Friday, June 21, 2019

A Different Kind of Fireworks Show - by Kristine Raymond

On the evening of July 4, 1991, one month into our dating relationship, my then-boyfriend/now-husband drove me to the top (or pretty darn close) of Mt. Elden so we'd have a clear view of the fireworks show put on by the city of Flagstaff.  It soon became apparent that every other couple in town had the same idea and finding the prime viewing area congested, we set out in search of a new lookout.

Locating what he thought was the perfect spot, my future hubs parked his Ranchero alongside a few other vehicles just as the first 'BOOM' rumbled out into the night.  Perfect timing, or so we thought.  As it turned out, the road we'd followed had led us to the opposite side of the mountain, leaving us a clear view not of Flagstaff and the fireworks, but of a vast stretch of empty sky.  Disappointed by our wrong turn and contemplating a return to civilization, the night (and quite possibly our future was saved by a flash of light to the south. No; it wasn't fireworks.  It was a storm rolling across Sedona 33 miles away.  Snuggling together for warmth (see #1 below), 'oohing' and 'ahhing' at the unexpected display, it occurred to me that sometimes wrong turns turn out right.
Stock image - Deposit Photos
There are four things I took away from that night:

1) Always bring a warm change of clothing on a date.  Recently transplanted to Flagstaff from New England, I had no idea it would be freezing (literally) on the side of the mountain (9000 ft) in July; something my suitor neglected to inform me before we left for our outing.  I can still recall shivering for hours clad in my shorts and a t-shirt, though true gentleman that he was (and is), he did lend me his jacket.

2) Always bring a camera on a date.  My now-hubs enjoyed surprising me with excursion dates, and after being taken off-guard a couple of times, I learned to be prepared though, unfortunately, not on that night.  I have only the images in my memory of that spectacular light show.

3) Sometimes the unexpected can turn into something pretty amazing.  Having spent almost my entire life living at sea-level, I was still acclimating to the wide open spaces of my new home.  As anyone who lives or has visited the western half of the United States can tell you, the views are expansive, and to be witness to Nature's fury (and beauty) from the side of that mountain was both breathtaking and humbling.

4) If I were smart, I'd marry that guy.  Twenty-eight years later, I'm glad I took my own advice.

No comments: