Memorial Day is a lot more than the first holiday weekend of the summer season for most of the people here in our little town, and while it might not seem as though I’m reporting enough of that side of the holiday here in my journal; it is a sentiment that you can’t help but feel around here – especially on the holiday Monday.
I’ll get to the Memorial Day report soon, but since this is a double-update; let’s back up and start from Sunday morning.
Tai Chi by the river was great, but it was the only quiet I had in my day pretty much until I crawled into bed last night and wrote that little blurb in my journal before crashing into nap mode. Breakfast for twelve and juggling bathroom time as we all got ready for church was the usual couple of hours of crazy; and then I needed to meet up with Michael and get to the church for the teen praise team warm-up ahead of the holiday weekend service. All of the work and music was fun, but it meant being too busy all morning too, and when the service went a bit long; Michael and I then needed to hurry over to the Inn to get started on the cooking for the first of the three buffets Jacob and Miranda were hosting at noon, three o’clock, and six o’clock.
I was working the full shift to close, and I’m not going to bore you with the details, but it was a hot, tough day in the kitchen; and we were pushed to the limits to keep up with a full house for every buffet. Michael and I also worked at the fundraiser booth during our only long break; and we were sent off for that as soon as the second buffet started at three so that we could be back in time for the bulk of the second round of clean-up and to help with getting the third buffet sitting food cooked and ready to go for six o’clock. For the fundraiser booth, having a great weather day helped a lot, and considering what the forecast for the weekend had looked like earlier last week; we’ve really lucked out!
While I worked all afternoon and evening, I missed out on all of the family fun – including the late buffet dinner at the Inn that allowed most of the working members of our family to attend too. Speaking of family, I should mention that Michael’s visiting family had fun on Saturday and Sunday without spending a lot of time with Michael and me; but Jacob and Miranda did try to work it out so that they could spend time with his parents, sister, and her family; and had Jake, Stephanie, and Rebecca work out their breaks so that they could help with entertaining their weekend guests. Some of Michael’s cousins also took a trip out to Quarry Lake on Sunday afternoon after attending the first buffet dinner at noon; but the oldest and youngest members of their family stayed home – or visited with old friends instead of going out to play – and Heidi was definitely not interested in climbing the rock wall or taking her baby for a ride on the zip line! ;^)
Going out to Quarry Lake or on a trail ride with my family would have been great, but that wasn’t an option for me; so I pretty much missed out on all of the family and friends fun on Sunday. A lot of people do need to work so that everyone else can have fun on holiday weekends, though; and I’m okay with helping out now that it’s my turn to do that. Thanks to all of the work, I don’t actually have much more to report for Sunday. Michael and I worked until close with Jake, Stephanie, and Rebecca while Jacob and Miranda went home early to spend the evening with his family. It was ten-thirty by the time we had the Inn cleaned and set up for Tuesday morning; and then I went home with Michael for a while. We had a visit with everyone that was still awake and hanging out in the living room; had a bit of quiet time for two out on the front porch after that; and then I went home and pretty much went straight up to bed. There were still a few adults and teens awake here at the time, but I’d had enough fun; and even my bedtime computing wasn’t much more than an email check and that little journal blurb before I just needed to be sleeping instead.
That brings us to my wake-up call this morning – and Ethan and Ehlana did that for me so that I wouldn’t miss out on Tai Chi by the river. The exercise, breakfast, and rush to get ready for the day was nearly the same as it was on Sunday; and the only exception was that some of our guests also started packing for the trip home too. Instead of needing to rush to the church, I needed to hurry to get to the parade staging area once I’d helped with the breakfast clean-up. I was as fired up as every other band member, and that made for a very strange counter-point to the somberness of the occasion to have a small gang of teens enthusiastically getting ready for our first parade as a marching band.
By the time the parade started, we were ready to go and acting more appropriately. As usual, the bagpipers led the parade, but it also wasn’t a long parade either; so we didn’t have that much of a wait before we brought up the rear of the parade. That was actually the best spot for our band because we then had everyone watching the parade following us to the cemetery. At the risk of being very inappropriate, I’ll admit that I had a great time during the parade; and I’m really proud of our marching band. I’d say there’s a lot of pride in us with our families, friends, and neighbors too; though that wasn’t displayed with any cheering or anything else overt. This is a day for commemorating the fallen, though; so let’s not add anything else to those thoughts.
The parade did feel even more special to me, and the ceremony at the cemetery was heart-warming and poignant as the Pastors helped us to remember what it’s taken for us to have the freedoms we’re blessed with today. This year, Michael and I did the family story time with my family; and Grandpa led the storytelling with help from Grandma and Grandma Carrie. We only had the Rice family and Dillon with us for that while Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne went around the cemetery with the Carrington-Johnson-McEwan clan; but that just made the storytelling a bit more intimate and personal. Most of us headed for our house after leaving the cemetery; and Michael and I helped out with getting everything loaded up and over to the park for the picnic – including walking with some of the younger kids from our collective families.
There was a chance of thunderstorms in the forecast for this afternoon, but the decision was made to take the chance that we’d dodge the rain for the picnic; and we mostly did that except for one little blast of wet that really just helped us to cool off for a few minutes – and then made things a bit hotter after that as the moisture added a bit to the humidity. Once Michael and I were at the park, we were on-duty at the fundraiser booth for the next couple of hours. We took that time slot so that most of our friends could enjoy the picnic lunch, but if we’d also hoped that we wouldn’t be as busy while everyone enjoyed all of the free food; that didn’t happen. That was great for our fundraiser, since all of those sales helped to make a lot of money for the Florida trip; but it was also exhausting for us – and we were ready for a nap by the time we were relieved of duty.
There wasn’t time for that, though, and we had a late lunch and then spent another couple of hours having fun with our families before it was time to pack up and head for home so that our weekend guests could load up and hit the road for their own homes. That kept us busy until a bit after five o’clock; and then Michael and I moved on to doing our weekend homework once everyone was gone. We did that at his house; and then we had dinner there too with both his family and mine – a sort of pot-luck and leftovers meal that was minimal work and more fun. I especially loved getting to spend a bit of time with Jake, Stephanie, Violet, and Dillon; but Rebecca wasn’t there because she went home with Lucas for the night after they said their goodbyes with her grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins.
After dinner, Michael came home with me and we hung out in the lounge. We watched a movie with Ethan and Ehlana; had a bit of alone time while they were having their bedtime baths; and then we helped out with getting them tucked in for the night before Michael went home at a bit after ten o’clock. I needed to get started on my bedtime computing, family business work, and language studies then, and used a time phase to get as much work done as possible with the eleven-thirty time limit I gave myself for the work. I got everything on my ‘must-do’ list finished tonight; but skipped a few things that could wait until tomorrow night.
The news from the work and studying isn’t interesting enough to write about, but I did have fun with a few family and friends emails. Topping that list was the one from Dawn that let me know they got home safely – and that she hopes that her next visit will include more time hanging out together. Rowen sent me an email too; and it’s a bit funny that we need to exchange emails on a holiday weekend when we’re too busy to spend much time together. We will change that over the next few weeks while getting ready for and then writing our exams, but I don’t want to think about adding that to my schedule right now; so let’s not do that until needed – tomorrow.
Okay, I promised myself that I’d be sleeping by midnight, so it’s time to wrap this up. My long weekend hasn’t exactly been the fun and games of previous years before work and other responsibilities started to get in the way of the family and friends play time; but it has been a good weekend; and I am, as always, very thankful for everything I have here in my little corner of the world.
Let’s finish this up by thinking about the brave hearts that have sacrificed all to make the lives we have here possible. A few hours of service to our community and in remembrance once a year is not too much to ask of any of us in thanks for that ultimate gift.
Until next time...
...May the Magi Force be with you!