Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy 4th of July

Happy July 4th!  
Today's a day one should take out the Declaration of Independence and read all of it to be reminded why we celebrate today, that the beginnings of our nation, was an address of grievances from an oppressive and overreaching state.  Some may argue, perhaps we turned a teapot's worth of difference into a tempest, but the result was a nation created to represent, and seek to represent an ideal. 

We haven't always lived up to that, and we've had vigorous and even bloody debate at time as to what it meant to be in this nation, but the goal of all people in this nation, regardless of race, gender, economics or politics, has been to somehow move the nation itself toward being a closer approximation of that ideal articulated in the self evident truths stated by Thomas Jefferson.  
I do not agree with all my nation does in my name, or with my treasures, or through its policies, but that does not make me any less a patriot than anyone else who holds this nation dearer than any other on earth.   We have much to be thankful for, even as we have much work to do, if this nation is to remain a city on the hill.    

If civil war was fought in ten thousand places, then civil union of this nation must take place in 100 million places, in the homes of every citizen, and on the internet.  To be one nation, we will have to seek and find the things which bind us together, rather than deal always with what pulls us apart.  

As long as we see any others as merely other...You're a democrat, You're a republican, You're white, You're any other race, you're immigrant, you're poor, you're rich, you're educated, you're not, you're....whatever it is that isn't me, we will continue to have friction and distrust.  Seeing beyond the convenient labels society or politics or current fashion likes to ascribe, will take an act of the will and a generous heart.   

Enjoy the fireworks, remember what they represent, actual battles fought, by actual Americans, not always for the noblest of meanings, but sacrificial none the less.  One of our greatest presidents understood, even those who fought against us for something that was wrong, consecrated the land with their blood and their sacrifice.   A reminder: 

Happy 4th.   

Friday, July 3, 2015

49 Things for This Year's Bucket List

Lists are cheap easy ways to fill a blog I know, but it's my birthday and there's a lot on the schedule so you're getting a list.    Why 49?  Because that's how old I am.

49. See the Pope.  I saw Saint Pope John Paul the Great, I saw Pope Benedict, so I want to see the current Supreme Pontiff.
48.  Lose 20 lbs.  I know, lose weight is on everyone's list every year.
My kids are making me go so this will happen...over time, (and they should probably guard the ice cream if they want it to happen faster), but it will happen.
47. Finish my second book.   (Working on it).
46. Celebrate with all family and friends.  (This will happen too, it's in the works)
45.  Purge my drawers of clothes I don't wear.
44.  Learn a piano song a month.
43. Read a book a month.  I know, I'm jamming up what I will do, but it's a fun wish list.
42. Go to a concert outdoors.
41. See a play.
40. Visit the Capital and the White House. I live here, so naturally, I've never been.
39. March in the March for Life.
38. Become more involved in Paul's school.
37. Write letters.
36. Stop saying, "Let's do lunch sometime."  Say, "Do you want to go to lunch this week?"  and schedule it.
35.  Go to adoration once a week.
34.  Clear my dining room table. (It's always covered in stuff).
33.  Finish necessary paperwork that I've put off forever.
32.  Paint a room.
31.  Start drawing again. (and make myself push that pencil the same way I make my fingers do the typing).
30.  Spend more time with my children, include them in these activities.
29. Visit a museum.
28. Fly a kite on the mall.
27. Help with a campaign.
26. See a whale in the wild.
25. Go fishing. (Not for the whale).
24. Clear out the junk from our home.
23. Get cards out on time.
22. Schedule date nights.
21. Dance.
20. Pray every day.
19. Read my children more stories.
18. Score baseball games.
17. Swim.
16. Get rid of fast food from my diet, even the stuff I tell myself is healthy.
15. Run/walk a 5k.
14. Submit an article a week to some paying market.
13. Learn how to cook something new that the people will eat.
12. Be present (listen) rather than formulate my response.
11. Laugh more, at the world and myself.
10. Play games with my kids.
9. Volunteer for the hard work no one wants to do, make it a gift.
8. Get my physical/dentist/ not just everyone else's.
7. Go sledding.  (I usually stay inside and declare I'll take care of the littles, but they should be going too).
6. Spend more time outside.
5. Read rather than surf.
4. Get to Texas to see my extended family.
3. Plan a trip for my husband and kids, rather than wait for us to think, "Oh yeah...we should do something..."
2. Swim in a river/water hole.
1. Thank God for every moment thus far and stop "Burning Daylight."

If you want any final wisdom, life blinks by fast.  No one says, "I wish I'd spent more time on the internet." at the end.

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!