Sunday, June 6, 2010

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is officially the day when we in the U.S. remember those who have served our country in the armed forces..  Not only do I remember the service of my father and my maternal grandfather and now, my son, but I also associate the day with many other special things.  May 30 is my birthday and when it was the official holiday (not the Monday nearest the 30th), there were parades to attend or to march in as a Girl Scout.  It was and also remains the official start of summer in terms of swimming pools opening and newscasts, despite the calendar start of the season later in June.

When I was just 6, I spent a week in the early summer with my paternal grandparents Schultz on the farm of Grandma's mother, Great-Grandma Clausing, in St. Mary's Ohio.  Grandma and Grandpa were taking care of her.  She must have been around 90 at the time.

This was my first ever vacation without my parents.  I took to journalling for the first time ever then as well.
We drove into the town of St. Mary's and I bought a paper-bound, 5-year diary at the local dimestore (maybe it was Woolworth's).  I still have that diary and my young attempts at recording the days of my life.
It was also the first time I ever drank coffee.  We had run out of milk and Grandpa wryly suggested that I could have some coffee.  At the time, it was a terribly disappointing drink, bitter and all that.  But, I claim that this was the start of my coffee addiction.  I have a cup or two every morning (my children would say that I have much, much more).

There was a huge tulip tree in the yard of my great-grandma's house. Grandpa introduced me to the that tree and I really, really wanted to have one of the blooms; however, this was a very tall tree and the flowers were totally out of reach.  That may be my fist experience with covetting.  I never did get my own tulip tree blossom. 

Fifty years later, I found this tulip tree blossom on my morning run this week.  It had fallen on the path through the woods that is a part of my favorite running route in town.  I picked it up and carried it lightly between my fingers the two miles to home. My grandpa died around Memorial Day in 1975, shortly before I graduated from college.  Could this be my memorial of him?  Thank you, Grandpa.

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