Monday, May 25, 2009

Monday...Memorial Day

We had a beautiful day here in the Willamette Valley: 75 degrees, sun, low humidity. And we took advantage of the "easy, peaceful feeling" as we started our day with a short walk to the coffee shop.

Aleene walked the trail adjacent to North Valley Friends church with a friend while I took off for Mac-ville to bait the critter traps. What a beautiful drive back...Mt. Hood in full display at 10:30. When I got back I walked to the park and observed the traditional Memorial Day, small town celebration. This is much more solemn and dramatic than Fennville. There is no band, and while kids take part, it is not primarily a school function.

The speaker was a 26 year Air Force veteran who still works at the Pentagon. He grew up here and pointed out his haunts all within a couple of blocks of the park. I was impressed with his speech.

By five o'clock the family was home from their visit to the Puget Sound (Washington) and Frodo was very glad to see them. It is fun to hear the boys tell their stories about what they did and saw. Bald Eagles were the main topic of conversation. Aleene prepared lasagna and salad which gave us a chance to visit while enjoying the time on the deck.

Tonight, Aleene and I walked to the bank for an ATM visit and in so doing passed the coffee shop for the last cup of Joe for the day. We brought it back to our house and sat on the front porch sipping while the sun began to sink. It was time for me to take down the flag...evening colors, we used to call it.

Tomorrow is back to normal for those school and working folk. Aleene and I go back at the remodeling as the contractor is due in for some trim work. Our counter top is still 10 days away...including the kitchen sink, so we are still camping.

I did think about the past today...visiting graves and sharing family history, the picnics, the work around the farm, which sometimes included planting corn. Back when Memorial Day was May 30 every year and not the fourth Monday of May. That makes a difference for planting crops, you know. The holiday came quite early this year.

Oh yes, I got an email from a college friend thanking me for my military service. He had a list of his friends who were vets he was thanking. I think that is the first time that has happened to me, via email. It made me think of May 30, 1963 when I was ten days into OCS at Newport, RI. We were marching back from lunch when the sirens blew at 1200 and across the Narragansett Bat the ships in port began a 21 gun salute to honor the round per minute. We were required to stop our formation and stand at attention while this was going on. So there we stood for over 20 minutes waiting for the last shot to be fired from the saluting battery. Needless to say come July 4th we were not outside at noon that day.

I have more to remember and be thankful for today than I did 46 years ago. I took advantage of the quiet time today to do just that.

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