About Decency

I may have to admit to being old. I feel like I’m starting to sound like my parents or maybe it’s just that I am finding my voice at 60+. Regardless, there is something afoot on “my” lake that is aggravating my moral and ethical self and that is making me question the society that we live in in the good old US of A.

A Couple of Sunrises Ago …

I am on the board of trustees of a public charter school here in Maine and I have listened to educators and others say that our children are disrespectful and rude and have no manners and are selfish, etc. None of these are wrong but we, the adults, have to look at our own behavior as the examples that our youth follow and (maybe) look up to. Who are we? Who are we as an adult society? How do we behave? Are we respectful and polite? Do we set the example for our youth by behaving well, by saying “please” and “thank you”? Do we use our turn signals? Are we generous with our time and talents? Do we take our hats off inside? Do we watch our own language use?

This morning there is a large group of what appear to be adults (to be fair they’re over a mile away) who are out ice fishing on the lake. Ice fishing in Maine is a long-standing tradition, often a generational (family) event, that is a wonderful outside activity for adults and children. Lots of people I know take their kiddos fishing in the winter. In fact, I just found out that there are child-sized snowmobiles! How cool is that?!

While I was sitting at the table eating my breakfast, I thought I saw that they had a flag flying over the group so I got the binoculars out and had a look to see what clever flag some family had created. Boy, am I sorry I did. There was a “F#*@ Biden” flag, a big one, flying with a Trump sign. I have no problem with the latter flag. We get to support who we want to in this country. But the former flag, the one with the obscene word and the name of the president of these United States, that one I take offense to … strongly.

We need to do better. Children will see that sign today and ask their mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, “what does F@#* mean?” because children READ! If we ever wonder why our youth today has no idea what appropriate language is about, this is one of the reasons why. We need to bring back the respect of the office. You don’t have to like the president, but the office must be respected. Only by demonstrating good behavior can we teach it. I am disgusted by this group and I hope someone, a mom or dad or another adult, will ask this group to take the flag down. What are we teaching our children?

I went out and put my American flag up this morning with a sadness that I haven’t felt for awhile and with a pride that I often feel. We can do better. We must do better.

Gone knitting.

Memorial Day (and Every Day) Gratitude

Boathouse ... Our Flag Flies Every Day

Ned painted the flag on the side of our boathouse several years ago. Some days we go about our business without so much as a glance. Days like today, however, I look at it and feel so grateful to my father and the other Veterans (and soldiers) who have fought and are fighting for our freedom.

My father fought on a battleship in World War II. He was a gunnery soldier and shared stories about living on the ship where they had a pet monkey and the men dressed in drag to perform plays for fun. Dad didn’t like monkeys (they were dirty) and he never ate another hotdog, having had them “up to here” during his service.

The captain of Dad’s ship was a “drunkard” and I have pages and pages in his handwriting of charges that dad would have filed against the man. We may never know if any of those charges of abuse, drunk and disorderly, etc. were officially filed or if my dad just wrote them down for himself. (He did become a lawyer, after all!) Somewhere I have a map of his tour of the South Pacific that he made and I’m sorry to have given away or sold his uniforms and the “treasures” that he brought back with him. Only now do I recognize their value. Family heirlooms today that I would be grateful to hold and preserve for my family.

Many of my Rockwell forebears were also soldiers. Bits and pieces of historical documents  are in my safe-keeping and one day I’ll get them scanned and shared in another blog. One a soldier in the Revolutionary War who was called to duty in the summer of 1776 … check this out! From the State of Connecticut 1907. I believe that Julia L. Rockwell was my grandfather’s sister or his mother making the soldier my great or great-great-grandfather … though I don’t have the genealogy to confirm that here! (I will confirm at a later date.)

What!? You can’t read the old handwriting?! 🙂 I had to work at it, but here is what I think it says:

Oct. 24,1907 

Dear Madam, 

Enclosed find corrected certificate. (a clerical error in former) Records at best are somewhat meagre, Troops were hastily summoned from the floors and the workshops and in this particular case company with, other was raised to serve “until the exigency was over” In summer of 1776. Washington was in need of a large force to meet the enemy’s threatened attack upon New York.

 Very Rightly, (?)

 William EF Landers

Adjutant General

Cool, yes?

Suffice it to say that I am proud to be American today – and every day. I am grateful to my family members who have answered the call. My father, my great- or great-great-grandfather (?), Bud King (who is the Grand Marshal of the Oakland, ME parade today … he’s the oldest living veteran in Oakland) and Bethany, Jordan, and all the rest who have served or are serving  … Thank you for your service!

Gone knitting!