Fireworks

All I can say to the fact that I spent three 16-hour days selling fireworks this weekend is…. OUCH!  Who knew a body could hurt this much!  I think I aged like 40 years or something.  Yes, another one of 2nd mans projects strikes again.  Actually, this is one of the best fundraisers to fall into our lap in all the years we’ve been here with this youth department.  I remember, early on in our ministry we ran a concession stand at various events.  Simply said, it was the bane of our existence.  2nd man and I both had worked in the food industry as teens and didn’t particularly like working in it as adults; the planning and prepping, the heat, the crowds and kids, the heat.  Oh my soul, I remember one year being pregnant and working that dumb stand in 100 degree temperatures at a motor cross and a county fair.  I wished for death to come quickly, but alas it never came.   
We actually don’t know who Jake is.  I don’t think there is a Jake, other than a neighborhood dog who kept hanging out around the building.  We felt it only appropriate to name him Jake.
            After that we sold candy bars and all that other fundraising “fun” stuff.  Then a few years ago a fireworks company contacted 2nd man and offered our group first dibs at running their business near our new church building.  The numbers they threw at us were unbelievable and 2nd man was hesitant to jump into another hot, under a tent, kind of fundraiser.  So we had our pastor’s son run it for us the first year.  Since then I’m amazed every year at the amount of money people spend on the 4th of July.  The tent thing went so well that the company built an air-conditioned warehouse just down the street from our church and now, that is what we do for 2-3 weeks every June/July. 
            Honestly, I’m soooo thankful for the air conditioning, this year especially. We’re in extreme drought out here and the temps haven’t been less than 100 degrees in several weeks.  I feel so horrible every time I drive by the poor groups that are running fireworks stands in the little wooden box huts or the tents.  I know they hate us, and probably don’t believe me, but I really do feel bad for them.  It’s no easy task to run the biggest fireworks place in town though and 2nd man just makes it first class all the way.  Scheduling teenagers and what parents would step up is a bit of a logistical nightmare.  2nd man made a plea to our parents and the rest of the church for help, but I think they read that as “if you’d like to help us we will use you.” Instead of  “Help!! Help!! Help!! And please more Help!”  Oh well, the kids did a great job and the parents who did step up were blessings beyond belief.  
This is 2nd man and some other volunteers setting up the giant dragon out front. Or was he driving him???
This was the calm before the storm
I think everyone in town came to our place at least once in the past couple of weeks.   Why, even the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond’s husband came in on Monday morning.  Not sure if I want to address this or not.  I, well, I, Ok as 2nd man would put it, I locked up.  I knew he looked familiar and his kids looked familiar too.  Then when one of the other ladies turned and mentioned who he was, well…I locked up.  The gawking had to be noticeable.  Then 10 minutes after he left we realized that he left (ok we forgot to put it in his box) a couple packages of giant sparklers.  I immediately went into “how can I meet her” mode.  I jumped on the Internet and sent out an email to the Pioneer Woman offering ways to get these items out to her.  I was willing to drive the 45 minutes out into the country to deliver these $2.00 items if she really wanted me to.  Well, no response came.  Alas, my dreams were dashed and instead I spent the next ten hours running a cash register. 
2nd man does make it fun though.  He puts on fun patriotic type music (ok it’s fun the first five times through the cd) he has the kids all giving one on one attention to the customers and about 10:00pm we all go out into the parking lot to watch the city fireworks show and set some off some of our own.  Our own children, who aren’t even in the youth department yet, enjoy it too.  They either help customers or I find them up in the warehouse shelving.  Simply said a good time is had by all.  So good in fact that 2nd man and I couldn’t move yesterday.  And I’m not certain there will be any moving going on today either.  Recovery is certain, but it may take some time.  Hope everyone else had a great 4th of July out there!   
                
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