My Country 'Tis of Thee

Sweet Land of Liberty

The Fourth of July is a holiday in the United States of America, and we're celebrating the birth of our nation.

Samuel Francis Smith penned the lyrics to My Country 'Tis of Thee in 1832. A 24-year-old student of theology, Smith wanted to create a national hymn for the American people to offer praise to God for their wonderful land.

 
 

This song served as the unofficial national anthem for the United States until the adoption of The Star-Spangled Banner in 1931.

Fourth of July Holiday

We're a young nation with a relatively short history compared to many other countries. 

This nation's birth was only a short 240 years ago, in 1776. We're the brash newcomers making a splash and letting everyone know we're here.

The Fourth of July is a federal holiday and that gives us time to wave lots of flags. We line the streets for parades, gather outside for cook-outs and picnics, and join family and friends to watch fireworks at night. Bring out your patriotic red, white and blue!

Patriotism And Loving Your Country

What is patriotism?

Patriotism is an emotional attachment to a nation which an individual recognizes as their homeland.
This attachment, also known as national pride, can be viewed in terms of different features relating to one’s own nation, including ethnic, cultural, political or historical aspects.
The English term patriot is first attested in the Elizabethan era, via Middle French from Late Latin (6th century) patriota, meaning “countryman.”
This ultimately came from Greek πατριώτης (patriōtēs), meaning “from the same country,” from πατρίς (patris), meaning “fatherland.”
The abstract noun patriotism appears in the early 18th century.

Red, White And Blue

In the United States, if you're wearing a patriotic outfit, it's got red, white and blue in it. Decorations, same thing.

Not that these colors are unique to the Americans. We share these colors with the French and the British. Their flags are also red, white and blue. However, the French describe their colors as blue, white and red, changing the order so the color blue is listed first.

 
 

Patriotism can also be service to one's country and fellow countrymen. It can take the form of serving in the military or working in other service organizations.

This idea is captured in the famous words of President John F. Kennedy.

And so, my fellow Americans: Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.
— Inauguration Speech of John F. Kennedy

Loving Your Country, Loving Other Countries

Students of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®) hail from all around the world. They call many countries "home" and share a love for their own countries. It's okay to love our countries. It's okay to love other countries, too.

Loving our own country, doesn't limit us from loving others. Our hearts are wide and open to love our whole planet and the many expressions of our cultures and countries.

I like to refer to other places that I love, countries where I am not a passport-carrying citizen, as heart homes. I have quite a list of heart homes. I wish it were possible to live in many places all at the same time. 

Enjoy your red, white and blue holiday!

Food For The Fourth Of July

America Celebrates Its Birthday

The Fourth of July is just around the corner. Holiday displays in the supermarkets are set up to tantalize shoppers with outdoor foods and drinks.

Isn't this a gorgeous American Flag Pie created by King Arthur Flour? I dream of creating it one day. It may remain a forever dream, but in the meantime, it's nice to see.

If you're willing to tackle this pie adventure, here is the recipe for the American Flag Pie, made with strawberries/rhubarb and blueberries.

Time To Start Your Grills

Fourth of July in America.

Start your grills. Friends and family gather 'round for picnics and barbecues.

Grilled corn on-the-cob (with barbecue or herb butter), sizzling hamburgers and hot dogs are all de rigueur. Dedicated meat-eaters splurge on tri-tip beef. Vegetarians don't have to feel left out. Tofu burgers make a fine alternative.

Everything can go on the grill, not just meat. Vegetables and fruits also grill up pretty. A fun television show from The Food Network features recipes by Bobby Flay, the acclaimed grill master.

How about grilled peaches with cinnamon sugar butter? Sounds delicious, doesn't it? Click on the link for the recipe.

Summer picnic food on the menu:

Baked beans
Juicy watermelon
Chips and dip
Finger sandwiches
Fruit salads, and
Everyone's version of their famous potato salad

The Great Mayonnaise Debate

Family feuds have started over potato salad. Dill or sweet pickles? What brand of mayonnaise do you use?

People stand firmly entrenched in their mayonnaise camps:

1) Best Foods (west of the Rockies) or Hellmann's (east of the Rockies) – same company, same mayo, different name per regional distribution. 

2) Duke's mayonnaise has Southern roots and is also found in some states further north.

3) Kraft mayonnaise has a nationwide distribution.

4) Dare I mention Miracle Whip? Some argue that it's not even mayonnaise, but Miracle Whip has a strong, if not beleaguered, following. Take a look at this Tumblr account that proclaims in a joking manner, Miracle Whip and Proud Of It. Miracle Whip was created in 1933 by Kraft as a less expensive alternative to mayonnaise.

Rest assured, never the twain shall meet. Each brand has a dedicated cult following.

 

Here's a fun tongue-in-cheek story for your amusement.

The Family Mayonnaise Incident

We are a Best Foods mayonnaise family. In our corner of Washington state, that's our mayo. For decades we remained true blue to Best Foods.

Recently, my sister returned home from an 18-month job assignment in Tennessee. She was living south of the Mason-Dixon Line and Duke's is the mayo of the South. She divulged that she had tried, and liked, Duke's mayonnaise.

To make matters worse, she had the audacity to bring jars of Duke's mayo home with her. Even her husband was perplexed when he saw the alien mayo jars in her bags.

Oh, the shock. This was akin to heresy. My own sister, cheating on Best Foods. She admitted feeling a little guilty about it. 

After her heartfelt confession, we welcomed her back into the fold. She was home again in familiar territory and surrounded by Best Foods. Let bygones be bygones.

And then, our nephew ordered a big jar of Duke's mayonnaise from Amazon and sent it to my sister as a birthday present.

The saga continues...

 

Summer Activities For The Fourth

The Fourth of July is dedicated to picnics and summer fun, such as swimming, boating, hiking, and, not to be forgotten, naps in a hammock. It's a holiday, so some healthy relaxation is included on the menu. Reading a book in a hammock rates high on my list.

For students of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®) – be sure to bring radiant energy to all your events, picnics and relaxation. TRT® hands-on can be used for food prep, bringing your Radiant Touch® to the fruits and vegetables that you prepare. Those who have studied The Second Degree of TRT® can direct energy to their food preparations.

Whenever we have a holiday, it's supportive to dedicate extra time for TRT® hands-on. And, of course, it's easy to apply hands-on while in the midst of your summer enjoyment. Use TRT® while riding in the car, under a tree enjoying the shade, and while eating. You don't have to separate yourself away from all the fun to still benefit from use of TRT®.

Happy Birthday – USA

Does all this food talk make you hungry?

I know I'm ready to treat myself to potato salad and other picnic delights.

Let's raise a fork and a patriotic spiral cookie in honor of the United States of America.

I'll see you at the picnic.

Happy Fourth Of July

Independence Day – Fourth Of July

We love you, Great Britain, but we've got to go.

It's not you, it's me.

No, actually, it is you. And we don't want to pay your taxes. Especially without representation.

We're celebrating our independence from the rule of Great Britain and the birth of a sovereign nation – the United States of America.

A Federal Holiday

Although Independence Day has been celebrated since the 18th century, it was in 1870 that the U.S. Congress made 04 July a federal holiday. It then became a paid federal holiday in 1941. 

We like the paid part. To this day, I can remember my joy at having my first paid holiday. There I was, at home, eating bonbons (well, not really, but it sounds good) and getting paid for it.

Do you remember some of your first paid holidays?

The Declaration Of Independence

Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams were among the key players in the creation of the Declaration of Independence. They are considered the founding fathers of the United States of America.

It is noteworthy that Jefferson wrote, "We hold these truths to be sacred and un-deniable..." and it was Franklin who changed it to the phrase we all know:

 
We hold these truths to be self-evident...

On 02 July 1776, the Continental Congress of the American colonies voted in favor of independence from Great Britain. Two days later on 04 July, the delegates ratified and signed the Declaration of Independence.

The 4th of July is the day celebrated as the birth of American Independence. As a significant patriotic holiday, its most common symbol is the American flag. The word “patriotism” comes from the Latin “patria” meaning “fatherland.”

Franklin, Adams, and Jefferson working on the Declaration of independence.
Painter, Jean leon gerome ferris, 1900

 

The 2nd Or 4th Of July

Humans wouldn't be humans without disagreement. Some founding fathers, John Adams in particular, believed we should celebrate the 2nd of July, when Congress first voted in favor of the resolution.

In fact, as a protest, even when personally invited, Adams refused to join any 4th of July celebrations. 

Oh my.

But here's a little Twilight Zone moment.

John Adams died on 04 July 1826 at the age of 90. 

Coincidence? Or did his spirit, in some fashion, relent and claim the 4th of July by dying on that day?

However, the plot thickens. Thomas Jefferson also died on the exact same day at the age of 83, just hours before John Adams. 

04 July 1826.

Relax Into The Red, White And Blue

For the Fourth of July, students of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®) can relax and enjoy some TRT® hands-on. You might even bring the principles of the Declaration of Independence to your meditations. What do they mean to you?

 
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
— Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826)
 

This preamble is considered an enduring statement of human rights and a moral compass for the United States. All men are created equal has been called "one of the best-known sentences in the English language."

Students who have studied The Second Degree of The Radiance Technique® can direct energy to the founding of this country. You could also direct energy to a person from the past who helped create the Declaration of Independence.

Do you have a favorite founding father?  

Thomas JeffersonBenjamin Franklin? Or fiercely stubborn John Adams

Enjoy your 4th of July holiday.

And oh, by the way, we still love you, Great Britain.

I remember singing this song with the high school choir, our music director waving his arms with gusto. Over these many years, I would often sing the opening line to myself.

Be sure to take a listen.