10 Things That Make Me Feel Patriotic

Happy Independence Day!! In honor of this most important American holiday, here’s a list of 10 things that have the power to make this usually apathetic 20-something feel all red, white, and blue inside:

1. Country music. I have recently transitioned from being a “guilty pleasure” country music listener, to a full on “listens to it on the radio without apologies” country music listener.

^This happens to be one of my favorite country songs, and it has some conveniently American lyrics.

2. Driving around the beautiful state of Virginia. I am not a well traveled person, so take this with a grain of salt, but there are some parts of Virginia that I think are more beautiful than anything I’ve ever seen. When I’m coasting down I-64 from JMU to UVA (a trip that happened probably once a week my entire senior year of college) and I see the beautiful overlook on Afton Mountain, I literally want to start singing about amber waves of grain.

3. Living in Charlottesville. On the list of “States that Are the Reason Everyone Is Here Today,” Virginia is arguably #1 (with maybe the exception of Massachusetts), and Charlottesville is one of the most historically rich places in Virginia. My dream school when I was in high school was William & Mary because of the immense history that it possessed. I fantasized about reading books under the same trees as some of our founding fathers. I get that same feeling when I’m around grounds at UVA. Amazing.

The Rotunda at UVA on fire. This is my favvvoorrriiiteee story from UVA historical tours. Read about it here.

4. The Olympics. I’ll be honest, I’m not the kind of person that regularly feels a lot of American Spirit, especially because we Americans tend to get spirited over things like war and killing terrorists, which can be awesome and totally important, but I think it’s better to be quietly proud of violent triumphs than flamboyantly excited about them. The Olympics, however, are a totally different story. Sportsmanship, cooperation with other countries, the understanding that other countries are capable of defeating us without getting all upset about it… I’m HAPPY to cheer and sing the national anthem about the Olympics.

5. Peanut butter and it’s inventor, George Washington Carver, without whom I might never be culinarily satisfied.

6. The South. I’m a born-and-raised Richmonder, which some people argue is not part of the Old South, but I beg to differ seeing as it was the capitol of the Confederacy. So I certainly feel like a “southern” girl. I don’t mean this in a pick-up trucks, confederate flag, camouflage kind of way (those are things that make me feel less patriotic sometimes), but in a cheese grits, sweet tea, yes ma’am, no sir kind of way.

My favorite mug from Hominy Grill in Charleston, South Carolina, where the mottos is “Grits are good for you!” Soul food in the highest order.

7. Baseball. This may be a little cliched, but to be quite honest there are few things in life that bring me as much joy as watching a baseball game. Sometimes when I watch baseball I get all hot and bothered about being dragged to a sporting event, but by the time I’m there I’m totally immersed in the beer and sticky popcorn and sunburn and silly cheers of it all. My brother is a HARDCORE Red Sox fan, but I don’t really have a team. I’m all about root-root-rooting for the home team.

8. Walt Whitman.

9. Cook outs. Some American food practices are really disturbing to me, but there’s nothing quite like watermelon, pasta salad, cold beers, (veggie) cheese burgers, and homemade desserts. Cook outs stand for everything I love about everything: food, community, and summertime.

10. Hollywood. This might sound silly, but I get really proud of America when I remember that almost every single one of the movies or television shows that I love came out of this country. Music is a different story, but when it comes to film, America is at the top of it’s game. (To be fair though, my FAVORITE television show is actually British. But my second favorite television show is about Texas and that could not be more American.)

^I mean, really, I feel all warm and fuzzy just watching that. I’m making a motion to officially change the American motto from “In God We Trust” to “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose.”

Hope your day is full of fireworks and apple pie!

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