that our new neighbors at the north end of town had a “huge box of stuff” they were going to set off after nightfall.  I hope they did and I hope it made glorious memories for their first celebration in Oysterville.

They had generously invited us to their barbecue, the invitation coming just as we were tucking into huge quantities of ribs and baked beans and potato salad at our across-the-street- neighbor, Brad’s.  Their picnic was to begin just as Brad’s affair was winding down.  I REALLY wanted to go, but I guess I have to use the A-for-Age card as an excuse.

Twenty years ago, I could have handled it and stayed for the fireworks, as well.  Now, I am content to ‘go to bed with the chickens’ as they say, and my hearing is such that I doubt if I’d have heard one of those old-fashioned cherry bombs had it gone off in my bedroom.  I’m not sure if that state of affairs is one of the compensations of old age or not, but I’m pretty sure that having no regrets about staying home is.  A function of old age, I mean.

I can remember being amazed that my grandmother would choose not to attend this or that village event.  “You go on ahead,” she would say.  “I’ll come a little later.”  But usually she didn’t and, although she’d always want to hear all about it the next day, she never seemed to feel that she had missed anything.  The older I grow, the more I understand.

For me, yesterday’s stellar noise-making event was the firing of the cannon in celebration of Linda and Steve’s wedding.  That it was happening on the Fourth was icing on the cake (so to speak.)  That the wedding involved peninsula locals – even us, around the edges – was absolutely in keeping with the old-fashioned quality of the day.  It was one of those times that left me feeling I’d been embraced in a huge, neighborly hug – just the right kind of Fourth for Oysterville!


  1. Stephanie Frieze

    Dave, the children and I used to go down on the beach at Seaview, dig a fire pit, and spend the day with friends, then watch the fireworks that did not start until 10 PM. The bathroom, which was only an outhouse in those days, got disgusting and then finding the right fire on the way back in he dark was tricky. It was fun, but when the fireworks were over we had to fight our way off the beach and go home to rinse the sand off ourselves and the dog. Bed was around midnight. That is too late for me anymore and digging a giant firepit is as well. Even our boys are getting a little old for that and Josh goes to Seaside anyway. We will content ourselves to sit in our Ilwaco front yard and watch the fireworks display on Saturday. We have been known to watch in our pajamas.

    • Kathleen Shaw

      Hee hee hee, Stephanie, when I was a little kid we got in our jammies for the drive to the fairgrounds to watch the fireworks! Later, the show was held at the rodeo grounds and we just sat out back, merrily swatting mosquitoes and yelling “oooh ahhh!”


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