Princess and the Pea

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I was mopping my floors one day and to make it easier I just stacked the kids beds together.
I turned my back and I find Big Girl perched on top, snoozing in total comfort.
I was immediately reminded of a childhood story, The Princess and the Pea.

Since she didn’t move for hours, I guess there were no peas!

Snort!


Halleluja’s, Excuses, and One Word

Where, you might be asking, are the posts about the Harley Davidson 110th Anniversary extravaganza in Milwaukee at? 

Well, shortly after arriving home, unloading the bike, and getting everything stored away, hubby and I discovered the pocket camera to be missing. We searched everywhere  to no avail. I immediately called the hotel and asked that they look for it in our room, as we had the night before we left, but neither of us remembered packing it for check out. I was heartbroken. Not for the physical camera, although it is a nice one, but for the pictures. I had taken photos with my camera, but many times I didn’t waste the data space because I knew hubby had the better lens.  A return call later that evening brought sad news that it was not found. 

On a hunch, Monday, I called and talked with the manager asking that they really search the room, as I felt it might have fallen out of hubbys pocket and bounced under a dresser or bed. After they went and checked again, I was told, no, it was not there and no one had turned one in. I honestly was crestfallen and trying to figure out how to share my experience with limited photos of all the cool stuff we had done! Hubby listed it on Craigs list, hoping some other rider had found it and was looking for the owners. As the days ticked by, we lost all hope of having it returned to us. I know there were days prior to cameras, where people relied on memories and the telling of tales, but we have them now and I LOVE being able to look at the photos. All the cool stuff we saw inside the H-D headquarters, all lost to just our brain cells. 

Then Friday I got the phone call that made my day…..they had found our camera!!!! HALLELUJA! Oh HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY DAY! LET THE PRAISES RING! I’ve no idea, and they didn’t offer to share how it was found, but found it was!!

So, if my readers will be a little more patient, as I await the FedEx truck to be delivering my camera back to my anxious little hands, I promise I’ll share our experience of a lifetime in the arms of the Harley family. 

And that……is my EXCUSE

Here is just a teaser:

When you walk in to headquarters, you are greeted with what it means to be a HOG (Harley Owners Group). I think this ONE WORD nicely sums up both what the open road means to H-D riders, but also embodies the American spirit. Notice this isn’t any flowery, whimpy, ‘gee isn’t this kinda nice’ expression of the word. No, this is bold, cutting, expressive of determination, hard work, fiery grit and tenacity. This is the fierce, vibrant, living freedom embodied in another of their brand symbols – the bald eagle. Freedom isn’t earned easily and when it’s achieved, the pride in achieving it is rightfully brandished like a badge of honor. I bet some out there are mystified at the loyalty and attraction to the brand. But, when a company’s product so fully embraces and embodies the spirit of what it means to be American, and the American spirit, exceptionalism, and success seem under attack in this day and age, loyalty is earned by treating your client right and providing something of value for the cost. There are plenty of other great motorcycle companies and motorcycle designs out there. All have their attraction and place in the market space, and I in no way mean to diminish their contribution, with those who love the open road. There is just something simply unique about Harley’s, from the rumble of the thunder, to the camaraderie of the riders.

More to come…

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Celebrating America’s Independence Day

Celebrating America's Independence Day

Independence Day.
The 4th of July.
Grilling out, hot dogs, burgers, apple pie and fireworks.

All these things we have come to represent the celebrated American holiday we call, the 4th of July.

While pleasant, those things are most certainly not what the 4th of July is about. Consumerism has done a bang up job of perverting yet another great celebratory day (Christmas and Thanksgiving are two of the most prominent offenders) but this one deeply touches my heart, crying out for liberation from it’s trite food fest moniker.

Independence Day. What does that mean anymore to the average American? What does ‘Independence’ mean to other peoples in other countries? Really, ask yourself that very question, because I don’t think it’s contemplated enough.

What exactly does celebrating the Independence of America from Britain mean?

What it means to me is perfectly stated in our Country’s Declaration of Independence.

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

“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.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.”

(click on photo to read the entire Declaration)

As you can see, this was no ‘willy nilly’ band of rebel rousers who just didn’t like the King. This was an assembly of thoughtful, intelligent, well-read, articulate and worldly men who understood that our basic human rights come from ‘Natures God’, and not a king, dictator, tyrant, nor any man, and that freedom is a right, not a privilege.
That is critical to understanding American freedom, which is vastly different than say…the Egyptian freedom so newly won, and quickly deteriorating.

Why has America retained it’s freedoms so long? Because we have always understood that the giver of those basic freedoms (Life, Liberty, Happiness) is a higher power, NOT a human being. It is the responsibility we have to Natures God to be a good, moral, and virtuous people that has made America exceptional in the history of humankind. It is the fact our life, our freedom and our right to pursue happiness are not to be taken by a state nor another human that makes our founding different and unique. It is the right to own the fruits of our hard labor that defines ‘American Exceptionalism’.

There is a reason why in the period of a few hundred years, America has grown from a small band of colonists to the global superpower it has become. Our fundamental way of thinking is entirely different from the rest of the world. That is not bragging, it just is. People come from all over the world to America, seeking the freedom to prosper. Yes, the freedom to prosper means the freedom to fail, but that is a critical tool to learning how to succeed. One must fail.

Today, I don’t know how many Americans under the age of 50 really understand what the Declaration really means and what the Framers intended. How many even read our Constitution and know anything beyond the 2nd Amendment? For America to remain free, these must be taught, discussed and reflected upon.

So, I encourage you to take a moment in all the festivities and ask your family and friends:
What does America’s Independence mean to you?

And if they say BBQ’s and beer, might I suggest you read the full Declaration to them.

Then light up those fireworks, and teach your children why we light them. Not only will they have fun, but there is a richness heritage to the meaning behind it. That will enrich not only them and yourself, but also our country.

Happy Independence Day America.
God Bless this Nation.