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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Why we do this

     As we wander around this country , I have found it very interesting to note strong regional differences in the various perceptions of the roles different regions played in achieving our national independence.  Being from New England, we grew up with the tales of the Minutemen, Concord and Lexington, the Adams', the tea party, Paul Revere, etc.  Of course the more dignified Virginians in the House of Burgess, such as Jefferson, saw those folks as a bunch of undisciplined firebrands who were going to muck everything up.  The Philadelphians understandably treasure their legacy as the place where it all came together.  Now we live surrounded by a bunch of obstreperous South Carolinians who correctly recall how the "Swamp Fox", Francis Marion, harassed and otherwise occupied the attention of a great proportion of the British forces.
     I mention this as I reflect on the factionalism that encumbers us today as we celebrate our 236th anniversary as a free and independent nation.  Are our differences today any more divisive than the the ones that divided our fractious and fiercely independent colonists?  Can't we find the civility and compromises that they did to create e pluribus unum?
     On a lighter note, today was a perfect example of why we do this.  We were sitting under our neighbor's canopy enjoying some camaraderie and a few smoked shrimp that I had bought an hour before. That's a new one, and they were excellent. Walking by was a guy with a leonberger.  This is a giant breed of German dog that is a lion-like (hence the name), gentle giant with a distinctive black mask.  He's related to a Newfoundland, but with much less saliva.  Later the owner's wife joined us.  They are also first-timers at this campground.  A bit of a shower cropped up (our first rain since leaving South Carolina), so we pulled our chairs in closer under the canopy.
     So here we are...six folks who have never met before having a wonderful time on the shores of Lake Erie.  That is what this lifestyle is all about.  By the way Harley is a really special dog.  The folks at the nursing home in Cincinnati really love him.

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