as the sparks fly upward

UnbeLIEVable. When we read that the Dutch set off fireworks at New Years, I didn’t realize it meant ALL of them. We’ve been hearing random booms pretty much all day, but at midnight the real action began. It’s 12:40 now and has only just calmed down a bit.

Americans know two kinds of fireworks: the kind you go to the park or town square to see professionals let off on July 4, and the small ones you can buy yourself if you happen to live in a state more permissive than Pennsylvania, that go off on the ground or shoot a few sparks into the air. Now imagine if everyone on your block had those big professional fireworks, and if they were being set off everywhere around you, not just by those few kids whose parents let them do anything. Our apartment has big windows in three directions, and for a good half hour there we were stationed in front of them, watching the fireworks going off in every direction. Some were close enough to land in the stream right below our windows, and the noise was nonstop (I imagine the cat was trying to figure out how to hide beneath a waterbed).

It’s windy here, as usual, but fortunately a bit damp, also as usual. Still, I can’t imagine any Dutch firefighters ever get to take New Years Eve off. I have never seen anything quite like this scale. And they say the Dutch are calm and sedate!

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