From my window… U.S. still the best place on this planet

Sean McMahon, Editor
Sean McMahon, Editor
Welcome to Meeker, dear visitors, and best wishes for a wonderful Fourth of July and a fun Range Call go out to all on this day.
A lot of people put in a lot of work to make today’s activities special and unique as well as the rest of the weekend, which is filled with all kinds of activities from a parade to a demolition derby to a great fireworks display to a concert by Gloriana to a rodeo, a dance, a basketball tournament and a history lesson with the recreation of the Meeker Massacre.
But let us remember the day.
I have been very fortunate to have visited Europe, Southeast Asia, Canada, Mexico, Central America, South America and even spent a day in Morocco, in Northern Africa. What interesting places these are – each offering a unique culture, food, customs and personalities.
But I have been equally fortunate to have visited (at least the airports in some cases) all 50 of our United States.
While the U.S. offers a shorter history, it is also long on unique cultures, food, customs and personalities.
Canada has tough, free-spirited folks who like their wide-open spaces; Mexico has the friendliest people who are ready to open their hearts to anyone willing to become involved in their language and lifestyles.
Central and South America offer much the same as Mexico, yet each country is unique in its own way. And the history/ruins to be found in these regions are intriguing and spellbinding.
Europe has a long history, and a good portion of that history is known to us because of our elementary educations and because a lot of what started there centuries ago has been brought to this country. From Stonehenge to Vatican City to The Hague and the many castles dotting from Eastern Europe to the west coast of Ireland, history is common, easy to find, easy to visit and easy to enjoy.
History is even more complete when one visits Southeast Asia. Evidence of history goes back thousands of years, and this area of the globe offers what is probably the most diversity in people, customs, temples and foods.
Probably the most intriguing of my travels included the one day I spent in Morocco.
From the Casbah in Algiers to petting camels to seeing some of the most beautiful views of the Atlantic and Strait of Gibraltar to the incredibly friendly people and flavorful foods, Morocco is another experience unique to those I found elsewhere.
But you know what?
These United States offer equally diverse cultures, people, food, traditions and dialects as the nations covering the rest of the globe.
From the Inuit of Alaska to the Pan-Asians native to Hawaii to the Creole or Cajuns in Louisiana to the cautiously friendly folks in the Ozarks and Appalachians to the good old-fashioned folks at home in the Bible Belt and throughout the Midwest, people are people and they are just as proud of their surroundings, lifestyles, customs, foods and football teams as anyone else on this planet.
The Mainers like their lobster and the tough outdoor-filled winters. The Floridians don’t mind finding an alligator in the yard or seeing one wandering down the street. Minnesota and Wisconsin natives look forward to ice fishing and the Texans gloat that everything is bigger there while they live by the code of the Old West and enjoy their barbecue.
Those in Washington State like their rains and their proximity to all types of outdoor activity year round; Californians take great pride in their beaches and sunshine.
And those in the Rockies are pretty fond of their views from the top of Pikes Peak or crossing Togwotee Pass and watching the Tetons appear. New Mexicans take pride in their unique Hispanic history, their Hatch chilies (rightfully so) and Montana and Idaho take pride in their diversity, independence and incredible mountain ranges.
My favorite foods worldwide are, in order, Thai, Greek and classical French, but a good ribeye, even a hotdog, a lobster roll and spicy Cajun crawfish are often just as good.
In the grand scheme of things, there is still no better place overall than the ol’ United States.
A trip around the globe is great, but there is nothing quite like putting your feet back on U.S. soil.
Utilities and most other things are cheaper here, the people of this country are just as friendly and genuine, the driving is much easier, even on the heavily congested highways of Southern California, and you have a choice of what climate you wish to call home.
Vehicle traffic is lighter here, gas is cheaper here than in any area of Europe, food is cheaper most of the time, utilities are lower here, income taxes are among the lowest on the globe and we have an ease of travel — by bike, car or plane — not seen anywhere else on earth.
You bet I am happy to call myself an American. I can vote in elections, I can voice my opinions and, most of all, I can visit anywhere in this country I want to and find people who are happy to see me in their loved neck of the woods.
The U.S.A.? There is no place quite like it and you can’t beat it!
Happy Fourth of July. Happy 237th birthday, America.