Monday, July 25, 2011

'Almost Holiday' in Utah

This July is one of the most memorable. It's right up there with other memorable July's. Here are a few from my past. I'm not clear if the ranking is best remembered to least because the event sticks out in my mind and therefor it is epic. Or the ones at the bottom are most important because I have suppressed the memory in an effort to forget.

  1. Burning down the carport. A friend and I discovered that if you take the lead weights off of car tires and melted it down, you can pour the melted lead into a dixie cup of water and it would make cool designs (yeah I was 11 at the time). The one thing I didn't know was that just because the coals in the grill looked like they weren't burning doesn't mean you have to throw gasoline on it. 
  2. Going out to breakfast the day of a test in High School. This was a great plan. We'd meet early for breakfast, quiz each other, then go to school and take the test. We discovered that it was much more fun to go out to breakfast and then head over to the arcade than it was to return to school. 
  3. Making a good impression with the new neighbors. The crabapple fight that I started within a few days of moving into a new neighborhood. It didn't make the best first impression.
  4. Dog Names. I learned that naming my dog Sara wasn't a bright of idea when the girl who lived two houses down was also named Sara. I couldn't figure out why my parents kept recommending other names until the time that I called out to the dog and the neighbor girl answered.
  5. Fireworks shipped right to my door step. In my senior year of high school, I teamed up with several friends to order fireworks from a catalog and had them shipped to me. The old neighbors still talk about the best 4th of July our neighborhood had seen. Yeah, different era when UPS delivered all sorts of cool stuff.
This July has been memorable because the state changed the fireworks laws. It used to be that you could only have ground based fireworks that went no more than 10 feet off the ground. This year, the max is 150 ft and you can have ariels, etc. It used to also be that fireworks were legal the end of June to July 7. However, this year they are legal June 27 to July 25. We've had fireworks all month long and I've enjoyed them. They rival the ones I had to buy and get shipped to me. Why are the fireworks legal for the whole month? Because Utah has an "almost holiday" in July called Pioneer Day.

What is Pioneer Day? It's in memory of the mormon pioneers who officially settled on July 24, 1847. I have a couple ancestors mingled among these first groups that arrived.

I'm all for a holiday, but this one throws the whole state off. Some places are open while others are closed. The banks are closed, but if I overdraw something on this day, they still charge me. Pools are open, some retail places are closed. Some people get the 24th off while others are told where they can put their holiday.  It's a half holiday.....and for some reason, I generally feel like that is how it gets celebrated by me too. The one daughter still had dance class today, but many of my clients took the day off. So I worked in the morning and took the family to see Harry Potter in the afternoon. 

Any odd holidays celebrated in your neck of the woods?

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