Independence Day Brings Out My Red, White And Blue Spirit

Reader Contribution by Ginnie Baker
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I’m a “dyed in the wool,” true blue American and the Fourth of July brings out all of my patriotism.

We’ll have our annual Fourth of July parade in downtown Bellville, honoring all of our veterans and those brave men and women who are currently serving in the military. Our local groups and floats, including the Bellville American Legion Post and the Bellville AmVets, will march down Main Street as all of us proudly wave the American Flag, cheering as the groups march past.

I have the American Flag flying every day but on this special day, it seems to wave in the breeze with a special kind of pride.

My family, my grandparents and my mom at the age of 4, came to this country from Austria-Hungary in the late 1920s. They were very proud of becoming U.S. citizens; I have all of their citizenship papers safely tucked away.

My grandmother made sure that they all learned to speak English quickly because they “were now U.S. citizens” and very proud of it. I guess that American pride was instilled in me at a very early age.

Every year, I get a red, white and blue hanging basket in anticipation of the Fourth of July holiday. For some reason, the Fourth of July also makes me feel that the summer is half over even though it really has just begun!

The garden is limping along following all of the rain we’ve had lately.

I volunteer with our Richland County Soil and Water Conservancy with a home rain gauge. I recorded 6.3 inches of rain in May and so far in June, we’ve had 7.2 inches. This past week, we had 4 inches of rain in two days!

Our creeks, streams and rivers were just about at flood stage with waters raging. Thank goodness, the Clear Fork River didn’t flood Bellville.

In the past, the town has been completely cut-off with flood waters. I report our weather conditions to the meteorologist at the Cleveland news channel 19, and they sent a crew down here to film the water of the Clear Fork cutting off all access to Bellville.

I’ve had several poor tomato plants drown! I’ve replaced them and hope things will dry out soon.

It remains a constant battle with the little critters around the homestead, especially the chipmunks! They seem to think they “own” this property, digging in the raised beds in the garden, burying the young plants. I go out every morning and uncover the plants and try to fill in the holes but they just come back.

In desperation, I’m sprinkling garlic powder and red pepper flakes all over everything in the garden. After a rain, the aroma is like a giant salad bowl out back!

We both have soft hearts for all living things … maybe the exception for me is snakes, but I’ll chase them before I’ll do them in.

The soft hearts include birds.

My miniature donkeys, Samson and Delilah, share their barn with a bunch of barn swallows that are building mud nests on top of every light in the barn. There must be a dozen adult swallows out there.

The young are hatching and some are beginning to leave the nests. It becomes quite a challenge to work in the barn as the parents come swooping down like miniature dive bombers! They come so close I could probably reach up and grab one in my hand.

One young swallow fell out of the nest that was on the light just above the bed of the pick-up truck and ended up in the truck bed. He was so young, he couldn’t fly; he’d just hop around the truck bed. For a week, we didn’t use the truck!

During that time, the parents dutifully fed the little one along with the ones in the nest. Then on Saturday, they all were gone, including the little guy in the truck bed. We can now use the truck again.

Every day brings something new to life on the homestead and I wouldn’t change a thing.


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