A colleague invited me and a few other teachers to her and her family's house for the evening before where we ate a delicious meal, all the food on their own plates in the middle of the table and everyone taking a little bit of each. As the evening drew on, fireworks went off more and more frequently throughout the city, gleaming in the hazy air. As a resident of Colorado where forest fires occur every year and fireworks are banned, I loved seeing the occasional display, but I loved more the idea that these fireworks were set off by various families on the streets and sidewalks, between buildings and cars. At midnight we went out into the street and set off a few of our own.
Most of the city's shut down for close to a week (nearly every store and restaurant is closed) and many residents have left to stay with their families. A quiet and peaceful week lies ahead of me before I start teaching.