Closer to Home: Let’s Work Together to Honor Everyone | Opinion

Today was beautiful. We were on the Mississippi by 7:15. Once Dave turned off the outboard motor and everything was fairly quiet, I noticed the scene around me. What a beautiful view of Minnesota. The hills, like ours in Wisconsin, rose in low clouds, which looked themselves like mountains. A light breeze moved the water towards our small boat, causing it to gently shake. The sound of a low cow, the hum of a barge moving slowly over the river, the roar of a motor like a boat rushing through the water to a fishing spot, the whistle of a train, the shriek of a gull, and a little later, the church bells escorted us as we moved slowly along the edge of the grass. The five huge white swans that flew above our heads did not make any sound at all.

“Oh beautiful of the vast sky, of the waves of amber grain, of the majesty of the purple mountain above the fruitful plain!”

Hunting was slow. Five hours on the water, we brought home a total of nine panfish and bass. Attracted more weeds than fish this morning. Dave Krappy caught a 13 inch, the biggest one I’ve ever seen. After a nearby boat carrying a little boy and an older, skinny man in a cowboy hat left the fishing spot, we moved on. There was so much excitement coming from this neighborhood, which we heard when we were throwing our lines over and over near the bed of weeds. Dave caught that cute bus. Then I had a good fight with what I thought was the bass as I swung in my line, but was disappointed to learn it was a sheep’s head. Dave called it the “rough fish,” and it’s very bony and not very tasty. I threw it again.

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“America! America! May God fix all your faults….”

“He has enough?” We tossed our lines a few times as we slowly made our way back to the boat landing. Dave put the boat back in the trailer and pulled it out of the water. I did little, however, to clean the weeds out of the boat trailer. “How do you like an ice cream cone?” Oh boy!

I highly recommend the Coconut and Almond Ice Cream with Chunks of Chocolate at Hood Scoops Ice Cream. As Dave and I sat at the table under the shade of an awning with our ice cream, a cone of very dark Zanzibar chocolate, and I with a bowl of coconut ice cream, I noticed that US flags were lined up along the entire stretch of Stoddard Village on either side of the highway. 35. How beautiful she is! I love our country’s flag.

I asked Dave what he thinks of when he sees the US flag. He said, “All of us.” This is in short. all of us. Every colour, every race, every gender, every height, every weight, every religion, every political view.

We visited our friend Fred that day. Fred is 102 years old. He told us about the time he was shot down in Belgium in 1944. He and the pilot returned to base, and the plane flipped on its back when it crashed. An Irish Catholic priest pulled him out of the rubble. Fred said that was the only time in his life, until a stroke, he was in the hospital.

“O beautiful heroes, you have proven in liberating sedition, who were loved by their country more than self, and mercy more than life.”

I just heard the song, “I’m so proud to be an American that at least I know I’m free….” I always thought these were some of the worst words I’ve ever heard. Shouldn’t a man do something noble in order to be proud of himself?

I have done nothing to deserve the blessings I have. When I was a kid, my mom would say, “You have no idea how lucky you are to be born in this country” and “All peas, there are starving people in China.” I was too young to know what it meant. In those days, we really made it. Our mother made us three meals a day and made sure we had clean clothes to wear. We can walk safely to our little elementary school at the end of our street, right after our school to the park, or down the block to play with friends. As long as we were home for the next meal, we had a lot of freedom.

We sang “America the Beautiful” at Mass last night. I could hardly sing through my tears. It happens almost every time I sing that song. Sometimes I cry because I am filled with gratitude for my many blessings. This time it was sadness. I cannot be the only one saddened by the anger and division in this country.

Differing opinions? Well of course. But there has to be a way to honor each person’s deeply held beliefs while working for what we know in our hearts to be right. Let’s work together to find this way.

“America! America! God has left His grace upon you, and crowned your goodness with brotherhood, from the sea to the shining sea.”

Doreen moved into the woods from Green Bay in 1984, married Steve O’Donnell, and remained to raise her three children after his death in 1997. Dave Short joined her there in 2016. Doreen welcomes her feedback at [email protected]

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