Our little town of Chelsea has grown over the 11 years (11 years!!!) we’ve lived here. In 2006, there were some 4,000 people — now it’s a bustling town of some 11,000 residents. Sometimes, it seems all 11,000 people are on County Road 47 at the same time.
For the past few years, Chelsea has had their own city fireworks display for the 4th, but it has been in the middle of a huge neighborhood that has only one way to enter and exit, so a lot of us would not even attempt to go. This year, Chelsea got smart and decided to hold the fireworks event near the much more roomy shopping area in town. Hey, sign us up — we’re in!
And so it came to pass that yesterday afternoon we found ourselves in the middle of a giant field with a high population of grasshoppers across the street from the Winn-Dixie.
Lydia and Sam immediately set to catching as many grasshoppers as they could find. They would try to keep them in between two frisbees, but they would inevitably escape.
Soon after we staked out our territory in Grasshopper Field, some ominous clouds began to form to the north. After checking the radar, we were fairly certain those clouds would drift on by. The bigger question was how long did we have before an unseen storm to the west would make its way to Chelsea.
Our little storm to the north soon blocked out the sun, which made for a very pleasant afternoon, especially for an Alabama July. The kids jumped around on a bouncy house until they were drenched with sweat, and Steven began to fetch some dinner from the smorgasbord of gourmet food trucks.
As the sun began to set, we realized the storm was not going to wait and we began to book it back to Hiroto. The people in charge of the event announced that they would be shooting off the fireworks “in the next five minutes” to try to get ahead of the rain. As the rain began to fall, we clambered into Hiroto and waited to watch the fireworks from the car.
Now, I must mention something here — the rainy, messy month of June. For the first time in a long time, we had a tropical system come right up the gulf — Tropical Storm Cindy — who dumped buckets of rain on us over the course of a week. The rain from Cindy plus our regular afternoon showers ended up totaling over 13 inches of rain for June. And when we first drove over Grasshopper Field to park yesterday afternoon, the ground was already quite soggy and beginning to display some pretty epic tire ruts.
And as we sat there in Hiroto, waiting for the fireworks while the rain began to fall, it suddenly occurred to me that we just might get stuck. Uh oh.
“Steven,” I warned, “we might want to go ahead and leave. The rain is going to turn this place into a mud pit.”
Steven quickly agreed and began to back up Hiroto. When he put the car back into Drive, the wheels began to spin.
“Oh god, we’re stuck!”
Then BOOM! The fireworks began to go off, easily viewable from the front windshield.
I busted out laughing.
No worries, though. We were able to eventually get out of the muck, but not before completely embarrassing myself by trying to drive the car out of the hole while Steven and our friend pushed from the back . . . with the car still in Park.
Steven is currently giving Hiroto a sorely-needed bath.