We decided to have Chinese food for dinner tonight - back home after my trip from Oakland. Ironically, I have not had any other kind of food in days...Chinese, Thai...oh, wait, Italian (if you can call it that) at the Oakland airport. I had bow tie pasta, marinara and meatballs. It wasn't bad. The pasta was cooked well, the sauce was tasty, the meatballs were good. It was better than the overcooked chicken strips, the shriveled french fries...you get the picture. I rounded it off with a banana and a green apple for dessert while I was on the plane.
I digress (I've been doing that a lot). So tonight, our choices are:
General Tso's Chicken
Other favorites we didn't get (we are stuck in a rut...)
Kung Pao Chicken
But the real star of the night will be a version of Strawberry Shortcake.
Strawberry shortcake is definitely an American staple. I don't think it is about food or fireworks or Blues music or going to picnic all day with jillions of other people. Patriotism is in the heart and in our beliefs.
Admission: I still tear up at a really good version of the National Anthem. Or "Taps". Or a dozen other patriotic songs. I can't help it. When I was in elementary school, we sang all the patriotic songs every day and we stood when the National Anthem was sung, hands on hearts. My dad was in the Air Force and it wasn't something I questioned as a young person.
As an adult, I don't always agree with our military actions (not going there right now, sorry), but I still believe that we are lucky to be in a country where I can say that and not get put in jail. I don't always know how to reconcile some of my experiences growing up and the beliefs that were instilled in me with the beliefs I have as an adult...they are often in direct opposition. I try to just accept that not everything makes sense. Some things just are.
I can say that I'm proud to be an American - I hope we can make up for some of what we have done in the name of "freedom". Regardless, we should celebrate the ideals of our nation and hope that we can regain our "beacon of hope" status someday.
Happy Fourth of July!
After a spate of visitors to this page from a google image search, I pulled the photos. My apologies for misusing them.