Thursday, June 03, 2010

God shed His grace on thee

I miss the old America. I'm not exactly sure what that means. I would say I miss the simpler and more innocent time of my childhood, but were the 1970s really that innocent and simple? Post Vietnam, surging drug culture, oil shortage, unemployment? I think what I actually miss is the being a child itself. When I was a little kid, for instance, summer was years and years long. I had no concept of 6 more weeks, one more wasn't about a calendar, it was about living full on without dread of school because school was gone for a moment. And then a week before school, time to start the back-to-school schedule, time for heavier clothes and long jeans on the bed from K-Marts to try on. Can't imagine it'll ever be cold enough to wear those tights but, ok, whatever.
So maybe I miss something else. Do I miss the 1950s? I never actually lived during the 1950s, but according to Happy Days, it looks pretty awesome. Intact families, poodle skirts and sodas at Arnold's. Bomb shelters, air raid sirens and nuclear bomb drills notwithstanding, I think it must be the 1950s I miss.
Or maybe the 1940s? Carey Grant and Irene Dunne were fabulously happy then! Everyone lived in a white sided colonial with a privacy hedge and roses bushes. And the ladies of the house wore flowing organza robes over satin nightgowns and high-heeled feather slippers. That was when they were not strolling with their fat happy babies wearing high heals, a hat and pearls. Yes, I miss the 1940s. What's that? What about World War II? Shut up.
My Grandma Trent was a wife and mother of all of those decades. And you know what I remember most about her? Patriotism. I think I might miss patriotism. There is patriotism now, but it's an angry sort. It's right vs. left; conservative vs. liberal, democrat vs. republican patriotism. It's the wonderfulness of a black president against a background of fear; don't you dare criticize that black president or you are a racist. It's not you and me against the world any longer. It's you and me against each other.
I don't like politics. I'm grateful for the people who are called to a passion for politics because we need you. But I don't like politics in the way someone else might not like hound dogs or being a nurse. It's about how God wired us to do his will in specific areas of life. But patriotism? I think that's different. And it's becoming frighteningly admirable to hate the United States. I'll venture off into political incorrectness and sneak in my opinion on that. If you hate the United States, you're an idiot and you need to move to a country that you can love and support and be...patriotic...there.
My Grandma had eagles, flags and red, white and blue everywhere. Bicentennial year? 1776 wall paper in the kitchen. Liberty bell lamp? I'll take one to match my bald eagle lamp. Sofa? Red, white & blue with the eagle motif to match the wallpaper and the lamps. Red, white and blue scarves around her neck and Time magazine on the end table. American flag on the house? Nope. That's for the average citizen. She had a 25 foot tall flag pole in her yard. Like a school! With a giant heavy flag that we raised and lowered with this rope and pulley thing. And if it got cloudy you bet we were sent out to lower that flag! That's what a miss. National pride. Love of country. Gratitude that the immigrants who came before you came here to this wonderful miraculous place. Ancestors who told you that it was terrible there (the truth) and who believed and trusted that things were better here and they could work hard for something wonderful (justice) and that living here while maintaining ethnic traditions was perfection (the American Way.)
I think the things I miss are things that people stopped doing. Adults truly celebrating Memorial Day and Fourth of July as moments of courage and patriotism instead of a day off. That's what I miss. American flags not only flown every day, but respectfully taken down during rain and properly destroyed when they aged. Thinking any symbol of America was the prettiest thing a person could could imagine and surrounding yourself with bald eagles. That's what I miss.
Refusing to pray for and respect a leader we dislike is stupidity. Compromising the borders that keep us safe and free is lunacy. Shooting off our mouths against our home instead of working and voting and influencing this nation in a dignified and loyal way is disgraceful.
I am an American.
Spoiled, privileged, honored, grateful, lazy, smart, foolish, determined...Hungarian, German, Armenian, English...Female, mother, wife, daughter, sister, nurse...Religious, Christian, supporter of Israel, wary of the Middle East....
I am an American.
It's time we stop making fools of ourselves and fly the flag that represents who we are supposed to be.


Jada's Gigi said...

I think I miss the carefreeness of schedule in the summer...simple hearts turned toward God, family and country...perhaps it is the childlikeness of it all uncolored by the facts and pressures of the era in which we are living

Mrs. Mac said...

I miss feeling secure as a child .. free to roam without the thought of being kidnapped or molested. Being gone on my bike all day with friends and not stuck inside within earshot and eyesight of parents as is the case with today's generation.

Debra said...

Loved this! Perfect post.

Although I do confess that I fly our flag everyday, even in the rain. When we first bought it, I brought it inside the house whenever it rained, but then I got lazy. Alas.

I also think it's stupidity not to pray for our President. Have you seen the email forward going around explaining why we Christians are justified in not even having to respect the office of the President now? Good grief.

Oh, did you run outside and smell your flowers that day after reading my post? Did they smell like Heaven? :) Blessings, Debra

Debra said...

Hey Sara... Thanks for your comment this morning! Come on over--I left another one for you. :) Blessings, Debra

Tracy said...

A wonderful post, Sara, and so true! :)

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Lovely post. I came here from Debra's blog and am so glad she sent us! That could have been a picture of my 5th or 6th grade classroom.