Late Christmas night our house was quiet and it had been a wonderful day filled with family, friends, and good food. I started tweeting and posting on Facebook and Gooogle+ what I loved about America and boy-oh-boy the response I got was so positive and supportive, I decided to do this to wind up the year 2013.
So the things I love about America, things that tickle me and make me smile, things that make me all mushy and happy inside are (not in any particular order, well maybe somewhat in order):
1. The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Federalist Papers.
2. The men and women serving in the US Armed Services around the globe. Proud of them. They’re the best there is.
3. Our first responders. They are tops at what they do, totally professional.
4. We’ve got heart. Some might say moxie. We’re not afraid to be an original.
5. The Killing (AMC, crime drama). The journey and friendship of Seattle homicide detectives Linden and Holder.
6. We are a forgiving people. We allow those who’ve messed up to get a second chance, or even a third or fourth.
7. We look great in jeans, sunglasses, and bomber jackets. Look pretty good in peacoats too.
8. Caesar Salad, Buffalo Wings, the hot dog, ice cream, M&Ms and Santa (they are real).
9. Billy Graham.
10. The Rose Bowl Parade and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
11. We have the best animated cartoons, starting with Disney…then going to Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry, The Flintstones, Mighty Mouse, Popeye, Sponge Bob, Veggie Tales. etc.
12. We are a giving people. Americans send charitable contributions from their own pockets to those in need all around the world.
13. The Global Positioning System (GPS). We’d all be lost without it. Was created and designed by the US Department of Defense and is freely accessible to anyone with a GPS device.
14. We are a strong people. We have weathered Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Super Storm Sandy, many extreme tornadoes and we keep on keeping on. Not to mention the 9/11 terrorist attack and the Boston Bombing. Disasters don’t keep us down too long.
15. Independent Bookstores. Inkwood in Tampa, Brazos in Houston, the Elliot Bay Book Company in Seattle, the Strand in New York City.
16. Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Not the Food Network Show…well, yeah the show, but I mean is the real thing (take, Mrs. Mac’s in Key Largo, the Tick Tock in Clifton, NJ).
16. The internet. Invented in the good olde U.S. of A., but not by Al Gore.
17. Vintage Fords, Chevys, Studebakers. You can keep your high priced foreign jobbie. Give me a vintage, 1960 Thunderbird.
18. Sweet Sixteen Parties. A right of passage for the American teenage girl.
19. The National Anthem ~ “The Star Spangled Banner,” and anyone who can hit that high note.
20. Pie. Home-baked, for church suppers, at county fairs and bake-offs.
21. Effervescent Salutations and Farewells. These annoy Europeans and confound everyone else. You’re not going to get too far into an American hotel, restaurant, boutique, hair salon, or anywhere else without hearing, “Hello, Welcome, Hi there, Have a nice day, Howdy.” And you won’t get out the door without, “Take care, Have a safe trip, Drive carefully, Prayin travelin mercy.”
22. The Melting Pot. We’re a culturally diverse nation with citizens, legal and illegal aliens from all corners of the world. And we mostly get along. The truth is most American families have at least one family member (perhaps married in) who is not of the same race, religion, or ethnicity as the rest of the family. Other families are a virtual League of Nations.
23. American Flags. You see them everywhere…in town squares and on public buildings, natch. Also on houses, cars, trucks, boats, RVs, motorcycles, as well as tattooed onto arms and ahem, other body parts.
24. The Salvation Army. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being there. For staying after other organizations who come with hoopla and a media blitz asking for donations but then are long gone. Thank you for boots on the ground, for doing the grunge work of putting families and communities back together.
25. Free Refills with a Citrus Garnish and Ice. Most restaurants in the US will give refills on water with ice and will gladly drop in a lemon wedge. This would be a rarity in many parts of the world. In New York City patrons can have free refills on a glass of iced seltzer with lemon. Many American chain restaurants offer free refills on their soft drinks and iced tea or iced coffee.
Note: Thomas Jefferson photo, Ford Thunderbird, American Flag, Soft Drink courtesy of Stock.xchng