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Posts Tagged With: God Bless America

32 and 9 and still new

32 years ago I immigrated to the United States with $178 and a guitar.

9 years ago I stepped forward with 78 others to take the Oath of Citizenship.

It was one of the proudest and most emotional  moments of my life.

(more about my journey here.)

You see, someday I will be a citizen for 15 or 20 or 35 years and I’ll still choose to tell folks that I’m a “new” citizen.

Why?

Because I don’t know how else to communicate the significance of it.    The choice of it.

We’re not perfect, this country, we’ve got our flaws.  Like most families, there’s bickering and divisions and  always someone willing to point out what’s wrong with us … but still … there’s a heart and soul about America that continues to inspire people to imagine a life here.

* * * *

God Bless America, Land that I love

Stand beside her,  and guide her

Thru the night with a light from above

From the mountains..to the prairies

To the oceans..White with foam

God Bless America!

    My Home Sweet Home

Happy birthday, America …. from a grateful citizen.

 

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Categories: Attitude, Faith, Holidays, Home, News, Opinion, Personal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Random 5 on the 4th – the Capitol, summer tunes and more

I missed Random 5 Friday so instead am doing Random 5 for the 4th – here we go!

1. Today is Saturday, July 4th, our nation’s “birthday.”   The birds are singing, the weather is hot and hazy, and we are celebrating our nation’s independence by independently deciding to lay low, hang out pool-side, and chill.  Ahh.

81218434512_0_ALB

Summer is here!

2.  One month ago I was in our nation’s Capitol on business.  Being a new citizen and representing my company in the highest offices of the land thrills me beyond description.   Walk 34 miles in heels in 90F heat? No problem.  Endure multiple security checkpoints? Sure.  Witness a vote from the Senate gallery?  Mind-blowingly cool. Sit down with members of the United States Congress over and over again? A-m-a-z-i-n-g.

on this day in 1776, the Second Continental Congress approved and adopted the Declaration of Independence. Happy Independence Day!   https://www.visitthecapitol.gov/

On this day in 1776, the Second Continental Congress approved and adopted the Declaration of Independence. Happy Independence Day! https://www.visitthecapitol.gov/

3.  Listening to the radio last night something we heard brought us right back to our teens:  the hits-from-coast-to-coast!   Remember how every summer holiday weekend brought the top 40 countdown?  Did you ever sit next to the radio and record the songs played?  I remember my cousin and I shushing our brothers because a favorite song was coming up soon and we were determined to “catch it.”  I couldn’t tell you what happened to those tapes but I know there were a lot of them!

cassette recorder

Shh … Rod Stewart is up next!

4. Speaking of music, we also reminisced about our experiences with the “Columbia Music House” collection and what a deal we thought it was — 11 choices for a $1.00 plus the added requirement to purchase more at  ridiculously inflated prices. We were kids, we didn’t know any better.  His choices included Ted Nugent, Supertramp and Chicago.  Mine included Elvis (duh!), the Oak Ridge Boys and Boston. Funny.

This was me at 15 and I think the worried look can be attributed to an overdue shipment from Columbia records!  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

This was me at 15 and I think the worried look can be attributed to an overdue shipment from Columbia records! An Emjayandthem (C) photo

5. Stopped at the Farmer’s Market Thursday and picked up the biggest, tastiest tomato ever.  I did that so I could enjoy this for my lunch today:

Toasted Tomato Sandwich  ~ ahh, Summer!

Toasted Tomato Sandwich ~ ahh, Summer!

I hope that wherever my words find you, whether you’re American or not, you join us in celebrating her birthday today. I hope you take a moment to step outside and look up at the sky – our brilliant shared sky – and I hope that, just like me, you can do so without fear.

 ** God Bless America! **

What are your plans for the Holiday today?  Did you ever tape the top 40 hits off the radio?  Had a toasted ‘mater sandwich lately?

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Friendship, Gratitude, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Opinion, Patriotic, Seasons, Thoughts, Traditions, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Fearless Radicalism

I’ve never been radical but I’ve always been fearless.

Fearless enough to venture far, far away from the nest and find my way.

Fearless enough to study for and pass my U.S. citizenship test with flying colors.

Appreciating the privilege, I’ve never not voted.

Never.

Yes the phone calls and flyers, negative ads and people at the door can get annoying.

And yes, there are items on the ballot I don’t care much about  — like who serves on the Board of Regents for various public colleges.

But most things I do.

And I’m so grateful to have a say.

So today, I’ll be late for work because I am stopping to vote first.  I’ll chat with the poll workers who know me by name and just that experience right there will put a spring in my step and a smile on my face.

As a citizen of this country for only six years, maybe I am a little bit radical.

fearless radicalism_womens vote

“Resolved, that the women of this nation in 1876, have greater cause for discontent, rebellion and revolution than the men of 1776.” – Susan B. Anthony. Google.images.com

God Bless America, Land that I love || Stand beside her,  and guide her || Thru the night with a light from above

From the mountains..to the prairies || To the oceans..White with foam || God Bless America! ||   My Home Sweet Home

You voting today?

 

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, fear, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Opinion, Patriotic, Personal, Politics, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Vote | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Random Five Friday on the 4th of July

It’s Friday! It’s Random! It’s the Fourth of July!

Here we go 🙂

1.  When I was a little girl, my sisters and I loved to sing and rhyme and make up stories.  There was something about the rhythm and the repetition that was soothing.  One that came to mind recently is this one:

“I asked my mother for 50 cents, to see the elephant jump the fence, he jumped so high he touched the sky and didn’t come back till the fourth of July!”

google.images.com

google.images.com

I remembered that rhyme because today is my sister’s birthday.  Growing up in Canada, I was fully aware of what the “Fourth of July” stood for and thought it was neat she had a rhyme about an important date that she could claim as her own.  The only one even close to me or my name was “Mary, Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow?” and I didn’t like gardening, much less pulling weeds.  How’s that for contrary? 🙂

2. This is my 6th Independence Day as a Citizen.   And it’s still just as awesome as the first one.

That's me, holding the flag, during my swearing in ceremony; An Emjayandthem (C) photo

That’s me, holding the flag, during my swearing in ceremony; An Emjayandthem (C) photo

3. For the first time, we’re not hosting a get-together today.  Hubbs is golfing, youngest is snoozing and me? I’m enjoying a quiet morning before heading to the pool with my cherries – yeah! I’ll take my books and my tunes and my cooler full of fruit and enjoy a beautiful day in – and out – of the pool.  Later on, sun-kissed and relaxed, Hubbs and I will step out with friends for dinner and drinks and let someone else clean up and I’m not complaining!

4. After a ferocious thunderstorm Tuesday night, the temps cooled, the humidity fell and we’ve enjoyed 3 – count ’em 3 – days of windows open, a/c off, and cool breezy summer days.  Ahh … this takes me back to the summers of my childhood.  The sun was warm, the air was mild, and you could always count on an evening breeze to settle things down.  That’s when the Northern Lights would appear and dance across our skies like faeries in flight.  I remember leaving the tent and running across the lawn, laughing and twirling under the lights above.   Ahh..

image from canada-maps.org

Northern Lights image from canada-maps.org

5.    I hope that wherever my words find you today, whether you’re American or not, you join us in celebrating her birthday. I hope you take a moment to step outside and look up at the sky – our brilliant shared sky – and I hope that, just like me, you can do so without fear.

God Bless America!

 

 

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Faith, Family, fear, Holidays, Joy, Life, Patriotic, Personal, Random, Relationships, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

On being a citizen

image from photos.igougo.com

image from photos.igougo.com

What does being a citizen mean to you?  Really mean?

Does it mean you can vote?

Does it mean you belong?

What does it mean?

To me, it means a defining moment in my life.

It represents the moment I stepped away from what my family might think and into what I thought.

To me, it means the opportunity to have a voice.

To have a say.

To count.

Sure I’d had responsibilities all along (taxes). But I’d never had a voice to go with it. (the ability to vote)

Yes, as a Canadian, I had those rights already. But as a Canadian woman living in the United States with her husband and sons, I always had an underlying feeling of being in limbo. Of belonging to one place but living in another. Of feeling .. disconnected.

But not anymore.

Why?

Because I’m a new citizen; Five years ago, I stepped up with 78 others  (from 34 different countries) to take the Oath of Citizenship.  It was one of the proudest and most emotional  moments of my life.  (more about my journey here.)

The thing is … I could be a citizen for 40 years and I’ll still choose to say that  I’m a “new” citizen.  Why? Because I don’t know how else to communicate the significance of it all to me.

God Bless America, Land that I love

Stand beside her,  and guide her

Thru the night with a light from above

From the mountains..to the prairies

To the oceans..White with foam

God Bless America!

    My Home Sweet Home

Happy birthday, America …. from a grateful citizen.

A great day - the day I became a citizen!

Teary-eyed at becoming a citizen!

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Categories: Faith, Family, Gratitude, Joy, Life, Share, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

It’s time

It’s time for Purposeful Nothingness.

An absence of schedule.  Lack of obligation. No particular place to be.

Naps.

No socks, clocks or conference calls in sight.

Toes will wrinkle from hours in the pool and books will give evidence of wee ones’ splashes.

Finches will fatten at the feeders and squirrels will squander the sprinklers.

It’s time for summer nights under the stars, talking, laughing, singing, living.

It’s time for shared glances, twirly skirts, golf dates and date nights.

Every year, hubbs and I take a week off to do all of  the above …and this year?

It starts this afternoon! 🙂

And I am THIS happy about it! (google.images.com)

# # #

Happy Independence Day!

God Bless America, my home sweet home!

Categories: Faith, Family, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Patriotic, Personal, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

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