Last Independence Day happened to fall on Sunday, a day of worship for many Americans and, as usual, I was at ushering at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral that morning. Because of our country’s deep tension between worship and patriotism, I felt sorry for our dean who, in her sermon that day, had to find the balance between celebrating the gospel and nationalism. She found the common ground in the word “Freedom.”

A month ago, while flying home from Miami and landing in Atlanta, I felt a terrible pressure in my ear that had me close to screaming out loud. The pain was excruciating and left the right side of my face sore and achy for a few days.

Kids complain about school and grown-ups complain about work. But, when gone from your life, you realize how much you miss the socialization and the opportunities that working and learning afford you.

In my 40+ years in business, Flag and Banner (FAB) has been through decades of drastic changes. When first starting out in 1975, I sold flags door to door and even carried some inventory in the trunk of my car. But when gas prices soared, when my daughter was born, and when long-distance calling became affordable (due to the deregulation of Ma Bell’s monopoly), I changed to a telemarketing sales strategy.

Oh, it is so nice to be able to shake hands, hold babies, and eat out, again.
This week, an old friend and former roommate from my twenties came to stay at my house along with her daughter-in-law and two grandchildren.

This past Sunday proved to be an experiential lesson for me in America’s current social and global threats. And, as with all realizations, the more you learn, the more you realize you need to learn. It is never as simple as you would like it to be.

Remember those little bells on your bicycle handle bars, that kids just love to ring? The ones where you could keep your hands in place while your thumb stretched over to push the lever on a simple, mechanical bell?

As I have written before, I don’t consider myself an influencer. But, every now and again, I feel obliged to share a shopping tip, like when I posted about easy and everyday-wear wrist weights I purchased.

When getting ready for work or play, I occasionally enjoy listening to Pitbull’s Sirius XM station and jumping up, half-dressed, to dance in front of the mirror. This past Sunday morning, as I painted on my face, I tuned in and noticed the DJ kept asking callers if their family’s Easter celebration was more religious or social. Many listeners said both–and all followed up with praise and gratitude for their full family and life.

My business mentor, Charles Fisher, was a prankster aficionado. He did things like poke a tiny pin hole in the side of your soda can, just below the tab opening, so that every time you took a sip it would dribble down your chin. For all new employees, he would leave pink return call slip on their desk with the phone number to a funeral home asking them to return a call to “Myra Maines.” He always had a joke ready for any occasion.

Whenever any flag controversy arises, the media comes a-calling, asking the flag experts for a comment.
This past week, just such an occasion arose when the representative from Arkansas District 54, Mr. Johnny Rye, made news by submitting House Bill 1014 which would make stomping, defacing, or burning the flag punishable with up to one year in prison.

The original premise for starting the Up In Your Business radio show and podcast was to interview guests that could share small business information and give encouragement to those just starting out. It did not take long before my guests and I were repeating the same information. No matter what your business is, the “rules of business” remain the same.

When I overheard my daughter telling someone that her “PJ game was strong,” I had to laugh and thought, “Right now, that’s true for everyone.” Gone are the days of dressing up and going out. Now, a big outing is masking up for a run to the grocery store and back home for a night of cooking or lounging in freshly washed PJ’s with a good book, hard puzzle, or mini-series on the boob tube (that’s a TV for you youngsters).