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Sunday, July 05, 2009

Feel at home - for a change!

Fourth of July calls for a lot of celebration in the United States on account of Independence day (July 4, 1776 from the British). It is a federal holiday and it is marked with a lot of fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics and concerts. And if we are in town, we never try to miss the nearest fire works that starts shortly after sunset ~ around 9 PM.

This time, we had a birthday party to attend in the evening and managed to scoot just in time to get to the venue at Florham Park, NJ only to find that the parking lots were full! There was a policeman controlling the traffic, walking up to each of the cars in the queue telling us that there is no parking space and we might have to turn back & look for alternatives... We had the expectation built for little one and were disappointed that we had to head back home or find any other viewing spot - which I had no clue about and the show will start in another few minutes!!

We did some roaming around & finally decided to go home and while passing through the Columbia Turnpike, by a very low-lit open space, I thought I saw a bunch of cars parked there. We took a chance to take a U-turn & get back to the open space. There was not a bunch of cars, but scores of cars, each of them neatly parked on the right side of a road, winding through a large open grass land and families waiting outside their cars, some in their beach chairs, some sitting on the bonnets of their cars waiting for the display to start!! We got a spot at the far end of the line, and a couple of more joined later, behind us.

I sat on the bonnet of the car, while SH & Little one leaned on to the door, waiting for the fireworks. It was a large grassland (with some swamp somewhere - I could smell it), unused space, sounds of cicadas piercing the night, no street lights and some mosquitoes too (yeah!) and I started getting a very familiar feeling... a very close feeling that I use to get when I go to see the fireworks early in the morning at Pariyaanampetta Pooram or Elavathikkal pooram near my ancestral village!

What a spectacular place to see the fireworks than this one! We were actually happy that we did not get a spot at the venue. And for a change, I decided to watch & enjoy the fireworks with my naked eye - so decided not to pull out the camera, hence the only photographs are etched in my mind!! ;)

We realized later, while returning home, that we were near the runway approach of Morristown Muncipal Airport & that explained the open space with no trees or construction!!

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