Posts Tagged With: independence

Banded Together

It’s Gratituesday! The radio normally doesn’t play in the car when I’m driving by myself. Yesterday I turned it on and heard the most surprising sound coming from my speakers. It  sounded like a high school band playing The Star Spangled Banner.

I expected some advertisement to start blaring in the middle of it, but nothing like that happened.

I checked the station setting, expecting it to be NPR doing some patriotic piece about something to do with the upcoming American holiday. Nope. Not National Public Radio.

I turned the volume up some and listened to the rest of the anthem. Meanwhile tears came to my eyes as I drove.

What a surprising moment in the middle of my day.

That song, played not with perfection but with feeling and obvious hours of practice, spoke volumes in those few brief measures.

I felt so lucky to have won the lottery that let me be born here, a place that millions have dreamed of and worked at and sacrificed to come to and to live.

I felt gratitude for so many who’ve defended the freedom I so richly and probably undeservedly enjoy.

I felt reverence for the wisdom of those who first wrote the words and signed their names to the document that begins:

“When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for a people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…”

Which document is that, you ask?

It’s the one whose second paragraph begins with these more famous words:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

It’s time to read that inspired bit of history and of foundational concrete. A reminder I know I need more often.

Here’s a copy for you to read as well. (It’s 1137 words long – five minutes to read, maybe a bit more.)

20071018_declaration

Just kidding. It’s too tiny. Click here to read a copy.

Also, if you can find some way to let yourself hear the national anthem sometime this week, I’d encourage you to make that happen, too.

My thanks also goes out to a local radio station, 94.5 FM for reminding me how blessed I am as a citizen of these United States of America.

flag

A Word You Might Not Know But Will Now

un·alien·able

adjective \ˌən-ˈāl-yə-nə-bəl

: impossible to take away or give up

 

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Categories: Gratitude, Gratituesday, Holiday | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

What We Give Up

Half the people I know have fled town for cooler places. I had plans to flee, but alas, here I am, in the final throes of wedding plans for my youngest.

I must admit I am envious of all the absent, traveling, vacationing, escapees from the heat wave we’re in.

Ultimate-sky

A little Ultimate Frisbee anyone? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And not just because they’re getting out of the heat. Oh no. I’m missing a family reunion that I also had to miss last year due to partial insanity and (mostly) very low to non-existent funds. This year I scrunched, pinched, saved, cajoled and weedled my way into a plane ticket so I could go early, visit with the fam, enjoy the festivities, stay long and visit more with other fam and pretty much relax for a week.

But love waits for no man, or future in-law.

So here I am, celebrating freedom by feeling slightly, begrudgingly, unfree.

That’s just silly isn’t it?

Instead I am here, in the desert, free to enjoy my freedom, my independence, my life. And what a life it is! A quick review of this past year’s Gratituesday posts alone reminds me I am blessed beyond measure.

Sure there’s some strange happenings afoot in our little land of the stars and stripes, but it’s still an exceptional place to be. It’s an abundant life by any measure you choose.

What will the next 365 days bring? Will we give up some of our privacy, some of our freedom for a pottage bowl full of something that looks and tastes like, but isn’t necessarily security? Or will we hold our ground? Can we keep the haters at bay? Can we tolerate each other and our polar-opposite opinions or will we insist on everyone agreeing with our view of things? Will we still feel free?

If I go to a parade, or a rodeo, a picnic or a reunion, will I still be grateful? Will I still recognize this country as the one I’ve spent a lifetime in? I sure hope so.

English: Sparkler Polski: Zimny ogień

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m counting on attending next year’s family reunion, seeing all the new babies, stunned at the growing up they do so magically, amazed at how the uncles and aunts have morphed into slightly younger version of Grandma and Grandpa, renewing friendships with cousins. Of course, my own siblings keep aging while I stay perfectly young (cough) and that is fascinating to me, too.

I’m glad I’ve stayed in town for my daughter’s sanity, her last few days of single life, the little details that need attending to. She’s only a bride this one time. I’ve got a long list to get busy with today. I’d best get to it.

Tonight’s local barbecue and sparklers…will do just fine for celebrating this country’s birthday and my freedom.

Categories: Family, Gratitude, Wondering | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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