Dear America

Dear America,

Today we salute you with red, white and Michigan blueberry pride.

We tip our hats to the American ingenuity that gave us light bulbs, the coffee pot, sewing machines, roller skates, dishwashers, the zipper, telephones, televisions, Google, Facebook and that Mecca for weary travelers, Kwik Trip.

We have stood in awe on the edge of your oceans, the middle of your corn fields and the top of your mountains. We have raced the rapids on the Yellowstone River, ridden the waves on the Alabama coast and jogged through the monuments in Washington, D.C.. We soaked in the frenetic energy of the New York skyline and the stately beauty of the Smokey Mountains.

We applaud your people with their cheerful Midwestern kindness, East Coast sophistication, Southern charm and West Coast flair.

And oh! Your food! Hot apple pie with melting vanilla ice cream, juicy cheeseburgers hot off the grill, glazed salmon on a bed of spinach, fresh strawberry milkshakes, homemade chicken noodle soup, chocolate chip cookies and a cold glass of milk, hot fudge sundaes, meatloaf and new potatoes.

On a steamy summer night, we sat with friends and watched your party — the brilliant fireworks, laughing children, clinking ice cubes and cheerful chatter — and we thought about how lucky we are.

You’re not perfect, America, and your taste in certain reality television shows continues to baffle us. We’d like you to read a little more, and argue a little less. Mostly, we’d like you to understand that you’re a special place, unique in your creativity, freedom and genuine desire to do what’s right.

We’re glad to know you.

With love,

Molly B and Me

The Yellowstone River gave us an exciting ride.
Old Faithful
The Badlands are a really good place to visit.
The city that never sleeps, full of talent and innovation.
History and initiative celebrated on a mountain.
The sun sets over the intercostal waterway in Florida.
A 24-hour salute to American creativity and joy — the Las Vegas strip.
One of the greatest examples of American ingenuity is the Hoover Dam, which I was lucky enough to see last weekend.

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