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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?

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