Monday, May 30, 2011
As a military family, we've made a few moves over the course of our marriage. My first order of business when setting up a new house for us is to put up a flag. Since we've opted to rent for each move, putting a flag pole into the ground hasn't really been an option so we usually attach a smaller pole and bracket to the side of our house. To me, a house isn't a home until you get the flag put up. I don't just fly it on Memorial Day, July 4th, or Veteran's Day either. I always had a flag long before 9/11 when suddenly there was a huge rush for everyone to show their patriotism. I was raised in a home where I understood the significance of sacrifice and what the flag stood for so even before marrying a guy in the military, I made sure each place I lived in had a flag outside.
All that being said and today being Memorial Day, all day long I felt like something was missing. That's mainly because something was missing. The house we've been renting for the past couple of months feels naked and that's because we don't have a flag hanging up. I assure you this is not by choice. When I signed the lease I told the landlord/homeowner how important it was to me to be able to put up a flag, especially being married to a wounded veteran. Unfortunately my landlord doesn't want us to do that. As soon as the lease was signed he informed me that he had decided to leave the house on the real estate market. He felt that mounting a flag pole and bracket would possibly damage the outside of the house and in turn hurt the chances of selling it. Not just that but a flagpole in the ground would damage the landscaping and have to be mowed around.
One of the first things that I noticed about our neighborhood is that almost every house has a flag on display. I live in a very patriotic part of the country and I loved seeing that. I'm just disappointed that we can't put ours up. We have several flags, one that was flown over my husband's base in Iraq, and one that was flown on his behalf over their base in Afghanistan. He also received a new flag upon retirement and has one that was given to him during Freedom Salute. I think he also got one when he received his Purple Heart. We also just bought a brand new one to replace the last one we flew in Texas. No matter what there is no shortage of flags around this house but unfortunately they remain folded instead of flown.
If I haven't made it obvious, this is something that definitely bothers me. All week long we were searching for a medium sized flag pole that we could possibly put in a heavy duty bucket and fill with cement and hide it in the front bushes. We get some strong winds here so it would have to be something that could withstand the weather. We haven't had much luck finding the right sized pole yet but at least we have an option.
Part of me wants to just say screw it and mount the flagpole and bracket to one of the poles on my front porch. For as picky as my landlord is being, it's ironic because we had a hail storm go through here the other day. They said on the news that some of the hail was baseball sized and that wouldn't surprise me because it did a bunch of damage to our siding. It basically dented it and tore off tiny pieces all over the entire side of our house. We notified the landlord and haven't heard a word back. I'm not terribly surprised since it took him 5 weeks just to fix the locks on our front and back doors and we've been without A/C for over a week now. I realize that things come up but if he's serious about selling this house, it's kind of important to keep it maintained. Granted, I'm not too eager for him to sell the house or even to have to keep showing it to potential buyers but that's a whole other blog.
Hopefully soon we can have our flag up one way or another and feel a little more complete. In the meantime, I'm doing the next best thing and have it decorated in my usual Americana. It's not nearly the same especially because I want this house to feel like a home.