Well, not really the 4th, but the 2nd (was sad on the 2nd I guess is a better way to say it, though I am still sad today). The Saturday before the 4th, the annual day of Fire on the Water, one of my favorite traditions of all time…of my entire life. The link above is not for the actual Sequoyah Marina‘s website, but it provides some pretty rocking pictures of the fireworks show I’m talking about.
Here are some photos from last year and the year before for you as well:
Now, I know I lot of people say “of my entire life” in hyperbole to make something sound more important than it is, and I am usually one of those people…but this time, it’s serious. My parents had me on the lake as early as the first July (probably earlier) after my birth (do the math, I was born in September). They had a floater houseboat in Sequoyah Marina. Later, they bought a small moving one that we docked on a buoy in the middle of the marina. After that, they bought a bigger one that we put on the dock (not the main dock, but one of the side ones) next to my aunt and uncle and our across-the-street neighbors. These were the greatest summers of my life.
A few sister lake photos from years past too:
At any rate, as Sequoyah didn’t start out as the super cool marina that it is today (it was actually small), I have some very fond memories of what it used to be like. Before they had the awesome new restaurant and wake board shop they have now, they had just a floating restaurant. The place had soft seating benches on the “porch” and they made Sun Tea in big jars out on the dock. They had these big wooden “poles” (read: small tree trunks) that acted as support beams. It was run by Bud and Lois. Bud, at one time, carved my name into a heart in one of those poles when I was little and White-Haired-Jim used to call my cousins and me “Trouble” when he saw us coming.
Back when the marina was like that, the fireworks show wasn’t Fire on the Water, it was some guys who worked at the dock and some of their friends shooting bottle rockets off a dingie-boat in the middle of the channel. Then it was some guys who worked at the dock shooting Roman Candles off the work barge in the middle of the channel (I’ve seen a few people jump off the barge in terror as everything went awry then hear cheering and clinking of bottles as everyone climbed back onto the barge to resume the show). When it finally became Fire on the Water, there were a few missteps…like forgetting to let everyone know which radio station would be synced up with the show and things like that, but I say all this to say, whether the show was large (like it is today) or small (like it was when it first started out), I’ve never missed one.
I used to test boyfriends by saying, “We’re going to this with my entire family and if you don’t want to then we seriously have to rethink things.” I made a boyfriend in college miss one of his best friend’s weddings so that I could go. When my mom sold our boat, I used to go up on my Uncle Charlie/Aunt Janet’s boat. When they sold theirs, I used to go up on my Aunt Karen’s boat (actually, we always watched it from Karen’s boat, even if we started out on our boat or my Uncle Charlie/Aunt Janet’s boat). There have even been years where I’ve begged friends (Ben) to take me up promising that if he would just put me on a raft in the middle of Bath Cove for the day, I’d promise not to bother him about anything (even food) before the show and I would help pull the boat out of the water (at the Dam) and secure it to the trailer. I say all this (again) to illustrate that this is one of my most treasured traditions, one that means a lot to me and one that I will do almost anything to see…and this is the first year I missed it…in my entire life.
My Aunt Karen sold her boat (because she’s putting together this amazing wedding venue at her barn…Pleasant Hill Vineyards…you should check it out on the website or on Facebook). Though I was upset about it, I can’t really blame her. I know they are a lot of work and money and she’s working on building something amazing that our family can enjoy year round (we do Easter there now and love it). But with the sale of her boat, thus was my last familial link to the marina that I so love. So that I can see the fireworks show that I so love, on the lake I so love, on the holiday I so love (no gifts, no pressure, just amazing food and friends and family…who can hate on that?!)
Even though I had no boat options for Fire on the Water yesterday, I’m not sure my experience this year would have been like other years anyway. I probably would have made Tanner get up there at some point EARLY in the morning while I went to work (Happy Birthday America was a great event at Knoxville Center, if you weren’t there be jealous). Then I would have left work in a flurry to get to the marina myself and tried to savor the rest of the daylight before an amazing dinner and then the show. Basically, I had to work an event yesterday that will become tradition for us, so last year may have been the end of an era anyway, now that I’ve become old enough to have real responsibilities that I can’t shirk just because I would rather be on the lake (dum dum dum, real world sucks!).
But, (again, again), I say all that to say I was very sad to not be on the lake yesterday and even more sad to not be on the lake with my family having a great meal on the ‘Bowt Time. While I did get to help host a successful work event and then got to have a great meal put together (mostly by my wonderful husband) and have some fun relaxing time at my home with some great friends then go to my favorite bar (and it’s awesome new patio) and did happen upon some ghetto fireworks over the parking lot, it wasn’t the same (call me bratty). So today, you won’t find me on Facebook because of all the status updates about being on the lake and seeing Fire on the Water.
I know this post is silly (and so is my self-ban from Facebook), but leave me be about it!
Here’s to moving on and enjoying the rest of my holiday weekend (and first day off work–Monday–besides the weekends since I started) and maybe doing some productive stuff too (maybe planting and taking care of the front yard or painting our bedroom…doubtful).
Thanks for listening, Happy July 4th everyone…America!