Happy Memorial Day Weekend!
Wow, another year has past and here we are again at the launch or the summer season, vacations, graduations, camping, fishing, sightseeing, you name it.
May is one of the most festive of Months, having many National events including the Kentucky Derby, Mother's Day, and Memorial Day Weekend. The grand daddy of all races the Indy 500 runs this weekend with 33 cars set to roar off in one of the worlds greatest spectacles in racing. This years qualifying speed were in the area of 228 MPH. I'll be tuned in for that on Sunday.
Many people are already filling the campgrounds all over the country, sleeping out under the stars, and hoping to catch a stringer of fish, a campfire with marshmallows on a stick, and maybe a beer or two. Where we camped we were always wondering if that night we would get a visit from the bears, so always when to sleep with the food in the bear proof lockers, and never a crumb of food with us. Nothing like getting up before everyone, starting a fire, and making myself a cup of coffee. Somehow whenever we camp, corned beef hash is a must, camping pancakes, and a few other things for breakfast. Cooking on the Coleman stove, and using Coleman lanterns just seems special for some reason. We always brought alone our small Weber Kettle for steaks. Camping in the National Parks is the ultimate place to camp.
Many people have flocked to places like Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, or the big tourist spots, like San Francisco, Vegas, or off to visit relatives for a long weekend away.
Many like us, just spent a few days going to local nurseries to plant our vegetable garden with, and spending this weekend in our own yard. The wonderful thing about retirement is coming and going whenever everyone else isn't. These are great weekends for us to stay home, enjoy our garden, and get the patio and garden planted.
What ever we do, this weekend is dedicated to all those great american men and women who gave their lives wearing a uniform of our Armed Forces. When he was small and in the cub scouts, John would go with his Den to the veterans cemetery, and work placing flags on all the graves. They would all be in their cub scout uniforms, along with other scouts, to do this important and respectful deed. I know he will always see Memorial Day and Veterans Day as special remembrances of those who served and may have died for us to enjoy all our freedoms.
For myself, the older I get the more humbled I am to remember the few friends I lost in the Viet Nam era, when I served in the Marine Corp Reserve. I say a special prayer for all who served in Viet Nam, but especially for my friend from High School days, who has battled the effects of throat cancer, that developed in him decades after the war, caused by Agent Orange. He was a 101st airborne paratrooper, with 2 tours in Viet Nam, and several purple hearts. He saw it all during his time there, never imagining this many years later the war would still reach out and affect him. While I was lucky and never saw the inside of that war, he saw it in ways I can not imagine, and today suffers unimaginably from it. So Memorial Day is a day of reflexion for me, and thanking for the life I have had.