Raising Magnolias

Because it's never too late for happily ever after…

An Open Letter…

To servicemen. To veterans. To heroes. To NRA supporters. To Walk-Out Critics. To Saturday’s March Critics. To policemen. To teachers. To pastors.

To anyone.

There’s this blog that I sometimes see on Facebook called a view from home or her view from home or the view from home.  Something about a view.

I love that word.

View. Her view. My view. Your view.

We all have our world view and our point of view and and what if we took a moment to see life from a different view.

I spent Saturday driving to Arkansas. Listening to Coulter’s sound track that included “Ice, Ice Baby”, “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” and Michael Jackson’s “Beat it”.

I sat there wondering where he learned this music.

And how he learned to download stuff.

He’ll be 13 in May, which is to say he’ll be, ya know—six. Maybe 7.

My point is this. I wasn’t marching.

I don’t do marches. I did stand in a receiving line for President Clinton once, just after he was elected. Or maybe he was governor. I don’t remember. My Aunt Ida reached across the ropes, grabbed President or Gov. Clinton by both shoulders and hugged him. He was thrilled to see my Aunt Ida and I don’t mean fake, politician thrilled, I mean thrilled.

“Ida Margaret!” He beamed in that perfect drawl.

She said, “Bill! You remember Myra Katherine, Larry and Cindy’s daughter.”

And I thought, “Lord have mercy she just called him Bill.”

For the record, we visited President Clinton in the Oval office some years later and she did it again. She called him Bill.

In the Oval.

Dang. I loved that woman.

I forgot what I was talking about.

Oh. Marches. I don’t do them. Or Big events. Or any event where I have to stand in line. Or any event in which my celebrity status as Larry and Cindy’s daughter isn’t known. Walk-outs. Rope-lines. I’d rather stay home.

Staying home is the new going out, in case you didn’t know.

Kind of like kick-ass strong is the new skinny.

But Praise our sweet Jesus that our veterans did not stay home. 

The marched. They fought. The sacrificed.

Ok so here’s my question. And not a sarcastic question like when I’m being snarky and opinionated. A personal trainer recently bragged that she owned the studio where she trained out of, as if renting a space somehow makes you less of a trainer and I wanted to say, “How wonderful! Congratulations! When did you buy the building from your parents?”

But I didn’t. Because I love Jesus.

And I only mention now,  as an example that I can be quite snarky.

But this. This question comes from a place of humility and sincerity.

Did you fight simply for the right to bear arms or did you bear arms to fight for the freedom to stage a peaceful protest.

Did you fight simply for the NRA or did you fight for Americans.

I never fought for our country. But when I stand for the flag and when I sing of this “land of sweet liberty” and when I try to imagine from the soldiers’ point of view, I can hardly imagine what it was like to see that “the flag was still there.”

Our flag.

Theodore Roosevelt was quoted as saying that “patriotism means to stand by your country. It does not mean to stand by your President.”

Patriotism means to stand by your country. And just like Churches are not the buildings but the people. Our country is not simply borders and land.

It is the people.

I’m raising my children in small-town, Nebraska where people watch the Cornhuskers on Saturday, go to church on Sundays, and conceal and carry on Monday.

But that’s my view from home. What about theirs?

The kids who spoke on Saturday have their own view. And they’re looking through very dark and tear-stained lenses.

Is it un-patriotic to share their stories? Is it unpatriotic to ask for better? Is it unpatriotic to want to be heard?

Summer vacations for the Hale family always meant reading or learning or memorizing or something educational. A hazard of being the daughter and granddaughter of teachers.

We were driving to my sister to baton-twirling’s camp.

Is that even a thing? Maybe it was band camp.

Anyway. That was our vacation.

She had to memorize the preamble to the Constitution.

Which meant we all had to memorize the preamble to the Constitution.

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice. Insure Domestic Tranquility….”

Are we doing that? Are we doing our best to insure domestic tranquility?

Do we still “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.”

I absolutely support the second amendment and I’d carry a gun myself if I wasn’t afraid that I’d accidentally shoot off my toe.

Or my ex-husband. Accidentally.

Y’all. That was a joke.

Seriously, when are people going to figure out that I’m actually quite funny.

I don’t understand why Hollywood isn’t calling.

Anyway, I’ve spent all afternoon on all these history sights trying to educate myself so that I could better articulate, but y’all know what keeps coming to my mind?

An American President.

President Shepherd.

The fictional president that I wish was the real president because seriously.

He’s cute.

Anyway, unable to find all the words I’m looking for today, I’ll steal a few from Michael Douglas.

“America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, ’cause it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say “You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.”

Try looking through a different pair lens this week. Try their view from home.

And Veterans. Thank you for the sacrifices you made to give us “the land of the free and home of the brave.”


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