Memorial Day Musings

It’s the last Monday in May, which means it’s the day when we remember those who have died in the service of our country. In my family, the only one we’ve lost was my grandfather’s only brother, Dr. Leslie Maxwell, during WWI. Hugh lost his uncle in the Pacific in WWII.

We so much appreciate all those who lost their lives fighting for our freedoms.

This year, at least where I live, there will be no parades, no speeches in the park or the cemetery, no group cookouts or beach parties. It’s still too dangerous to gather in groups, according to the scientists who know about these things.

Also, as a quarantined self-employed writer, I barely notice that it’s a holiday. I was talking to my agent Friday, and he wished me a happy long weekend. What? Oh, right, Memorial day.

I do have a book set over Memorial Day, Mulch Ado About Murder. The fifth Local Foods mystery, it depicts Westbury’s classic New England small town parade, which I stole directly from my former town of West Newbury.

The parade is complete with riding lawnmowers, equestrians, Civil War reenactors, the mom’s volleyball group, and marching Girl Scouts herded by a certain leader. The last four feature cameos by four actual friends of mine – who participated in the parade in exactly those roles.

I’ll be planting my tomatoes, peppers, and more flowers today. Yesterday I got the cucumber seedlings into big pots set up on sawhorses. My raised box is full of greens and peas, and if I plant tender crops in the ground the bunnies and woodchuck will have a midnight snack party.

Nacho Average Murder – Country Store #7, releasing June 30 – was recently one of only two cozies named as a Most Anticipated 2020 Summer Read by Crime Reads! And I finished writing the first draft of No Grater Crime on Saturday, so Hugh and I will celebrate by grilling a couple of steaks this afternoon. It’s the ninth Country Store mystery and the last one under contract. Once again I don’t know if the series will be renewed – although it easily might. But I’m leaving everybody in a good place in the book, just in case.

I’d like to also remember all who have lost their lives to this awful pandemic, whether in service to others or not. Most didn’t have the benefit of leaving their lives in a good place.

Readers: Who do you remember today? What will your sparsely populated celebration look like?

26 Thoughts

  1. Edith, I love that raised bed! We used to have a cold frame and I’m thinking of pestering Hubby to build a new one. Too late for this spring, but I loved having homegrown lettuce at Thanksgiving.

    I don’t have any immediate family members who gave their lives in war, but my dad, several uncles, and one cousin, who are now gone, were veterans.

    As for my Memorial Day celebration, I don’t imagine it will look any different than every other day this year. Stay safe, my Wicked friends.

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  2. Edith, I understand what you are saying about not noticing weekends or holidays. Last Monday was Victoria Day, which signifies the first long weekend of the summer. But the State of Emergency is still in place in Ontario, so most businesses are closed, and people stayed home. There were no outdoor barbeques or celebratory fireworks so it just seemed like another stay-at-home day.

    Celebrate safely, Wicked friends.

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  3. Sadly, our memorial day will be quite different this year. However, all is good and very blessed that we are healthy and content to be at home. Miss putting out flowers on all the loved ones that have gone on to their heavenly home but would have meant a trip to the southern part of the state. Although they have opened up some activities in the state, I’m not comfortable traveling.

    Memorial Day also meant a cookout when I was growing up. It’s a tradition we have carried forward. So there will be something cooked on the grill today for hubby and me. Weather permitting, we will be on the front porch trying to capture our daily critter visitors in photos. With rain in the forecast, it may end up more of a read a good book day.
    2clowns at arkasnsas dot net

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  4. No members of our family have died in war since the Civil War, which I am grateful for, but with my husband, my brother (both retired after 20+ years of service) and my son (still on active duty) all Army, we have known too many who have died fighting for this country, and we will be thinking of them today.

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  5. I am thinking of my brother-in-law’s courage as a soldier snd my grandfather. My grandpa didn’t die in the war thankfully. I have other family too who served in the army. I’m grateful for them. Our celebration won’t be small as I have 7 kids though one son left just last week to return to missionary service.

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  6. I just finished rereading your local foods series yesterday and talk about good timing for the parade as like you, nothing like that is happening around here. One group in the next town over is working with the local radio station to do a virtual Memorial Day service in the station parking lot near the town’s Memorial Bridge. All 5 participants are veterans and as well as the radio they are doing Facebook live. New Englanders find a way. I haven’t lost anyone but have 3 first cousins who have served at least 20 years, one still an active Marine.

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  7. Today, I remember my mother who served as an Army Nurse during WWII in the South Pacific, and her brother who served as a tail gunner in the B-52 Liberator Fluctuating Kate with the 8th Air Force. Growing up knowing my mother served her country gave me the greatest sense of pride. Others talked about their fathers, but I had my mother as a role model. But I must also pause today to think about the 100K people who have died in this country from an enemy they could not see. What an incredible project undertaken by the New York Times. Stay safe and may you have a peaceful and contemplative dy.

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  8. As I said on Facebook, the Country Store series needs to be renewed because even if there are 3 more books waiting to be published, I am still not emotionally equipped to see this series end.

    I don’t know that I have any specific person I remember today. With the plethora of news stories about today, I suppose that I’ve given a general thought to the entirety of those lost, but I don’t believe that I had anyone I know die in war.

    And there won’t be much of a small time celebration here. I don’t have a cookout to begin with and if I did, I wouldn’t be having it this year obviously. And I don’t get invited to any cookouts either. Or at least not the last few years.

    I might drive over to my favorite restaurant and get a burger because the out of my league gorgeous waitress is working today so I could get her to bring out my takeout order. Otherwise, I’m probably just going to read and listen to music. I’m sure to finish Sheila Connolly’s RED DELICIOUS DEATH today!

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    1. A burger from your fave waitperson sounds perfect – as does reading any of Sheila’s books.

      Believe me, I hope the series gets renewed too, not least because I don’t want to risk your emotional health!

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  9. We have had two relatives die while on active duty. Vic’s great uncle died of the flu while in the army in 1918 and his cousin was killed in Korea in a truck accident while in the Seabees.

    All events in Des Moines were canceled weeks ago. We did BBQ with sons and daughter- in- law. Two work from home and one only been at his house and ours. So we sat outside far apart during the 4 hours it didn’t rain yesterday. More rain today.

    Planting this week after son assembles the new raised beds

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  10. Somehow I missed reading Mulch Ado About Nothing, but it is right here on the bookshelf and I’m ready to start reading a new book. Talk about perfect timing.

    My family were all farmers, thus, no military people. They were needed to stay home and provide food. But I know I lost a couple of HS classmates in Vietnam.

    No BBQ for us. Never was one to go to such things much, anyway. We’ll just enjoy yet another quite day at home. And be happy.

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  11. Since I retired and my brother died, holidays don’t mean too much to me. I like to see or hear what others are doing and am sorry that so many things have been cancelled. A friend is playing his trumpet to honor the dead today. Hopefully next Memorial Day will be better. Stay safe and well.

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