Life in the Box: July Story


1 parkDSC_5970-j300I was enjoying a beautiful sunny day in my local park.

Having had my fill of photographing flowers, I began looking for bugs to take pictures of, and this day I was hunting dragonflies. All shapes and sizes were buzzing and sunning around the pond.

They are dang fast, and difficult to capture in the air, but I finally got focused on one and smilingly snapped a few friendly digital photos of it.


Suddenly, death happened. In the blink of a silver wing, a bird had nabbed my beautiful bug.

Shocking, just shocking! 

You don’t expect that to happen right in front of your eyes!!

So, I dropped my head in dismay, staring at the ground and wondering if my dear dragonfly had been distracted by my clicking camera. I could have been responsible for a creature’s death. And another creature’s lunch.


5DSC_5105-300Looking down, I saw a bunch of trash from the 4th of July fireworks, which had originated from said park. Mostly, there were pieces of cardboard from the tubes that carry the explosives, I presume. Somewhere among the sagging weeds, I found a piece that made me laugh. It reminded me of one of singer Madonna’s funkiest brassieres. 

I picked it up and decided to make a doll using firework castoffs. Not sure how the pieces would come together, I did this for several days, looking for anything with color, tubes, strings, and different shapes and sizes of cardboard. It had rained, so these pieces dried in my garage for a week or so.

Then it was time… armed with black gaffer’s tape (easier to use than duct tape), scissors and imagination, the fireworks goddess was created. Bra, skirt, headdress, legs, arms, and a spine made of an old 6” ruler. There she was.

I leaned her up on a weighted holiday bag standing on shiny blue wrapping paper. Added a few lights and Ah!

LRgoddess62sig-j300This fireworks lady is made of tougher stuff than most dolls. She has already survived many explosions.

None of us is quite sure what will happen next, but we have to live on with the hope that we’ll survive even if crazy birds swoop from the skies or crazy people ram vehicles through crowds or shoot to kill from rooftops.

We know it can happen. We just hope it doesn’t take us with it. And, even as we wander, dazed, it’s possible to piece together bits of beauty in the aftermath.

Rest in Peace Sandy Keplinger–dear friend who died suddenly the day after I wrote this column. She was a sparkling firecracker to the very end!


nancy heather brown authorNancy Heather Brown is a retired, Emmy Award-winning television producer whose career has included interviewing, writing, and editing for a span of four decades. Today, she enjoys learning new things and reflecting upon the creative process and the world of ideas both inside and outside the box. 

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