A Tale of Two Birthdays

Photo by Nikhita Singhal on Unsplash

This is not the birthday I’d planned.

Today I reach that age where I could be receiving a government check. Unfortunately, because the government giveth and the government taketh too much away, it’s not practical for me to make that early leap.


I would have given you a different perspective on that back in January. I could have shown you a countdown calendar.

I think we all know that things changed. And we’ve already talked about the uncertainty of what is ahead.

This post is not going to make that any better.

Our country turns 244 tomorrow.

Let’s just say that the country and I are showing the signs of our age.

On a side note, my family knows that I do not want a red, white, and blue birthday cake. There were too many of those whilst I was growing up.

This weekend’s celebrations will look different.

There will be firework displays, but you can’t park in the same zip code to watch them.

At our house, we’ll probably watch the Capitol Fourth concert on PBS and the DC fireworks.

Unless we have Hamilton streaming on a loop.

Or we might just set off a few sparklers on the deck and call it a day.

I’m still glad to be an American.

I’m glad to be a Virginian.

And yeah, I’m glad to be Southern.

Wrinkles and all.

And trust me, this birthday comes with its own set of wrinkles.

Do yourself a favor this weekend. Go read the Declaration of Independence again.

Or for the first time.

Then be thankful for the freedoms that we still have in this country.

That doesn’t mean that we don’t have room for improvement. We certainly do.

But, let’s not forget to be thankful for what we have.

Thirty-two years ago, I planned a convention in Nashville around this same date. We ended the gathering with a private concert by Lee Greenwood. I have a picture on my office wall to prove it. His song God Bless the USA was still fairly new at that point.

I loved it then. I love it now. And I love this latest version.

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