From the Ranch

From the Ranch

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

We Enjoyed the Fourth of July So Much This Year, but Now It's August

The Fourth of July and other such holidays are a big deal at our house.  Memorial Day, Flag Day, Veteran's Day, all of the holidays when our country is supposed to stop and remember where we came from are important to us.  How we were established as a republic, and what it cost not only to establish the greatest nation the world has ever known, but what it has, and will cost to continue it's existence and status as such is foundational to our values.  There is no extra decorating required at our little ranch, our color scheme is purposely a reflection of our patriotism.  We had a special meal, complete with a special cake the grand-children baked, and swimming and canoeing in the pond.  Fireworks in our backyard with the full moon, and the children happy and full of the joy of family celebration completed the evening.  

There was one little particularly interesting event in the evening.  As I was walking to the house to get my camera, I saw movement in the rabbit cage that caught my eye, and I sensed danger there.  The two little grand-daughters were following me, and as I quickly moved to the cage they followed me.  I was right, there was a big snake in the rabbit hutch, and it was wrapped firmly around the body of one of the little white flop eared rabbits.  At first I panicked, and I could not ascertain if the rabbit was even still alive as I began beating on the side of the cage.  There was not a bit of movement from the snake as I first began the rescue.  I was so surprised to see the little gray angora rabbit run out of his hutch, claw at the snake, and then bite at it.  That is not natural behavior for a rabbit.  Their only self defense is their speed to escape a predator, and here this gentle little animal attacked what turned out to be a six foot snake.  Animals never cease to amaze me.

While I was attempting the rescue, Avery and McKenna were screaming in that pitch that you wish only dogs could hear, it is so shrill and high.  They were crying as well, they were already fast friends with those little soft creatures, and their distress was heart felt. We successfully defended our little rabbit.  I beat on the bottom of the hutch under the snake with a piece of pipe my oldest grand-daughter ran and got from the barn.  That startled the snake, and he unwrapped, and went out an unseen space at the top of the hutch.  Brian, our youngest son, had run in the house, grabbed the 410, and the snake is no longer with us, nor will he ever harm any other little white flop eared rabbits.

I could not figure out how that rat snake had gotten into the hutch.  It is off the ground by 3 feet, constructed of 1/2 hail wire, and very well built.  Everything that should have been done, all of the needed precautions, yet the snake had found some overlooked hole, crawled through, and was within the safety of the rabbit hutch.  In our recent lifetime the situation of the enemy finding its way into our safety is most represented by the events of 9/11.  None of us should ever forget that on that day enemies of this country brought death to our innocent countrymen, and mass destruction in a violent attack.  Those individuals who perpetrated this heinous act had been living among us for some time.  Never should we forget that those who share their values are still hiding among us, awaiting opportunity to wrap around our security and inflict a death hold on our country.  

Our intelligence community knows that the threat against our country and our way of life is far from ended.  Never will the day come that every person, who has for whatever reason determined that our country must be overthrown, be neutralized.  There will always be threats, and we will always need good men and women willing to serve in our military to defend, with their lives if necessary, all that we hold dear.  

The absence of my husband, my daughter and son-in-law, along with their two daughters, at most of the recent holidays represents part of the sacrifice our family has been willing to make for our country.  We know in a very real way the price that must be paid to live in liberty and safety which so many others the world over may never know.  People die everyday in places where the terrorist are most free to inflict their carnage.  Just claiming a religion of one's own choice can mean kidnapping, torture, and death in many places in the Middle East.  I understand that as great as our nation is, no nation is above falling forever without the vigilance necessary for its' preservation, so reluctantly, I bear these separations.

We never forget at our house that we are the land of the free, because of the brave!  We will remember always the sacrifices that have been made, from Valley Forge until today, and the 
names of those who made them.  We will honor them everyday.

Teach your children well, tell them what the Fourth of July means... what it costs... everyday...  So, as we enter August, remember fondly your own Fourth of July, and those who made it possible.