Saturday, May 24, 2014
Memorial Day is about remembering. It is about memories.
I actually got my husband to go for a walk with me this morning. We talked as we walked, about the movie we just saw, but also about times past. As we passed a yard that was left to overgrow before being mowed down, the drying grass filled my olfactories with the scent of hay. That triggered memories, as it always does, of summer on the farm where I grew up. That scent makes me nostalgic. In fact Memorial Day weekend itself makes me nostalgic.
As a student, Memorial Day meant the school year was over and there might be a few days of freedom before the work of strawberry picking began, which continued into a summer of laboring in the crop fields near my home in the Willamette Valley. That included haying time, where I helped drive the tractor with the hay wagon or pitched hay bales onto the trailer.
As a teacher, Memorial Day weekend meant the end of the school year was near and a much needed vacation was about to begin. Now that is true for our daughter and grand children.
Just the plants and flowers and grasses that erupt in May set me to remembering. As I walked around my garden today, I thought of the 34 years we have been here and have labored to create this place. I thought of my mother, who loved flowers and taught me to garden.
Down on our newly rebuild deck, we have added an old window, a relic of the Fuller cousin's cabin on Whidbey Island. That cabin is gone now, replaced by a new, modern structure which will create its own memories.
The wisteria is fading now. It will soon be just a memory again until it appears next year. The last flush of the rhododendrons is still adding color.
Vignettes of color and texture come and go in the garden.
In the raised beds the crops are growing. While we raise fewer vegetables than we used to, we've always had a vegetable patch. Growing up in the valley we had a big garden that was very important in feeding our family.
Poppies are popping, iris and fox glove and columbine.
The first roses are blooming.
The patio pot collection seems to grow each year.
And there too is a memorial, to my mother and to my Uncle Bill. Yes he was a Veteran, but then so was my mother, just of a different kind.
I'll be visiting my mother's resting place on Monday. The valley is calling me. Memories will abound.
I hope each of you is having a pleasant Memorial Day weekend, either enjoying memories or making new ones.