Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July

We awoke early yesterday morning so we could be at the church by 9:00 for an Independence Day celebration, the most patriotic part of our weekend. Scouts of all sizes assembled at the flag pole with an assortment of onlookers encircling them. After the flag was raised we said the Pledge of Allegiance with meaning and solemnity and were then treated to The Star-Spangled Banner sung a cappella by a young woman I did not know. Stephanie, an immigrant from a small island southeast of Africa, spoke to us about her observations of the United States, reminding us of the freedoms we enjoy in this great land. We all felt her sincerity and were uplifted by her remarks. Then we (over one hundred of us) lined up for a breakfast buffet of pancakes, sausage, strawberries, blueberries and conversation. Our family sat across the table from a single mother with two young boys who served in the Navy for three years. Clark was content to sit by us but I have no idea where Phil ate. Soon it was Phil’s favorite time—taking down chairs and tables and putting them away. After an hour most of the people were gone and tables and chairs taken down but there was one table yet with the plastic table cloth still on and a person eating while two sat across from him talking to him. Phil tried to roll the table cloth right up to his plate. He wanted to take down that table. The woman across the table got a cool, angry look on her face and said something to Phil which caused him to stop what he was doing and leave them alone. My first instinct was to go to her and explain that Phil was doing his best even though it may not have seemed like it. His judgment isn’t always the best but his heart is. I turned away and didn’t say anything. How many times during his lifetime have people been unhappy with him and said something unkind or curt because they didn't understand him, hundreds of times I am sure. Phil handled it well. He did not seem affected by her comment and walked away to help in another area.

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