May 26 • 05:59 PM
July 04, 2018
Nothing says potato salad season like the Fourth of July. I know it has very little to do with the reason we celebrate the blessing of freedom we enjoy here in this country, but it still seems worth mentioning.

Potato salad—that picnic icon here in the United States of America. While it has probably fallen out of grace to the extent that people have become increasingly aware of food poisoning and calorie counts, it is still a picnic staple. And most everyone's idea of "good" potato salad probably harks back to "how Mom made it."

Rarely do I make it from scratch anymore, since friends have introduced me to a couple of ready-made varieties that, with a little doctoring up, are somewhat close to Mom's. But once in awhile, I just get a hankering. Probably, truth be told, it's a hankering for home, for family, for days gone by. But anyway, for whatever reason, now and then I put the effort into making it from scratch. This week, I made some for a family gathering. As I mixed it up, and then tasted it, I thought: "Give it a little time for the flavors to blend, and it will be just like Mom's...only more so."

Laughing at the redundancy of my own words, I realized it probably wasn't. True, I did the same things, pretty much anyway, that I had always watched my mom do. A little of this, a smidgeon of that; a touch of this to offset just a hint of that...But the mayonnaise I always keep on hand is Hellman's. And I don't think I ever heard of that growing up. And I had added in a little Kraft Mayo, the other kind I buy (for a broccoli salad recipe I make). We didn't know about that either when I was a girl because Mom was a Miracle Whip-or-nothing kind of cook.

So there you have it, a little perspective on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness even if it is just about potato salad and how we choose to make it. In the Big Picture of Liberty, I just figured out, being able to be picky about the kind of dressing we put on our potatoes is...should I really say this out a pretty petty way to measure freedom. While we bicker about the bigger arena of freedoms, I think we will all agree that compared to a vast majority of the countries in our world, we have a liberty that was worth dying for. Let freedom ring.

Email willene at

Willene Tanis is a longtime resident of the Imlay City area and an active volunteer in the community. Many readers find her 'Perspectives' column to universal and uplifting.
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