I love a parade.
My husband does not.
Hence, on Memorial Day, in the interest of marital harmony, instead of attending our small town’s local parade and snapping pictures of adorably red-white-and-blue-clad children waving tiny American flags as they watch Boy and Girl Scouts and marching bands and Elk’s Lodge members and collections of veterans merrily stroll by — possibly tossing candy or maybe beads (wait, wrong parade) — we pledged to spend the day “as a family” and, at some point, talk with our daughters about Memorial Day and what it means.
And if I wanted candy, I had to rummage through the candy bowl in the dessert cupboard.
(Beaded plastic necklaces, on the other hand, are a dime a dozen around here.)
Today’s other highlights included eating lunch outside on a delightful, cloudless, 70-degree afternoon, riding bikes, listening to the girls’ gleeful shouts as they ran about barefoot with the neighbors, making virgin and leaded strawberry margaritas, eating hamburgers and corn on the cob (see: Memorial Day), sitting by a roaring fire in the fire pit and crossing our fingers that the 4-foot flames wouldn’t melt the telephone/electric wires above, and watching our adorably red-white-and-blue-clad girls practice cartwheels and handstands.
We also did take a moment to actually discuss Memorial Day, as well as who in our own family has served in the Armed Forces: their great-grandfathers, their daddy’s cousin, their Grandpa Ray. When Ella and Annie peppered us with questions about Grandpa Ray’s military days, we set up a Skype chat to ask him personally.
And so, glorious weather and delicious burgers and bike riding and chocolate aside, the best part of our day, hands down, was Skyping with Grandpa Ray, a retired Lieutenant Colonel, and hearing about his Air Force career and service. We’re so grateful to him, to those who served but never made it home, and to all those who have served, and continue to serve, our country. Thank you so very much.
Yes, that’s a virgin margarita in the photo. Skyping makes them thirsty.