As I See It

Oh Say Can You See… – 4th Of July

“Oh say can you see, by the dawns early light…..”  Miss Hyatt, my second grade teacher, had the greatest impact in teaching me about patriotism.

She was a patriot from the word go.  She loved the flag, George Washington, The Constitution and all the patriotic songs.  So… we learned all the songs… from the Star Spangle Banner, My Country Tis Of Thee, to American The Beautiful and… everything in between.

I will be forever grateful to Miss Hyatt and her tenacity.  She created in me the desire to know more about the early history of this country.  I have always loved the historical stories of those early pioneers of liberty.


After watching the HBO presentation of John Adams this past year, my interest in learning more about our Founding Fathers has been renewed.  (If you haven’t seen it yet… put it on your viewing list.  It’s a must.)

I admire John Dickenson, who courageously stood for his conviction, being unmoved, even though it was not popular with the Continental Congress.

I’m impressed with Dr. Benjamin Rush for his diligence and kindness.  He and one other doctor were the only ones who stayed in Philadelphia to to administer help those who were ill with yellow fever.  He did so, knowing that there where those who sot to take his life because he had signed the Declaration of Independence.

I revere Thomas Jefferson, who at the age of 32, penned the Declaration of Independence with such perfection that it stands today as one of the greatest documents ever written.

I could go on and on.  On this day… I’m truly grateful for those who risk they homes, property, and lives to bring us today’s freedom.

I found this video that expresses what I feel today.  It’s short and touching.

Til Later,


P.S.  Today at church, a young Marine, just returning from Iraq, bore his witness to the work of freedom in that far off land.  It was heart lifting.


Rural Living And Hometown Celebration

Rural living has its advantages when it come to a hometown 4th of July celebration. It’s relaxing… no traffic to beat in order to get to the parade on time… no long lines to the rodeo grounds… and everybody gets front seats for the fireworks show.

My family and I love to spend time at our country mountain retreat, in the quiet, lush green, clear blue sky rural area of Tabiona, Utah… and celebrate with the hometown crowd.

We line up our chairs under a huge black willow tree in front of the school. The hometown folks are proud of their shiny firetruck and ambulance. These vehicles start the parade. “Reeve up those sirens and let the show begin.”

If you attend the Tabby 4th of July parade, it’s an event you’re not likely to forget anytime soon. You can even participate in the parade if your have a horse, a donkey, a cement mixer, a 4 wheeler, a “big” new truck, a wagon, a bike, or just two legs. Everyone from near and far is welcome to line up the end of the street. You can be old, young, or in-between. There’s no age discrimination here!

But… candy is a must… yes…if you’re not willing to stock up on candy to throw to the crowd… don’t bother getting into the line up. You must remember, the crowd is waiting on the sidelines, eager for the “sweet treats.”

Snooks Roberts is 93 years old and participates every year. This year he’s “hometown proud” of his 75 year old liquor still. He’s says it’s the same still that was owned by my grandfather Girolomo DiStefano during the prohibition. (But, that’s another story for another time.)

Look at this slab of rock. This translucent beauty is mined just north of town at the foot of the great Uinta Mountains… only place known to have this yellow stone. They found the vein only a few years ago and now the rock is being used for tables, counter tops and trinkets. They ship a fair amount of stone to Italy… how about that!

Rural area parades like to show off their “hometown glory”… the country girls… riding proud on their ponies. Every young lady has a chance for one shining moment in the Tabiona parade… all they need is a horse, a smile, and a waving hand.

Now… one thing is for sure… you don’t get overly tired of watching the parade floats go by. The event is so short that they turn around at the end of the street and come back by to make it worth the time you spent packing up the cooler with drinks and loading all those darn chairs in the back of the car.

After the last candy is thrown from the last 4 wheeler… everyone packs up their goods and heads to the school where the locals preform. Again… anyone and everyone can participate. Gives those full figure gals an opportunity to show off their dancing and cheerleading skills. And, any young man who thinks he can strum a guitar and sing is welcome to get his big start on the Tabiona stage. Has to have a big hat though!

In the evening, off to the rodeo grounds the crowd goes… to see the locals as well as a few professional get buck off their horses… after which the fireworks begin. We usually back our truck up to the fence, cuddle up in blankets and watch the spectacular event on our backs. Don’t ask me why… but they use to play bagpipe music during this affair… thank heaven that don’t do that anymore.

The evening is cool, and the small of the new cut hay is just the ticket for the ending of a wonderful day in “Rural America.”

“My Country Tis Of Thee….”

Till Later,

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S. Rural areas usually have a little cafe where you can get great home style cooking….or at least a good burger and real fries. We love “The Sage”… or we run down the road to the “Hanna Cafe.” “Chicken Fried Steak anyone?”

As I See It

A Little 4th Of July Trivia

We all know the history of the 4th of July centers around the Declaration Of Independence from the England, the motherland. But…here’s an interesting little story I’d like to share with you on this great day of celebration! So sit back… and enjoy!

Benjamin Franklin was the first to be asked by the Continental Congress to draft a declaration that would sever ties with England … but because of illness, he could not. John Adams was asked to draft the document but argued that Thomas Jefferson had greater writing skills. So the responsibility rested on the shoulders of Jefferson.

Since Jefferson was not a speaker, John Adams presented the draft to the Congress on July 2, 1776. On July 4th, after revisions had been made, 56 signers added their names to the bottom of The Declaration Of Independence… which ultimately lead to the birth of this great Nation.

It may have been the last time Adams and Jefferson agreed on anything. They stood strongly opposite each other on political issues and argued through letters and debates.

After George Washington, they both ran for the office of the President Of The United States… and Adams won by a narrow margin. Jefferson became the Vice President, but choose not to support Adams…so he stayed at his home in Virginia and Adams toughed it out alone. After his first term, Adams was not re-elected and Jefferson was victorious. Adams went home dejected.

The war of ideas, between the two men, went on well into their old age. A friend finally convinced the two to patch things up… and in the last years of their lives, they wrote to each other.

John Adams was 7 years older than Jefferson. However, he was determined to out live the younger man. “I will out live Jefferson,” he declared.

On the 50th anniversary of the Day Of Independence, Thomas Jefferson died about mid morning. A messenger was dispatched from Virginia to the Adams home in Massachusetts, bearing the bad news.

Later that evening, a messenger was sent from the Adams home to Virginia, to relay the message that John Adams had died in the late afternoon. The messengers crossed paths along the way.

Adams’ final words were, “Thomas Jefferson survives.” Little did he know, he out lived his enemy and friend.

So… on the 4th of July, 1826, both architects of a new Nation, Adams and Jefferson, died within a few hours of each other.

Just though you might like to know.

Till Later,

Kathy Griffiths
Insightful Nana

P.S. By the way….James Monroe, our Nation’s 5th President died on July 4, 1831.

As I See It Holidays

4th Of July Hot Air Balloon Festival

The morning sun had not crested the east mountains at Provo’s 4th of July Hot Air Balloon Festival, when several hundred people gathered to see the launching of the balloons. Me… included. Every year, hot air balloons arrive from all over the country with their pilots and crew to entertain the crowd.

Usually, I don’t get out of bed to see the actual launching. Waiting until I can hear the “whoooshing” sound above my house, is my clue to arise from my bed and take a look toward the sky. I see a lot of balloons because there are several open areas near my home… so pilots can land safely.

This year, I braved the early morning (6:00) and ventured down to see the launch. What! people are up at this hour… including kids? It was worth it. It’s exciting to watch, as the pilots pulled their levers, and a blast of flame heated the air in the balloon… and I really enjoyed the event.

This whole idea was started by a couple of French boys who sent a duck and a pig skyward. No propane to heat the air in their makes shift balloon… so they used straw and manure. The animals survived… which convinced the king the mode of travel was safe for humans. Not to long after that, another Frenchman took the first flight.

Hot air rises when it’s next to cool air… that’s the reason balloons are launched in the cool of the morning. The pilot catches the wind current and directs the balloon. However, since it’s not an exact science…they can’t land back in the exact spot. They watch for an open area and lower the balloon. The crew follows the balloon from the ground to see where it lands. They drive the truck to the landing spot… and pack up the balloon until the next launch.

Last year, a balloon landed a block from my house. My granddaughters, Ella and Claire and I, ran over to take a look. I was surprised to see the balloon stuffed into such a small container. Like stuffing a sleeping bag into a small sleeve. We joined the crew in their celebration by drinking a toast to the journey. Martinellis all around.

Till Later,

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S. I did a little video taping of the hot air balloons to share with you. It would help if I remembered how to use the camera. I thought the red dot in the viewer meant stop… and the green meant go. Makes sense to me. But no… just the opposite. So I have videoed my feet, the grass and heavens knows what all. I think it was just a little too early for me. Maybe I’ll go back in the morning…. I said, “Maybe.”

P.P.S. Enjoy the rest of the photos.