Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What You Do When You Are Lazy . . .

You know, I'm kind of feeling lazy. So please, please, please, enjoy this reprinted patriotic post in honor of our newest presidential inauguration. I don't want to brag, but I'm pretty sure people have cried from the beauty of my patriotic past. I'm just saying.

It's come to my attention that my last post on patriotism (sort of) caused no feelings of inspiration whatsoever. I can't imagine why. What could be more patriotic than "Freedom's Pitter-Patter"? (And yes, I'll work on getting a clip of it for you. It will change your life.)

To right this travesty against patriotic people everywhere, I'll pull another inspiring story from my own life that is related to Our Country's Great Heritage. What could be more representative of Our Great Heritage than the monument that spans an entire mountain? You know, the one that singlehandedly brings more people to South Dakota each year than the number of people who actually live in South Dakota.

Yes, I'm talking about Mt. Rushmore. I have always loved this monument for several reasons:

1) It's so American to have a monument that is made out of a mountain. I love the hubris of the whole deal.

2) Who doesn't love a monument that is dedicated to George Washington (the father of our nation), Thomas Jefferson (the primary author of the Declaration of Independence), Abraham Lincoln (who freed the slaves and kept the Union together), and Teddy Roosevelt (who is primarily famous for taking a staid name like Theodore and making it cute by shortening it to 'Teddy'. Oh, and the teddy bear is named after him. Why is he on the monument, anyway?)? What's not to love?

3) Until I was in the EIGHTH GRADE, I believed the sculptor of this monument was GOD.

I really believed God loved these presidents (and yes, even then I was confused as to why he loved Teddy, but whatever. Some things you just have to take on faith.), and made the wind sculpt their faces on to the mountains.

Imagine my deep disappointment when I took US History in the eighth grade and stumbled across a picture like the following in my textbook:

The sculpting of Mt. Rushmore involved blasting dynamite, followed by the process of honeycombing.
(Yeah, I don't know what that means, either.)

WHA? That certainly wasn't how I pictured God. Did this mean God didn't love those Presidents? Did this mean God didn't care how the teddy bear got its name? Did this mean he loved the people in Holland as much as he loved the people in America? How could that be? Did this mean God didn't love me enough to let the Holy Spirit whisper in my ear (before I made a fool of myself in JUNIOR HIGH) that maybe, just maybe, there had been some other force (like dynamite, for example) at work here beside divine providence?

Shattered that day: Faith. Patriotism. Self-esteem. (Because, really, only an idiot wouldn't have figured that out on their own.)

But don't worry. I rebounded quickly.


amelia said...

Why Teddy's on there has always been a mystery to me as well. I used to think it was because he was in "Newsies."

Diet Coke and Zingers said...

How did you manage to make Mt. Rushmore funny? Skills sister. Straight skills.

Heather of the EO said...

This is like finding out about Santa or the Tooth Fairy. I still thought it was good. So you're totally fine.

Claire said...

Emm... I'm glad you just told me who was featured on Mt Rushmore. Is it bad that I didn't know? THough in my defence, we don't even learn about scottish history at school, never mind American...

I love that you're patriotic. When i'm feeling patriotic, I eat fish and chips and sit and watch telly all day. CAUSE THAT'S WHAT WE DO , PEOPLE. And hell - we do it well.

Carol said...

You know what makes me feel patriotic?

Cadbury chocolate and cream cakes.

The monarchy and trillions of year of history?

Not so much.

carl b smith and marilyn said...

Heidi, you must have selective memory, I remember distinctly our family home evening on the figures on Mt. Rushmore!. You would have been at least 3 at the time and I've heard many a rememberence of yours from long before that! Of course, maybe we did mention that God had something to do with it! If nothing else, he let the sculpture...good old whats his name....dynamite his mountain. He wouldn't have gotten close to my mountain if I was God. Love, DAD

Kate Coveny Hood said...

First of all - this sounds like something that would happen to me. Like *now*.

By the way - I just got my copy of Something Cleverish and Freedom's Pitter Patter is my favorite post so far (including my own I might add). It was funny AND it made me proud to be an American. So don't worry - you're plenty inspirational.

Oh - and here's something kind of weird - the word "hubris" figured prominently in my writing for the past two Fridays. Who uses that word? I mean other than us? Weird.

Heidi said...

Totally. Hubris is one of the great words . . . using it makes me feel proud. Kind of ironic, right?

Cyndy said...

I also thought that Mt. Rushmore was one of the natural wonders of this great country when I was a kid. I can't say I went so far as to think that God made Mt. Rushmore, but I definitely felt that it had occurred naturally. When you are a child it's so easy to accept things like that.