A Handcrafted Morning: A Return to American Awesomeness

I woke to a double batch of yogurt, all ready for the fridge.

a double batch of yogurt

a double batch of yogurt

I require double batches, these days, because of the amount of fresh yogurt I use in other handcrafted recipes, such as my honey vanilla ginger fruit dip, and handmade bleu cheese dressing.

Plus, endless bowls of yogurt with jam or honey and vanilla, sprinkled with handcrafted granola. I have become quite the addict.

I also noticed that my green onions have come back with a vengeance, and are ready for their second haircut! How marvelous to have fresh food growing on the kitchen windowsill.

green onions after over a week

green onions after over a week

All this delight, accompanied by a day off and a comedically huge cup of organic, fair-trade French Roast coffee, got me thinking…

I am an American. I was born here, as were my parents, and 3 of 4 of their parents. I am 46 years old, which means I am from an era which began with almost everyone has a color tv, but there are still cords on phones, knobs on radios and there are only 3 channels on said color tv.

Growing up, I, like all my peers, was indoctrinated with the idea of National Pride and America is The Greatest Syndrome. And, back then, we sort of still were. We had the example of women from all over the nation bringing homemade treats and sandwiches to rail depots, to feed young soldiers as they were shipping out to go and fight The Big War. It didn’t matter that it wasn’t her son. She dipped in to her own family’s resource of sugar and eggs and vanilla to make a treat to cheer a young man who was away from home, and his Mom’s treats. Hoping, of course, that some other woman, far from her was bringing treats to the station her son was paused at.

She didn’t care if the young man eating her sandwich was from a Democrat or Republican family. If he subscribed to her same religious affiliation. If his sexuality was defined by her own code. She just knew that comforting these soldiers was The Right Thing to do.

But these days, and by that I mean over the course of the last 40 years, America has become something of a Hot Mess. Divided in every way possible. When men came home from the war after next, they not only didn’t get handmade treats and sandwiches, they were spit on and called vile names.

I have been feeling very disheartened by the erosion of what is truly awesome about America, the very things to be Proud of. But this morning, I have become inspired.

It is my firm belief that underneath the crust of Kardashians, mindlessness, and consumerism there is still that foundation of fundamental awesomeness that is intrinsically American. (*Please note~this is not a chop on other countries. most of you have managed to maintain your fundamental decency while we have been eating McDonald’s and watching Jerry Springer)

Underneath it all, there is still a force which came from our ancestors which runs into the neighbor’s burning house to save their child. We see it when there is a tragedy. Strangers opening their homes to those who have just lost theirs to a hurricane. Reaching deep into shallow pockets to help fund a neighbor kid’s way to camp.

There is still an awesome America. The neighbor-embracing, willing to lend a hand, pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps, self-sufficient awesome America. It is celebrated every time we take a plate of Christmas cookies to the old neighbor lady. Each time we cook a meal from scratch. Each time we lend a hand to someone in need.

It is This America that I need to be more focused on, in my spirit. I have been remiss in allowing myself to become overwhelmed by all the wrong things, and forget that awesomeness is going on all the time.

This morning I vow to be a light for the Awesome America. To be the change I want to see in this land. To remember what I was taught all those years ago, when parents had time to train children in the ways of awesomeness. Because someone took the time to train them.

As always, this blog isn’t meant to change anyone else’s mind. I am not recruiting followers. I am merely documenting my experience. And, today, my experience was awesome!

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