Today is the United States' birthday - 236 years old, which, when you really think about it, is a very young birthday for a country. On July 4, the course of this nation's history changed, and most of my family was not happy with that course. But my family has been here so long - almost 150 years by July 4, 1776 - that I consider myself almost thoroughly American. Even when I research my German or Irish or Danish family, it's almost ancient history. I am American. My family history is American, is the history of this country. My family saw it all. And so today I'm inspired again to find out more about what life was like for my family when they lived in this colony, when they lived in this fledgling country, and as they watched the United States change and grow. Happy Independence Day, everyone - have a fun and safe holiday and hopefully you'll be celebrating with family, be it the family you were born into or the family of friends you chose, because FAMILY is what it's all about!