I think I’m finally getting used to being back in South Texas. The fact that it’s going to get to 101 F, that there’s 80% humidity despite that it hasn’t rained for weeks and probably isn’t going to rain anytime soon, is becoming normal again. Stunningly blue skies. Sunsets like fireballs and huge full moons suspended on invisible strings. There’s a park/land reserve near our house. Walking through the scrubby desert landscape felt like releasing a long sigh. Knee-high grasses, rocks underfoot, live oak trees that don’t get taller than the phone lines, cacti, cacti, and more cacti. And sunflowers everywhere! That’s my favorite part. I used to consider South Texas ugly, but now that it is familiar, it is welcome. I’ll miss the birds of Oklahoma, but there are deer here, and I can identify most of the wildflowers by name.

New job this week: getting used to working near-full time again. 8:30-5:30, I hit rush hour traffic both ways. Corporate offices are one of the most bizarre things we humans have come up with, I think.

Choir rehearsal was last night. The librarian was glad to hand me my new folder, and apparently she had gotten it mixed up and was telling people I was going to Oxford for my masters. Oops. Well, it’ll get ironed out eventually. Not a big deal. I’m already planning on skipping the July 6 service because it’ll be “Patriotic Sunday.” I could barely sing “America the Beautiful” in rehearsal, I know I won’t be able to sing it for real. Though oddly enough I had great fun going through the military anthems: “and the caissons go rolling along!” and “Anchors aweigh my boys” and “Off we go, into the wild blue yonder!” and “From the halls of Montezuma to the hills of Tripoli…” I have no problem at all singing praises to an entity that deserves it (i.e. God), but I’ve studied U.S. history, I’m not a fan of manifest destiny, and we’re fallible nation like any other. The military songs are about going off and being brave and honorable–I can support that, but “alabaster cities gleam”? Come on!

Anyways, off to finish getting ready for work.

5 thoughts on “Sundry

  1. Sarah says:

    “America the Beautiful” is an idealistic song, I think. Although the second verse is…well…not great, I think the song in general is about the land. Maybe not? And yes, the verse about the heroes, but that’s patriotic, like the military songs. I dunno…I’ve always kind of liked “America the Beautiful” (of course, I’ve only ever really heard the first verse). But you think more than me πŸ˜€ so what don’t you like about it??


  2. Chera says:

    Only the first verse of “America the Beautiful” is really about the land. The other verses are nationalistic, inspired by manifest destiny. I would rather sing a patriotic song about the American Revolution than about America’s conquest of the West. And, just bad lyrics… Katharine Lee Bates tried too hard to rhyme, I mean, just look:

    God shed his grace on thee
    Till paths be wrought
    Through wilds of thought
    By pilgrim foot and knee!

    And knee?? She couldn’t think of a better way to say that? No. And knee. The pilgrims blazed trails through the wilds of thought with their knees. I suppose if she meant kneeling in prayer, but who is going to think of that when singing that annoying tune?

    The military songs are focused on themselves: “Hey, we’re in the navy, so let’s get out to sea!” or “Let’s fly some cool planes!” They aren’t idolizing a country for being beautiful or better than all the rest. They focus on their accomplishments (“From the halls of Montezuma to the hills of Tripoli,” well, it’s true) and an acknowledgement of failure (“We live in fame or go down in flame”). They’re out to be heroes because that’s honorable, not because they’re out to be sainted.


  3. Kelly says:

    You should write /The Great American Satire/, you wild and crazy liberal you! Imagine not liking the world’s ugliest song! Incroyable! πŸ˜›


  4. Sarah says:

    Well okay then πŸ˜€ I still like the first verse…but I do agree with you on the other verses! and I agree with Kelly, get to writing!


  5. Megan says:

    Ah, Chera, I miss you. I seriously laughed aloud as I read “blazed trails through the wilds of thought with their knees” Oh, and glad you’re getting used to South Texas again. Sounds fun, and the weather sounds miserable. Just remember that I’m in that all the time in the summer here. It’s been in the 90s since I got here and sometimes over 100. And monsoon season is coming…..


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