About carla

Writer, blogger, photographer, breast cancer survivor. I write about whatever strikes my fancy as I meander through life.

flooding on schuykill in gladwyne

From Gladwyne Civic Association (including photos):

River Road is closed-it will be closed all day! Coast Guard reports that River will not truly crest until 10:30am, so the worst is yet to come. Photos below are from this morning. DO NOT DRIVE INTO ANY WATER!

THIS IS FLAT ROCK PARK AND RIVER ROAD!

I have friends who live on BOTH sides of the river here – Gladwyne and Philadelphia side.

I think municipalities in South Eastern PA need to redefine “hundred year storms” and so on. This is climate change in action. We used to only get these storms and downpours once in a while and now it’s like they are becoming a far too common occurrence.

who can tell me about this house??

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This is back in the Coatesville area. Valley Township maybe or Caln but I do not know for sure.  Maybe Wagontown? Maybe on 340? I remember passing a Turkey Hill and there is some pub place near it. It was not long after getting off 30 bypass.

You know me and boarded up houses.  They have a tale to tell so help me tell it.

Thanks!!

Post addendum:

Noted local historian Catherine Quillman tells me the following:

I will send you a photo but I believe it’s the house next door (which someone mentioned as being restored). I just gave a lecture to West Caln and people were sort of vague about it. Your photo shows more windows than the one in my photo from the historical society. Anyway, before the Lancaster Road took over the main Lancaster-Philadelphia route, the King’s Highway (route 340) had many pre-American Revolution taverns along it.

The road was actually developed by Peter Bezellon, the Canadian French trader whose trading log cabin was reportedly what is now the famous Downingtown log house. The early court at Chester (Upland) asked Bezellon to develop the road since he knew several Indian dialects (he was later accused as being a spy during French & Indian war).

Anyway, the road was called “Peter’s Road.” There is a marker near Coatesville that calls him the “founder.”….These photos are from Carstairs Pierce collection at Chester County Historical Society….she was a “Chester County rambler” back in the 1950s and 1960s and she took photos of every former tavern she could find. She calls this tavern the “Sign of the Wagon,” which gave the West Caln Township hamlet its’ name Wagontown….

….Note that this tavern looks slightly different than the house you posted. However, it’s really strange that two 18th-centure “Georgian style” with the windows above the penteve would be right next to each other….

 

Here are the photos:

This is the  house being restored on this road people are talking about:

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It looks amazing!

Here is the sad house again:

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visiting mt. airy lavender

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About a month ago I wrote a post called when good conquers evil eminent domain you get lavender fields.  It was about the new adaptive reuse of the Saha Farm in Valley Township (Coatesville/Wagontown). The farm is now Mt. Airy Lavender!!

I went to one of their open farm days in June, and will go back again when they have another one.  Mt. Airy Lavender is so worth the drive!  And I am hooked on their lavender based products! My big favorites are the Lavender Peppermint Body Butter  and Lavender Water and Lavender Essential Oil Roller!

You can buy their products online or when they have open farm days.  They have fun events too! (Including a wine tasting in August.)

For me, this was a special experience to finally visit the farm the Sahas fought so hard to save from eminent domain for private gain from Coatesville all those years ago.

I hope you enjoy the photos I am sharing and I hope you will visit the farm or consider it for an event.

I received nothing for writing this blog post.  I went to the farm because I wanted to see it and I buy their products and lavender plants because they are awesome.

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lieutenant governor john fetterman blocked moi on twitter

blocked by john

Oh my! Should I wear it as a badge of honor? Lt. Gov. John Fetterman of the Commonwealth of PA has blocked moi on Twitter. My first ever gubernatorial blockage!!!

Yes, really.  And honestly? I tweet at Donald Trump and Real Housewives significantly more than him which isn’t saying much because I don’t tweet at any of those folks or Trump much.  Mostly where Big Orange is concerned, I try to pretend he isn’t on Twitter. (Keeps the blood pressure down.)

But even Big Orange hasn’t blocked me on Twitter.  But John Fetterman has apparently. It’s like he wants me to write a blog post about it. Especially amusing since there seems to be some legal precedent stating elected officials cannot block constituents on social media, especially if they use social media to inform constituents? And Lt. Gov. Lurch might not like my Tweets, but I am a constituent, yes? Something about that pesky thing known as the First Amendment, perhaps?

I do not know precisely when I was blocked (I discovered it today) because I don’t include him in tweets very often. I think he is like an empty paper bag with even less substance. I never even wrote a blog post about before about our Lieutenant Governor because he has always seemed a little creepy to me.

I have no problem with ink but his date and numeric tattoos are utterly creepy to look at.  And I am fascinated and always slightly puzzled how the man can never get a shirt that fits properly at the collar.  Or how a politician can look so uncomfortable in a suit, or even  as a politician.

I remember when he first came onto the political scene that I took note of him.  It was that 2016 U.S. Senate attempt.  Then I promptly forgot about him until Tom Wolf starting trotting him out for his last election.

Wolf is a true Rendell Democrat and we’ll leave it at that.

Now what had I tweeted and how often at John Fetterman? The answer is not much and it was mostly pipeline related.  Those pipelines are ruining where I call home and in my humble opinion are too problematic and too damn dangerous.  And for what all this risk to residents? So people a few miles up the road can get sinkholes, the people in East Goshen suffer from inadvertent returns on Boot Road, other people can get their water wells ruined, miles and miles of countryside get raped and pillaged and for what? So a company that should not have PUC utility status can ship gas and “other hydrocarbons” overseas to make plastics in places like Scotland? And don’t forget exploding refineries that then immediately go out of business, right? Or property values that go down due to pipeline syndrome, right?

Compared to a lot of what I see on Twitter, I barely nipped at Big John’s ankles.  I pulled as many  tweets as I could find, and like I said, there weren’t many.  I have screen shots so you can see:

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John Fetterman did kind of make campaign promises about pipelines to people in Chester County and elsewhere.  Once he got elected, what has he done?  Here are some pipeline and Fetterman things I found on Facebook:

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Here is what the ACLU had to say in January of this year:

Court Rules Public Officials Can’t Block Critics on Facebook

By Vera Eidelman, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project
JANUARY 9, 2019 | 12:00 PM

One of the core purposes of the First Amendment is to allow people, regardless of their views, to hold the government accountable through expression. So, if your elected representative has an official Facebook page where she invites comments, can she block you from commenting because you criticize her work?

According to a federal appeals court, the answer is a resounding no.

On Monday, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the interactive portion of a public official’s Facebook page is a “public forum,” so an official cannot block people from it because of the opinions they hold.

And then this happened today ironically:

Wall Street Journal: President Trump Can’t Block Twitter Users, Federal Appeals Court Rules
Practice of blocking users violates free-speech protections, judges say
By Corinne Ramey
Updated July 9, 2019 4:03 pm ET

A federal appeals court in New York ruled President Trump’s practice of blocking some users on Twitter violates the free-speech protections of the First Amendment.

Tuesday’s ruling stems from a 2017 lawsuit filed by Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute on behalf of seven people who had been blocked by the president’s @realDonaldTrump account.

Here is a report also from NPR:

NPR: U.S. Appeals Court Rules Trump Violated First Amendment By Blocking Twitter Followers
July 9, 20193:38 PM ET
VANESSA ROMO

A federal appeals court in Manhattan says President Trump cannot block critics from his Twitter account, calling it “unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination.”

In a 29-page ruling on Tuesday, a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld a lower court’s decision that found that Trump violated the First Amendment when he blocked certain Twitter users, because he uses his Twitter account “to conduct official business and to interact with the public.” By preventing critics from accessing his feed, the president is barring them from participating in what the judges deemed a public forum.

“[The] First Amendment does not permit a public official who utilizes a social media account for all manner of official purposes to exclude persons from an otherwise-open online dialogue because they expressed views with which the official disagrees,” the judges wrote.

So I guess Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman is more special than the sitting President? (However, I can’t say either would honestly win any popularity contests, can you?)

Now mind you, the reaction from some Twitter-vomitors was amusing.  One guy said to me he would block me too and I was a “conservative big oil hater.” Oh how that made me giggle.  I am an independent and a moderate but  I’m not anti-oil, I’m anti-pipeline in Pennsylvania, there’s a difference. Above all else I am an independent thinker and I’m proud of that. But to the intellectually limited who haunt Twitter I am either that or an  evil Liberal or a former RINO (Republican in Name Only).

Seriously, Twitter is the last bastion for total freaking craziness.  That is why over the years I have been active then not active on Twitter.  Twitter is like a weird free for all where grown men seem to think it’s OK to call women a Facist C-U- Next-Tuesdays. Yes, someone did actually do that.

Do I really, really care if John Fetterman blocked me on Twitter?

No.  Because in the stratosphere of politics in PA, he’s temporarily trendy at best.  He’s like that dress you know you shouldn’t have bothered buying that will be out of fashion before you even get to wear it enough.

But there is the principle of the thing here.  The First Amendment allows freedom of speech and the ability to address your government. It’s not selective or subjective.

First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

At the end of the day I know I did not do anything so terribly awful or profanity laced that I deserved to be blocked.  I am a resident of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, therefore one of his constituents whether he likes it or not. And whether I like him or not, which I really do not on principle. He’s a phony baloney. And he sucks up to that Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing so often people probably actually do throw up a little every time they see him fawning.

And am I so powerful he decided to block me? Oh hell no. I actually just think it’s because he doesn’t like to be reminded of things he said he would do and hasn’t, and he must hate being reminded about his pandering to Chester County residents devastated by the pipelines just so they would vote Wolf-Fetterman last election, right? besides, I am a blogger which is always an easy target for politicians because everyone knows bloggers are really Cyborgs, right?

So John Fetterman, I am not so politically naiive and honey have I got your proverbial number.  You keep on going on your “listening tours” with your selective politically male hearing.  We’ll remember the truth come the next time you want to run for something. 

Meanwhile, I will continue to look at the little plastic troll dolls many friend got at a tag sale and marvel how they all sort of resemble John Fetterman.  

This post was brought to all of you courtesy of the First Amendment and to all a good night.

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the secret garden

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“As long as one has a garden, one has a future, and if one has a future, one is alive.” ~ Frances Hodgson Burnett 

One of my most favorite books as a child and ever is The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.  I read it over and over and saw every movie adaptation. It captured my imagination and how could you not love the idea of this secret garden full of flora and fauna tucked away?

The Secret Garden has touched the imagination of many since it’s 1911 debut.  The actual garden was based upon a garden on a property in Kent, England called Great Maytham Hall.  This book continues to spark imagination today and there is even a musical which is put on here in the US and overseas.  The Broadway show actually won three Tony awards in the 1990s.  The story of a small girl’s search for home and a garden brought back to life.  The garden was locked away and forgotten. 

Maybe on some strange level this garden I now have is my secret garden.  After all, it was a feral garden when I first started with it.  The old lady whose house we bought had grown ill and died.  Her garden went untended except for the barest of maintenance.  Her adult children all had their own lives and it’s not easy to let go of a childhood home.

As I have written before, I unearthed garden beds slowly from under very overgrown conditions.  It was an excavation of sorts, and this summer I found something yet again when I performed another great forsythia massacre and discovered a giant Sambucus elderberry with a trunk as think as a tree trunk.

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Irregular garden bed during transformation

This garden has evolved over quite a few years at this point, and will continue to evolve.  Today I dug out and replanted and extended a garden bed out front.  When we moved in it had a giant buddleia  in it and not much else. It was irregularly shaped, neither circular or oval exactly. I had removed the buddleia when it died and planted a David Austin Rose and a bit of sedum, lilies of the valley and Stella D’Oro daylilies.  It always bugged me but nothing inspired me until yesterday. 

Yesterday I picked up two bedragged sale hydrangeas on a whim at Home Depot. I knew they needed just some water and a home. But when I first came home with them I couldn’t figure out where to plant them.  Then I did what I always do when I am pondering a garden bed, I look out of upstairs windows down at the garden.  And it came to me: the small irregularly shaped bed out front would get a makeover.

So this morning in the rain, I pulled the bed apart and dug up everything except the rose which I decided would still anchor the center of the bed. I dug out all around the existing bed until I had a true circle.  Then I dug up the grass, dug down and turned over the soil, added compost and a giant contractor bag of sand. The soil is either wonderful here or loaded with clay and rocks.  This bed as it turns out was loaded with clay and  as I dug down to turn the soil, I discovered bricks. Lots of bricks.  Enough to edge the finished bed with.

I split the three giant clumps of Stella D’Oro daylilies into six pieces.  First I planted my hydrangeas, then I planted back the daylilies.  After that I added two small hostas and a pair of foxglove plants that had been languishing on the porch. Then I planted my lavender plants from Mount Airy Lavender   and a pair of Heuchera that had also been biding their time on the porch waiting for inspiration. Then I added woodchips and edged and voila! 

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“After” Taa daa!!!

I think it looks pretty good if I do say so myself!! 

My garden will continue to evolve and become more refined.  But it was today while digging in the dirt that I thought of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.  I encourage all of you to create your own secret garden.  Create a place to love and cherish. Gardening is such a happy thing.

I will close with some current flower power photos. Thanks for stopping by!

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open garden day was fun!!!

Today for the first time ever I opened my garden for an “open garden day.” I was nervous about doing it, but so glad I did!!

Opening your garden up is like opening a very special private and creative part of you. And as people tour your garden you always wonder are they going to see what you see? Appreciate what you appreciate? And my garden is different from a lot of US gardens because it’s more in the English and Irish cottage garden and woodland garden style.

I have worked really hard on this garden and there is a lot of me in it, and as it has started to mature I have had plant societies and other groups preview my garden to be potentially included on a garden tour, but thus far none of them have found my garden good enough.

One plant society didn’t like it because I did not have little plastic sticks sticking up next to every plant to identify every single plant. And then one of them told me how I should be pruning my Japanese maple and I didn’t really care for that because it wasn’t a helpful suggestion it was really meant as a criticism.

And then there was a garden tour that I had thought I really wanted to be part of because it was put on by my alma mater. But the mothers today who form the committee don’t come themselves to preview the gardens, they send paid staff from the school.

And while I was happy to have those ladies look at the garden, the parents were supposed to be working on this event committee never even followed up with me and overall, they made me feel that my garden wasn’t good enough. Right or wrong that’s how they made me feel. And that was predominately because they couldn’t be bothered to come themselves to look at it and it was their event. And as an alumni of the school I would’ve thought they would’ve at least made an effort.

But I decided to open my garden up today on July 4th, for a few hours to the members of my garden group. To see how people would respond and if they would come. Because that’s another thing when you do something like this you always wonder will they come?

And people did come over today and they seemed like they really liked my garden and I was so happy to share it with them and they stayed a while. It made me happy to share what I’ve created with like-minded souls.

In the United Kingdom they do open garden days quite a bit. That was one of the things that made me decide to just try this on my terms. I had water for everyone and I had done some water infused with lemons, limes, apple mint, and fresh basil from my garden. And as a nod to the UK I also put out some Scottish shortbread.

I think I will do this again in the future and I hope people will come back.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to visit my garden today! I’m going to stake up some flowers now before the rain comes!

Happy Independence Day!!!

the eve of july 4th: we hold these truths to be self evident

When is the last time any of you read the Declaration of Independence?

When is the last time you read the United States Constitution and brushed up on the First Amendment and the other ideals on which this country was founded contained within?

Why is it to be a good American or a good person these days you can’t express your opinion safely without fear of retribution, retaliation, verbal abuse, or more?

When did we as a nation become so ugly and regress a couple of centuries?

When did it become a crime to see something you find heinous and say so?

Sorry not sorry but on the eve of our nation’s birth do we all need reminding of what our forefathers fought, bled, and died for?

Want to see the ugliness in mankind? Share a major media outlet post about what amounts to inhumane human warehousing in border detention centers.

They did it in World War II as well – to Italian Americans and Japanese Americans.

It wasn’t OK then and it isn’t OK now.

You can read about it in the Smithsonian but I bet some of you will view our very inconvenient history as “fake news” too.

During World War II, the U.S. Saw Italian-Americans as a Threat to Homeland Security

The executive order that forced Japanese-Americans from their homes also put immigrants from Italy under the watchful eye of the government.

Smithsonian Magazine

By David A. Taylor

smithsonian.com

📌“The incarceration of Japanese-Americans is the best-known effect of Executive Order 9066, the rule signed by President Franklin Roosevelt on February 19, 1942. And for good reason. The suffering and punishment placed upon innocent Japanese-Americans was a dark chapter in American history. But the full extent of the government order is largely unknown.

In addition to forcibly evacuating 120,000 Americans of Japanese background from their homes on the West Coast to barbed-wire-encircled camps, EO 9066 called for the compulsory relocation of more than 10,000 Italian-Americans and restricted the movements of more than 600,000 Italian-Americans nationwide. Now, the order has resurfaced in the public conversation about immigration.”📌

This issue of detaining immigrants shouldn’t be about Democrat versus Republican, and I am shocked at how limited and ugly a lot of you are. This is an actual humanitarian crisis in my opinion and I am entitled to it.

I’m not saying that I think people should be in this country illegally, but sometimes there are extenuating circumstances and it has been proven that some of the people that are in these detention centers don’t actually belong there.

We are a nation of immigrants. We are also at one of the ugliest times in our history at present.

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.

Yeah. Those words. Remember them?

The latest report on the state of border detection centers as I saw it on NBC News turned my stomach. Human warehousing and the images yes I did say reminded me of images of concentration camp victims behind barbed wire. That is my opinion because of how graphic the images were, and right or wrong, how they struck me.

It was my opinion. Not an assault on Jewish people or the Jewish religion. Mankind is capable of great atrocities.

One of my readers on my blog’s Facebook page went absolutely cuckoo for Coca Puffs.

I was stupid. I didn’t know what concentration camps were. I was uneducated. I was a bad person.

I bet they don’t know the complete history of those camps either. Like I bet they don’t know the multitudes of people other than Jews who were killed. Gays, gypsies, and those who could not sign onto their polices and ideologies. My grandmother who was Pennsylvania German of German descent talked about this when I was very little. Apparently there were family cousins of her family’s who were persecuted. I never got all of the details and when I was little and truth be told I did not know if I should believe her because no one talked about that. Then when I was older, I learned more in history classes. I learned what she had said all those years ago was true.

And this person did not stop. They actually started posting black and white photos of bodies stacked up in concentration camps in World War II.

On and on and on.

It went from having their say to being and feeling verbally abused and accosted. My opinion = ignorance (their exact words). That I was ignorant because I deleted the photos of dead bodies they kept posting. That I was stupid and ignorant and didn’t have the decency to blog under my complete name and “create a false sense of authority with my page title.” That I should “crawl” back under my rock because I was stupid and had no “clue” of reality. Again, their words.

It was a barrage of ugliness…from someone who actually knows who I am and who was fine with me when I defended their business because I felt someone had been unfair once upon a time. Someone I used to respect from what little I knew of them.

So I decided since they weren’t stopping, I had to make a decision. I removed their comments and them as well from the page. I didn’t want to, I don’t like to do that, but sometimes I have to.

There are plenty of people who post opinions contrary to mine. But they’re not abusive about it. When people get abusive I remove them. And it’s not when they are just abusive to me whose page it is. It’s when they are abusive to others on the page or just abusive in general. Or when they post things that are truly fake news. I removed someone else for that on this same topic.

All of this vitriol and ugliness for expressing my opinion. Many people have many different opinions on this topic of immigrant detention and the detention centers. But they discuss it without dripping hatred from every word.

I am a descendent of immigrants like the rest of us. I am descended from Germans, Italians, and the Irish. All three nationalities that have been discriminated against in this country at one period of time or another. And yes, my ancestors did come here legally. They came here for a better life. And I think they would be deeply saddened to see how this country has regressed.

When I was little I remember my Irish grandfather telling me of the signs in Philadelphia shop windows when he was a little boy that said “Irish need not apply.”

When I was little I remember tales of my Italian grandfather and his brothers having to change the name of their business during World War II to sound more “American.”

This was the same grandfather who got stuck with his mother in Italy during World War I as a small child. They had sailed back to the “old country” so that my great grandmother could introduce her relatives to her American born son. When he came back with his mother after the war, he was treated differently by even the kids in his neighborhood. They viewed him as non-American. He was born an American citizen.

I’m not talking about giving illegal immigrants health insurance cards and sending them on their way. I am talking about basic humane treatment pending the outcome of their cases. I am not talking about ignoring the poverty of Americans and problems that we already face in every nook and cranny of this country. I’m talking about what I feel is an actual humanitarian crisis. And I think in this country today we are faced with more than one humanitarian crisis.

Then someone else took me to task because they said this immigration debacle was happening under the prior administration at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Was it? I don’t know. And that’s not the point. I was talking about something that I find morally reprehensible that if it did occur in the past as in three or four years ago I still would’ve found it morally reprehensible.

And then there was the guy who said if I had a page for my blog, I should take the abuse. That I am overreacting. That I am a “coward” for not taking the verbal accosting. That I have a poor character and that I should be neither judge or jury.

Essentially I should shut my mouth like a good little woman and take the abuse and allow the vitriol to pollute yet another social media page.

Whether or not I am overreacting is NOT their decision. It’s my decision and not so unusual. I don’t have to tough it out or suck it up, I can choose to stop feeling harassed and harangued. I can choose to have others not feel harassed and harangued. I can choose to erase some of the ugliness.

This whole thing about detention centers and other ugly things going on in this country is something that is not (or should not be) about political parties. To me it’s about right and wrong. It’s about we did something similar as a country during World War II and why are we doing this now? It’s about how our soldiers have gone to war for centuries over similar behaviors to fight for our rights and the rights of others. It’s also about these family separation policies where little babies are literally ripped from their parents’ arms and how is that OK? Why are adults punishing the children who are not responsible for what their parents chose to do? And what about the people who have proper paperwork and green cards and/or are new citizens of this country who live in terror of ICE raids?

Again, I remind people we are a nation of immigrants, founded by immigrants.

When did we become so ugly a country? Do you hear yourselves? Do you think it’s OK to attack every person you know or may not know because their opinion is not a cookie-cutter samey-same opinion you share?

Do you seriously think law enforcement is not tracking these vitriol loaded comments?

Why are we are losing ourselves and what makes us Americans? Why are we allowing this? We can’t even have conversations anymore where people are on different sides of an issue no matter what the issue is.

You don’t have to like my opinion but I am entitled to it until they repeal the First Amendment.

A friend of mine said something I will close with:

The ugliness of history comes back to us in this form because we’ve never actually acknowledged that ugliness. And we all know that saying that says “if we don’t learn from the past, we are bound to repeat it.”

Well here we are repeating the ugliness of American history and the saddest part is that this is only one part of the ugliness. Many a trifling uglies are happening right now in the US because of history. And it’s all as sad and disturbing as separating kids from their parents and putting them in cages without the basic necessities And it hurts. It hurts to know that America elected people who would allow it. We are in…distress and no one can save us but us. US.

Happy Independence Day!

We can do better and be better Americans. All of this divisiveness has never done our country any good. Look at our very history. Look at the ugliness of things like the American Civil War.

I don’t know what it will take for us to come together as a country and unite. But maybe on this Independence Day we can as individuals reflect on how and why this country was founded.

United we stand, divided we fall. And right now this country is pretty damn divided and it just breaks your heart.