Tag Archives: Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day!

They are not dead,
Who leave us this great heritage of remembering joy.

They still live in our hearts,
In the happiness we knew, in the dreams we shared.

They still breathe,
In the lingering fragrance,windblown, from their favourite flowers.

They still smile in the moonlight’s silver,
And laugh in the sunlight’s sparking gold.


They still speak in the echoes of the words we’ve heard them say again and again.

They still move,
In the rhythm of waving grasses, in the dance of the tossing branches.

They are not dead;
Their memory is warm in our hearts, comfort in our sorrow.

They are not apart from us, but part of us,

For love is eternal,
And those we love shall be with us throughout all eternity.

~Anon

 

Images 1, 2

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Memorial Day {My mother-in-law’s memories of loved ones}

Written by Kanesha’s mother-in-law.

***

Memorial Day

To Re-Mind.  To bring to the thoughts and heart again.  Remember.  To walk between the rows of headstones.  In an instant they become more than names carved into the rock.  They are words, smiles, laughter etc etc etc.

Sarah, grandmother. A farm woman, who milked her last cow by hand into her 80’s.  Who let her grandkids play in her jewelry box.  (I have her biggest, gaudiest pink earrings.)  She taught me to sew on a machine with foot power.  According to my dad, she was the easiest person in the world to get along with.

Bill, maternal grandfather. A quiet man who did his best to destroy the weeds in his corn and bean fields.  He had a row of snuff cans on the window ledge by the kitchen sink.  He was seldom generous but when he was, it over the top.

Bill, paternal grandfather. He retired from farming and lived in town across the street from the park.  I loved to ride in the front seat of his 58 blue Plymouth.  I am thrilled when I can find pieces of this man in the people I meet.  Of course, as the oldest granddaughter I enjoyed gifts of teddy bears and dolls.  He died at the young age of 62.

Uncle Orville on my mom’s side. He was her 2nd brother, she being the oldest.  He was killed in a car wreck at the age of 23, having served in WWII as a sailor.  I was almost two when that happened.  His death brought a terrible unspoken loss to the family.  In my mind he is this handsome (true) rebel hero that raced around the country roads on his Indian motorcycle.  I always look for incredible things to happen in my life on his birthday.

Uncle Orlend on my mom’s side. He was her 1st brother who lived in the shadow of his younger brother, though both were equally tall and handsome.

Uncle Billy on my mom’s side. He was her baby brother.  He was only 13 when I was born and there are many pictures of him carrying me on his shoulders.  No blizzard could keep him home if there was a bowling ball that needed to be rolled.

Aunt Darlene and Uncle Marvin, my mom’s only sister and her husband. I loved to stay at their home and play with the boy cousins.  My uncle was one of the original dumpster divers.  He found old toys and could fix anything.  They were a very loving couple.

Great grandfather Bill. He was still sitting on his front porch with his leather flyswatter when I was in my early teens.  He lived with his daughter and my grandfather in the house by the park.  He built his first house from a kit ordered from the catalog.

Mom & Dad. The last to be added.  They rest together under a headstone that bears the names of their 5 children.  The stone sits on the edge of cemetery and when I drive along that road at night, it is the only stone that catches the headlights and winks back…as if to say, I see you and I am watching and please be careful.

Memorial Day in a small town in southern MN.  The school marching band gathers at the cemetery and plays Taps.  The military color guard fires a 21 gun salute.  There is a full crowd in attendance.  And it is very quiet and everyone is remembering.

Then the quiet is broken and the crowd slowly disappears.

Happy Memorial Day!

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Happy Memorial Day!

It’s Memorial Day weekend, and for us, that means the kick-off to our camping season. The three-year-old has been walking around the house for the past two days with his flashlight and headlamp. Both kids have their sleeping bags on the main floor in a big heap so they can read together in what they call their nest.

My *MIL accompanies us on some camping trips, but the Memorial Day/weekend trip is always exclusively for the four of us. It’s our time to bond as a nuclear family and to reflect on our multigenerational “new”clear family. My hubby and I sip our box wine, watch the kids get dirty, enjoy the beautiful landscape and talk about successes and challenges that we’ve all experienced during the academic year (yes – our life is ruled by the academic year).

Photo by Kanesha B. - Maroon Bells 2009

Maroon Bells 2009

For this weekend, we’ll be talking about home improvements and repurposing some space in our house to support our multigenerational household.

Our daughter is moving on to middle school and we want to set up a better study area for her. My MIL has art, sewing and craft projects going on and we want her to be able  to have sufficient craft space in order to leave her in-progress projects set-up. We need to get rid of toys our son has outgrown (where does all that stuff come from!). Hubby and I want to expand the space we have for our workout equipment so that we’ll actually use it – for its intended purpose and not just a drying rack for laundry.

We’ve been reading Dwell and The Family Handyman for ideas and DIY tips. We are excited about  updating our space and having a project to do together. This is also a way for us to celebrate our 3rd multigenerational living anniversary coming up in July!

We wonder what the gift for this 3rd anniversary should be… Maybe we should create a list. Maybe YOU should help us!

Tell us about any home projects you have going on. We’d also like to know what Memorial Day traditions you have.

Camping2010

May 2010 - first camping trip of the season


*(MIL = mother-in-law)

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