Liberty Isn’t Free But This Story Is

The primary theme of our COVID Chronicles, of course, has been having fun with a very serious issue. By fun we mean everything from diabolical mad scientists to serial killers in nursing homes to Faustian deals with a mint julep drinking Devil.

Joseph Courtemanche, though, as the chief architect of these stories, likes to add extra themes on significant days. On Easter he brought the power of Resurrection alongside the reality of COVID. Today he continues with a gift that weaves our overarching theme into the solemnity of Memorial Day by wondering aloud: What if everyone forgot?

Enjoy today’s patriotic story, because tomorrow I’m the featured writer and I’m bringing some weird stuff.

Click on the picture of the Boy Scout to read “Where Did They Go?”

Click On The Boy Scout to Read the Story: Click On The Flag And You Will Wake Up In Boot Camp



Memorial Day–The day to remember.  We should remember more often than one day a year.  But then again, we are a nation that celebrates thankfulness with gluttony and day-after materialism.  We celebrate the birth of our Lord with credit card debt.  Why then shouldn’t we remember with cookouts and big sales on mattresses and cars.

Remember–Remember what?  Remember that people:  Men and women, white, black, Asian, Latino, Native American, rich, poor, Christian, Jewish, atheist, Islamic, straight, gay, citizen and non-citizen, people from every imaginable walk of life,  gave their lives for us to enjoy liberty.  They did not give us the liberty, what they did was to secure the liberty; safeguard it, protect it.  Those who serve today have made the same commitment; they have said by their actions, “If necessary, I will give myself to preserve our way of life.”  No words could ever be employed to adequately convey the gratitude I feel for those individuals.

Remember–Remember what?  Remember that our nation is unique in that it is fundamentally constituted to preserve individual freedoms and rights.  What kind of rights?  These rights:

1.  Freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition.

2.  Right to bear arms.

3.  Right to not have troops quartered in your home.

4.  Freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures.

5.  Right to due process of law and freedom from self-incrimination.

6.  Right to a speedy and public trial.

7.  Right to a trial by jury.

8.  Freedom from excessive bail and from cruel and unusual punishment

9.  Rights not listed are reserved for people.

10. The states are free to govern themselves within the framework of the federal government.

This is a summary of the Bill of Rights.

Remember–Remember what?  I remember when privacy was the expected norm instead of the aberration.  I remember when there were no speech police monitoring every utterance.  I remember when the press did their job and spoke truth to power.  I remember when people were tried by a jury in a court of law, not tried in the tabloid media and internet posts.  I remember when American Citizens were not executed without due process.  I remember when we thought torture is what the bad guys did.  I remember being able to say what you believe without having to qualify it with overtures of public tolerance.  I remember catching an airplane without being molested.

I remember.


My “little” girls at Scenic Beach on a picnic

In addition to spending time thinking about and talking about the meaning of Memorial Day; my family’s weekend was chocked-full-o stuff.  Seriously, I don’ think we could have fit another thing in.

Thursday–My oldest daughter passed her driving test and received her Washington State driver’s license.  It is hard for me to believe that this actually has taken place.  She passed on the very first try.  I guess those 75 + hours riding around with her in the car paid off!  On one hand I am so proud of her, but on the other hand it makes me feel exceedingly old.

SAFECO Field. Someday the team might be worthy of the ballpark

Friday–Our family joined with other families from church and from sister churches in our association at a Seattle Mariner’s baseball game.  Safeco Field is such a wonderful place to watch a baseball game.  Of course the Mariner’s lost and we spent way too much money but it was great fun!  They played the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (what a joke of name–I remember when they were just “The California Angels”)  and Albert Pujols hit one out to right-center field.  Pujols is one of this generations greatest players as well as a committed Christ-follower.  It was great to see.

Albert Pujols

Saturday–We were so busy on Saturday that we had to divide up action.  The day started with Mrs. Greenbean driving me to Puyallup to pick her car up at the dealership.  It had some work done on it.  The best part was that we got to spend time just driving and talking.  I love my wife so much.  Then in the afternoon we had to divide up to get stuff done.  My youngest daughter and I went to a cook-out at a friend from church’s home to celebrate their 10th year in their house while Mrs. Greenbean and my oldest daughter worked on her “portfolio” for school.

Sunday–Sundays are always busy and this past week was no exception.  There were many highlights.  I preached about Philip from Acts.  He is one of my favorites because he just does his job, which is whatever God puts in front of him.  However, my favorite part of the day was probably the teaching elders meeting on Sunday night.  We wrapped up our end of the semester quizzes and teaching information and then brainstormed about how we can make our small groups stronger.   It is such a joy to work with devoted, loving, knowledgeable, and Spirit-filled people.

Monday–In the morning we spent some time thinking about the reason for Memorial Day and how so many gave their lives so we can live in freedom–then we celebrated with a picnic!  The night before I made fried chicken, potato salad, and banana pudding.  To me nothing says picnic like cold fried chicken and potato salad!  The food turned out great.  I think the banana pudding was my best batch ever.  It took so long for the pudding to ‘puud’ when I was cooking it, but it paid off.   We had our picnic at Scenic Beach State Park in Seabeck.  It would have been nice if the weather had been better (like it was on Saturday!) but it was still great.  We ate, walked on the beach, and played cards.  My youngest took samples from the water in her specimen vials to look at under her microscope.  Then we saw Men in Black 3 that evening and went to bed.

I spent all day Tuesday catching up.  That is the problem with long weekends, work still accumulates.  That is why I am posting this today and not yesterday.