Sunday, May 30, 2010

working hard to make it work

Ben and I do our best to celebrate holidays, even when just the two of us are here. Our trip to the grocery store yesterday included lots of meat to grill out, pasta shells for a pasta salad, and some hard lemonade - just for fun. Our iced tea glasses last night had sprigs of fresh mint in them, and the salmon was grilled just right. I hope I remember that there is a whole watermelon chilling in the basement fridge. It's hard, though, to feel festive - or, as festive as we used to feel, anyway.

When Tom and Julie were little, Memorial Day always included the library book sale, and, of course, the Memorial Day Parade. The first time we took them to the parade, I don't think Julie was walking yet - so it was probably right before her first birthday - and I remember the cute sunbonnet she wore with little pink strawberries on it. We hated the loud noise of the fire trucks with their sirens blaring, but loved the Elyria High School Pioneer Marching Band, every year playing their fight song as they marched down Washington Avenue. The best years were those when Julie marched in the band. She always looked for us, and we were always there.

Everyone in town was at the library book sale, and it was a good place to catch up, as well as a great place to buy cheap used books - something we all loved. I remember the year Julie found books stuffed with old postcards from all over the world. She probably still has them...

After the parade, we usually headed to my dad's house for a cook-out. Bill worked quickly and efficiently, and always provided an incredible spread, with much more food than we could ever eat. I loved that he used the same spatula to flip the burgers that my dad used when we were kids. The years that Laura was there were always fun - she manged to fit right in with our little family, and we all loved her.

When we lived in Eastern Heights, someone in the neighborhood would get up early and put little American flags in every front yard on one street or another. Whoever was walking Bobo that morning had to restrain him from lifting his leg at each flag as we passed it. Not that we cared at all, but no point in needlessly offending the neighbors...

Now, of course, Tom and Kristy live in Chicago, and Julie and Andrew live in Maryland, and we haven't lived in Elyria for almost ten years. My dad lives at Wesleyan Village, and Bill lives in Cleveland Heights with Catherine. Ben and I will spend this Memorial Day at their house. I don't know that this is the start of a new tradition, but I do know we'll have a good time. And we won't even have to work hard at that.

1 comment:

Ben said...

Good times, good times. Thanks for the memories. I think we still have a lot of the books that Tom bought at those Memorial Day book sales. I'm looking forward to seeing Bill and Catherine tomorrow!