This year for New Year’s Eve we decided to continue our annual tradition of setting off fireworks at Terra Nova. We did it last year on a camping trip, and now we did it again this year, so it’s an annual tradition, right?
Unlike last year where we climbed up our ‘mountain’ and camped overnight, we wanted to save our legs and backs by setting off the fireworks at ground level and then just heading back home after the midnight ringing in of a New Year.
We invited some Peace Corps volunteers to join us and took Chewy along for good measure. Tom wanted to put in a full day of farm work out at Terra Nova and so we set out in the early morning loaded with coolers and boxes of all the homemade cookies leftover after Christmas.
While Tom, Troy and Peter got to work, I sat down with my stitching (I’m making a baby sampler for good friends) and watched Chewy run around exploring. He had the time of his young life checking out every stick and hole he could find.
Tom and I took a walk, later in the afternoon, around the property to survey the orchard—we had several workers out there cutting the grass—the 100 yard lane leading from the main road into our property—five women were pulling the grass out from the gravel—and the ducks. Most of the ducks were swimming around in the river. They are so happy out at Terra Nova!
As Tom walked away from the river he collected a tail: Apparently the ducks are used to being fed and thought it was dinner time.
We also found something that the village headman had rigged up to protect the ducks from a hawk that lives in the area.
It’s pretty spooky!
When it finally got dark enough, Tom decided to set off the majority of the fireworks early so the villagers could see them and still get to bed on time.
We had a small group gathered around the elevated roundabout at the end of the our lane. (This roundabout was a termite mound that we cut down to about 5 feet tall and shaped into what will eventually be an impressive landmark).
Way down at the main road another larger crowd had gathered. Tom started out with some fairly tame fireworks, but they still startled our small group. Everyone scattered at the first bang. It was funny!
Then the big ones started up. Each time a plume of fireworks would spray and sparkle, the crowd out on the main road would cheer. It sounded like a football match.
The fireworks increased in intensity as any good display should. Chewy was a little nervous about the flashes and bangs. He moved from person to person, hid under skirts, and even was held in arms before he begged to get down so he could wander around again.
After a particularly large boom, our small crowd started shouting something about a dog. We eventually figured out that Chewy had had one too many frights and was bugging out of there! Several people took off running and still took time to catch up to that tiny dog. I guess fear gave him wings.
We took Chewy back to the campsite and Tom wound up the first round of fireworks. He just reserved a couple huge ones for midnight.
After that it was a waiting game. There were still 3 hours to go till midnight. We visited under the stars, rested and Tom shot off his shotgun a few times because he could.
Finally midnight drew near and we gathered at the roundabout once more. I prepared our little plastic cups with punch, Tom got his shotgun ready, and prepared the two remaining rockets. The plan was at the stroke of midnight to let off a shot, pop the bubbly and shoot off a firework rocket.
As you might imagine, things didn’t go quite as planned…..
We counted down: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and……
The gun fired!
I wrestled the cork out of the bottle. POP!
And then, we all looked expectantly to the roundabout where Tom was still struggling to light the rocket. He got it lit and we stared with horror as it just sat there getting hotter and hotter and not taking off. Then it shot off—but at a sideways angle right at our car!
Boom! The burst of fireworks exploded right next to us!
When we could all breathe again and had determined that we were all still alive and our car was intact, we chuckled shakily and had to admit that was kinda cool.
Tom set up the next rocket and after a few adjustments to account for the soft, muddy ground, the last rocket shot upward and burst perfectly in the air.
It was a perfect ending and beginning!
Happy New Year!
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