Today, I get on my soapbox, with my apologies to those who don’t care to hear it. I have been thinking about writing this for quite some time, just haven’t gotten the nerve to do so. Last night’s fun prompted me to finally do it.
I was born in Windham, Connecticut. My great-great-great (how many?) grandparents were part of the Daughters of the American Revolution and Sons of the American Revolution. I can trace my heritage right back to the original landing. I’m not bragging – I’m proud of who and what I am. I am an American, born and bred and my blood runs red, white and blue.
I served in the United States Navy for six and a half years. My back injuries sent me home and I will draw a paycheck the rest of my life. After my initial four years, I signed up for 6 more. That would have put me at 10 years. I got through 2 and a half of that reenlistment before injury sent me packing. This year, I would have retired with 20 years in the service of my country. This is, perhaps, part of the reason for my current mid-life crisis. Being sent home and not finishing my 20 years was and will always be a serious blow to my personal pride in myself. I was raised to believe in God, Family, Country.
The country I love above all others! When I was growing up, I was enamored with Germany and Switzerland. However, I will always and have always remained true to the red, the white and the blue. With all her faults and all of her greatness, this country is mine. I claim it and will not give up on it. Oh, how I’ve wanted to! I’m glad she has not given up on me – with all my faults and failures, plus my successes.
Recently, I took a serious look at my life. We all know that, since I talk about it every day; however, I took a look at what I was buying. In doing so, I happened to notice (like many Americans before me) that I buy quite a bit of “Made in China.”
Yes, I am jumping on the soapbox of many others. I’m going to rail and fume about everything being “Made in China.” Or, am I?
I have been teaching my children that we try very hard to buy things that are NOT “Made in China.” If they want something, at 4 and 5 years old, they are looking at the bottom to see where it is made. If it says, “Made in China,” they typically put it back. It is a great way to curb their wanting of everything they see, that’s for sure.
However, in doing this for my children, I am teaching them the same pride in American made items. We now have only glass bowls for storage of food and whatnot that are “Made in the U.S.A.” We have pots and pans that are “Made in the U.S.A.” We are working towards other parts of our home and kitchen to be the same.
In doing this with my children, trying to teach them pride in American-made items, I’ve noticed a few things.
Number 1: There’s not a lot for sale that we need to run our homes that is “Made in the U.S.A.” We have to actually search and find the things we need instead of buying the quick and convenient. In doing so, we actually spend less money on items. I don’t have a ton of kitchen gadgets – I’ve been working to only buy the ones made here. My Keurig coffee pot is an exception – I love my coffee and that thing is terribly handy to have. Obviously, I can’t have everything “Made in the U.S.A,” at least, not yet.
Number 2: I notice that we buy a lot less “junk.” The extras that are all over the place, Wal*Mart, KMart and even the grocery stores sell all sorts of things we really don’t need! Every bit of it is “Made in China,” and, in my opinion, no longer necessary for my life and the lives of those in my home.
So, in trying to stick to my amazing country, I’ve actually started spending less on “things” and more on food, gas to take the boys places, and the like. We have done a lot of things this summer and most of the time, it didn’t cost hardly anything to do so! However, because we have spent less on the “extra” items, we could afford to do so.
Now, for the rant part. I am sick to death of seeing my beloved patriotic items and items in the Yellowstone National Park “Made in China.” This is my country! My flag! My red, white and blue! My national park that is visited by untold millions every year. If I want to buy a trinket to bring home – and support that park in doing so – then, please, for the love of God and country, make it in the U.S.A.
Anyone who has a line on American-made products, please do not hesitate to let me know. I’m always searching and welcome the opportunity to try out a new (or old) line of products and trinkets that say, “Made in the U.S.A.”
Oh, and recently, I started going to markets for my fresh fruits and vegetables. One of them is Scorsby’s – a local farm that sells all manner of items I need. Unfortunately, they now sell garlic in a package and on the tag it says, “Product of China.” This is sad.
Last night, I took my older boy, Caiden, to Madsen’s. They are known as, “The Old Ben Franklin,” and they had flour-sack towels for sale at 40% off. I wanted some to continue my quest to make my own kitchen towels. While we were there, my son wanted to buy any number of cute toys and gadgets. Of course, he looked at the bottom and we discussed that they were “Made in China.” He put everything back except one small bag of dinosaurs that was “Made in China;” however, the best part was the little old lady following us around, watching him pick things up that he liked to see where it was made. I guess he made an impression on her, since she followed us and watched him the entire time we were in the store.
Thank you for listening,