Memorial Day weekend and here in Wisconsin—at least in this corner—we’re wishing the weather were a bit warmer so we could get outdoors and enjoy what’s supposed to be the unofficial opening weekend of summer.
We aren’t even close around here. Some of us still have our furnaces on especially at night since the temps drop low enough to think the calendar is stuck on March not the end of May.
So, since dear hubby and I are home and caring for our disabled son, I’ve had time to remember other Memorial Days and times we were able to be celebrating the holiday somewhere else and with people and loved ones not around here today.
Take for example Memorial Day 1993. My first trip to Alaska and on this particular day we visited the Portage Glacier, saw a pod of whales in Turnagain Arm when we traveled the highway from Anchorage to the Glacier. We also saw several mountain goats up close and personal as they picked their way around the steep sides of the mountains not 15-20 feet from the highway’s edge.
Wouldn’t see that in too many places.
Or Yosemite Valley riding a bike on a beautiful trail again getting up close and personal to some of the most beautiful acreage ever. I spent more time getting off and on that bike to take photos and since the bike was quite decrepit and didn’t have very good brakes—well, let’s just say the day was memorable for great scenery and a bike ride I never want to repeat.
Yosemite? Absolutely—and we have returned—but no bike ride for me.
Or we’ve had a few Memorial Day weekends up north at my sisters’ cabins. Those were fun weekends mixed with the work of opening cabins, doing clean up and landscaping to prepare for many more summer weekends. The one that I remember most vividly was maybe 2002 or 2003. My husband and I had a trailer hitch on my escape so we were elected to haul a trailer filled with furniture for the cabin my one sister had purchased. Beds, mattresses, kitchen appliances, living room furniture, kitchen set, lawn furniture, you name it. I was so proud of my Escape for handling that hauling job well, not to mention dealing with that holiday traffic.
Memorial Day means many things to different people. But the reason for the holiday is to remember those who gave their lives in service to their country. Before that became officially a holiday, about this time of the year families would trek to cemeteries to clear away winter debris from family plots and graves and leave flowers or some token of remembrance. That custom predated the Civil War—our bloodiest one with the highest body count. As a result the current concept got rolled into the family custom.
Two great reasons to celebrate the day not only with preparing for summer but also for remembering those we’ve lost in war or just because…
I’ll be doing that also over this weekend.
I hope your weekend is a great one. That you have time to celebrate the promise of summer along with remembering those you miss in your lives.
See you next week, probably a day late as I’ll be at the Wisconsin Romance Writers Conference. Wish me luck. Three of my books are up for awards. Whether they win or not, the weekend will be great to learn more of my craft in the workshops and visit with writers for two days.