All around us, across the United States, there are people who are beginning to show the strength that is inside all of us. It’s the strength of spirit–a strength of fellowship that they will not relent from expressing.
No matter what noise is shouting from the newscasts, a rioter’s loudspeaker or a CNN pundit, we must withstand it. We must make eye contact and remain joyful. We cannot allow despair to be the status quo.
Our nation needs more people like you, right now. Don’t wait… engage life, get optimistic however you need to do it. Then let that part of you shine right now… This is how we fight. Hold up that flag; give the starter smile… rally to the standard you create and spread fellowship again. God knows we need it.
On Sunday, July 5th we finished our Independence Day weekend traveling from Washington D.C. with pride and patriotism in our hearts.
When Dodie was a college volleyball star in San Antonio, her team competed all the way to the Nationals held in Maryland. One afternoon their coach gave the girls a choice to go into Washington or do something else. To her disappointment, they selected to go eat pizza.
“Oh my gosh, we can eat pizza at home,” she said. “But we may never have an opportunity to see our nation’s capitol.”
When she told me this story, I vowed we would go to D.C. So how cool was that, to be able to take her during the 244th birthday of the United States of America?
The only problem with the idea was that it was summer 2020. Pandemic restrictions, riots, looting and non-stop horrible news filled Mainstream Media.
By this juncture of the trip we had learned that the news propaganda was totally wrong. In Vicksburg, Memphis, Pigeon Forge-Gatlinburg and Mt. Airy the reality of our expectations and those of the hundreds we met was far different than the doom and gloom portrayed by disinformation and agenda driven reporting.
Before we entered D.C., our tally of political campaign signs, banners and signs was Trump 89 versus Biden 0.
I seriously expected, based on what Media feeds us, that we’d finally see Biden signs. We also remained very alert and cautious for any signs of civil unrest, protests or danger.
The only concerns we experienced there was that practically everything was closed, including restrooms. The Smithsonian museums, Ford Theater, Arlington Cemetery, Washington Monument and other such attractions had to be seen from the outside.
Dodie was in awe and a good sport about it.
“Hey, at least we’re here, safe and getting to see it,” she said.
To see the glow on Dodie’s face was worth it. It was my pleasure to make that longtime dream come true.
By the time we left D.C., the count was Trump 102 and Biden 0.
Our next stop was five and a half hours west to Charleston, Virginia. After a good night’s sleep we decided on a Bob Evans Restaurant for breakfast. As with most places, we walked in with our masks on and were escorted to a table safely distanced about ten feet from the nearest diners.
Peggy, our 45 or so year old server, greeted us with enthusiasm and promptly took our orders. Next to us was a retired Air Force Chief Master Sargeant, “an E-9,” she called Hank.
Hank sat at a large round table, big enough for eight chairs. At first I thought he was sitting there for social distancing purposes, but with so many other empty tables around I surmised that as a regular customer it was simply his favorite table.
More than likely, Hank’s chair was his spot at what I call a “Table of Wisdom.” Many restaurants have them. They’re usually the largest table and most likely near the counter or kitchen entrance to facilitate faster service and the best response.
Like local knights of insight, sagacity, and humor, these round Tables of Wisdom are silently reserved for the most noble and fairest of all. King Arthur had his seven knights. Snow White had her seven dwarfs. But on this Monday morning, Hank was alone.
Peggy mentioned, “Hank, where you been, Babe? I haven’t seen you in a while?”
“The only reason I’m here now is because I have a doctor’s appointment at the VA,” he replied. “They said I don’t need to fast so I thought I’d come grab a bite and see you while I’m at it.”
Blond haired and diligent Peggy patted Hank, perhaps 80, on his left shoulder as she filled his coffee cup.
After she took his order he explained “that since this COVID thing all started, I haven’t been out much at all. I’ve been watching TV ’til almost noon ever’ mornin’.”
“Well, did you have any problems getting an appointment at the VA?,” Peggy placed her fists on her hips.
“No, not a bit,” he smiled. “It didn’t take long after Donald Jay Trump got settled into the White House to get that nonsense straightened out.”
Dodie and I laughed. He smiled back at us, pleased he had an audience.
We told him we were at the White House Friday and thought we saw Trump’s helicopter coming to take him to Air Force One for his trip to Mount Rushmore.
He lit up, but even more so when we told him about the Trump versus Biden signs, flags and banner tally we had counted at that point.
Other diners around us joined in the conversation and soon there was no doubt every person in that restaurant was a Trump-Pence supporter.
About the time Peggy served our food, a senior couple walked in. They were terrified. Both had on the required masks. The wife had cloth garden gloves on. She was literally shaking.
Her husband, using a walker, was also trembling and slowly led the way to the hostess’ podium. He too had on gloves, only his were latex and looked so flexible that I imagined he could easily pick up a dime.
Peggy shuffled over to welcome them. We couldn’t hear their words, but it was obvious they were afraid to be out in public.
The anxiety faded as they saw Hank. Peggy reassured the elderly couple it would be safe to join him.
“It’s going to be okay honey,” she directed the wife to the opposite side and across from Hank.
Hank introduced Freddy and Margie to the other diners. We all greeted them with our names and Margie noted they did not know what to expect because they had “been cooped up in the house for going on almost four months.”
This was Freddy’s and Margie’s first day out since the last days of February. They sheltered in place, having family members placing groceries and supplies on their doorstep.
Horrified by the constant gloom and doom of television news reporting, they remained indoors for months. Their daughters, son and in-laws pleaded with them to come out for days before they agreed to give it a try that morning.
The tension wrinkles on their faces faded as surrounding patrons became encouraging friends. What they had been led to believe by watching CNN was the polar opposite of the reality they were experiencing in that restaurant.
Soon they had their gloves off and masks in their pockets. Margie was teary eyed with thankfulness and relief. They were overjoyed seeing Hank again and learning there were no terrorists and looters waiting around every corner.
The most interesting aspect of our shared experience was that everyone in that large dining room were united in our beliefs that what was being presented by the media was a sham. It was harmful, cruel and dangerous propaganda.
We each shared similar perspectives and discovered we’re the norm, not the exception. There are millions of Americans going through the same discoveries and thought processes as Freddie, Margie, Hank, Dodie and I were.
We learned together that we had been fueling those opposed to our rights and freedoms with our fear.
Dodie and I embarked on our “clever journey” with the intent to face our fears with strength and happiness. In that restaurant we realized it was worth it.
A wise man who has the ability to blow the lid off of Washington to Wall Street said it best this week:
“Do not give evil elements an inch of space within your heart. Expect and demand accountability. Do not worry about being perceived as an a**hole about it.”
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
“We live in the greatest nation on the face of the earth. We are the people of that nation, with boundless opportunities most of the world can only dream of. Our opposition has nothing but false witness, fear and lies. Push on them, they are weak and shallow.”
“We are Americans…. Those who are working against our interests thrive in an atmosphere of despair and disenfranchisement – do not give it to them. Carry an optimistic spirit, regardless of how challenging. I cannot explain it, but that makes success more certain.”
The most significant common denominators we learned in that restaurant and along our journey, were that each of us, some local and many travelers, were angry and fed up with the media and Marxist tactics of the liberal left.
Margie, Freddy and Hank exited without their masks or gloves on.
Everyone in that Bob Evans left that morning with determination and perseverance in our hearts, minds and souls.
Because that’s what Americans do.