Do you remember when fireworks were fun? Now don't get me wrong, there is still a certain thrill in seeing a huge display go off. The ones I saw on TV last night in New York City and Washington D.C. were both stunning. I'm sure the display downtown last night had its moments too. Call me a curmudgeon, but I believe I've reached the age when fireworks are no longer fun.

Growing up, fireworks were always illegal in Iowa. I relied on out-of-state relatives for them for years. Then, when I was old enough to cross state lines and transport illegal explosive products, I did so with a smile on my face. It was taboo. And that was part of the fun. That and blowing crap up. But then Iowa legalized fireworks, and everyone had them. Big ones, small ones, loud ones. They were everywhere, and suddenly it wasn't as much fun. Suddenly you noticed as dogs and pets wet the floors, and your neighbor who is a veteran doesn't come outside for days.

I realize that I'm living in a state where I'm probably in the minority in my feelings. Judging from what I heard and saw last night many of you still enjoy blowing things up. Go for it. It's not illegal, and if you do it without blowing off a finger or injuring someone else, or damaging your neighbor's property then you do you. But me? I think I'm done battling crowds and traffic, and the heat and humidity to see things blow up.

Holly and I set off a few small, colorful fireworks in our backyard last night with the kids. They were underwhelmed. I hadn't shelled out enough for the 'big' fireworks. As we cleaned up and prepared to head back to the air conditioning, the sounds of explosions near and far reminded us of something else. A war zone.

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