Moving from California to God’s country to start a ranch was a game changer for the young family.
On this particular July Fourth, the couple who left Orange County for Wyoming five years ago will celebrate their newfound freedom in Star Valley, on land where they raise their own cattle.
Today, the Rhodes family will have fireworks, sing patriotic songs about America, celebrate their Founding Fathers and freedom, and not least of all they will have flags. Lots of flags.
They would fly them days in advance.
On July 1, mom Amy Rhodes, 38, her dad, Darcel Hulse, and her kids piled into a pickup with about a dozen flagpoles and star-spangled banners in the bed.
It was a beautiful summer’s night with a sunset pouring down into the fields along the Salt River.
The family had plans to set in motion.
Their flags weren’t small, either. Each measured about 6 by 4 feet (1.8 meters by 1.2 meters), and they would be part of a scheme to deck the fence line along Highway 89 with red, white, and blue.
With daughters, Brynn and Josie, and son Covey riding unbuckled in the truck bed, they drove through hay fields; elsewhere, the older boy, Brody, and dad Chris Rhodes finished ranch chores.
Mrs. Rhodes attached flags to each pole and handed them to Mr. Hulse, who mounted them on the fence posts, one by one. Along the highway, big rigs passed by and honked at the patriotic spectacle.
The girls saw they could get them to blare their horns with hand signs and giggled with fervor.
Mrs. Rhodes told The Epoch Times why.
“I was raised in California, but that’s before California got crazy,” she said. “My husband was the one who jumped. He worked in corporate finance.”
They worried for their children and the future of this country. The next generation is “being bombarded with everything to divide this country,” Mrs. Rhodes said. They wished to instill new patriotism in their brood.
Teachable moments like this—flying flags along the highway on July Fourth—are precious. They stir the love of country in hearts, young and old.
All told, it took a few hours. But before long, American flags were flowing all up and down Highway 89 along their field.
The kids were jubilant. All the love and approval shown by passersby fueled their elation. “Can we do this every year?” they asked.
The more people cheered them on, the more they realized they were doing something not just for their country but also for their neighbors. They were stirring hearts.
Now, with a fifth bundle on the way, Mrs. Rhodes is hopeful about “how much good there is left in the world.”
On this Fourth of July, they plan to celebrate with fireworks, a parade probably, but most definitely some good-tasting, home-grown Salt River Ranch beef.