July 4 in middle America (take me out to the ball park)

Andrew wedding week 021Yesterday was a day of images, a series of snapshots that illustrate the fun of travel together and then the joy of gathering together as a family for Andrew and Alicia’s wedding celebration.

First, Rebekah and I took our time wrapping up the 1,300 mile drive from Valrico by exploring some of the local communities; we even enjoyed a fun lunch at a sidewalk cafe in (not anywhere close to) “beautiful” downtown Flint.

When we arrived in Midland it was so, so good to see Andrew and Alicia. We enjoyed dinner together at the Pashby house before heading into town for the “Great Lakes Loons” baseball game at “The Dow Diamond.”

AMERICANA: Talk about a slice of classic Americana! It seemed like the whole town turned out to cheer on the team. It was a clear, balmy evening in the low 70’s; the stadium was packed; six thousand enthusiastic people sang “Take me out to the ballpark;” the home team won 8-0; and the entire crowd stayed for 4th-of July fireworks when it was all over.

Andrew wedding week 038It was as solid a “God bless America!” occasion as I’ve seen in a long time. I don’t even live in Midland and I felt 100% right at home. And the scent of freedom hung sweetly in the air long after the last of the smoke drifted away from the ball park.

Life is so good. There are challenges, and obstacles, and politics, and complications, and so many details… but Wednesday evening we hung around a stadium full of good people just enjoying life, and having fun together as families, and as a community. It was the kind of day that gives me hope, because it reminds me of what we’re really celebrating every July 4th; and it’s so abundantly obvious that every one of us, at the heart of it all, value exactly the same things.

“Take me out to the ball park…” Happy Fourth of July!!!


  1. We love seeing the local Sanford Seadogs play when we are in Maine. America is a patchwork of great, intimate communities like this! Happy Fourth!


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