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Memorial Day in 20 Minutes or Less

I cannot say we have established any firm Memorial Day traditions. Sometimes we go the traditional route—flowers at graves and a family barbeque. Sometimes we act like it's just another day, but with slightly better sales. Today's Memorial Day falls into the former, and I feel compelled to blog about it before tomorrow. Since tomorrow will be here in 21 minutes, I shall try to be succinct. Here is our Memorial Day in a nutshell:

  • Kaleb woke me up WAY TOO EARLY. I wanted to sleep in, but he had other ideas (namely, breakfast). Then Kendell clued me in that our festivities were starting at 11:00, and suddenly I was up and going. Going as quickly as I could.
  • Nathan, Kaleb and I ran to the store. Shopping list: refried beans, sour cream, avocados, red onion, olives, powdered sugar, whipping cream, butter. Can you guess what my barbeque assignments were?
  • We rushed home to make sheet cake (the Pioneer Woman version) and seven layer dip. (Did you get it right?) Somewhere close to the end of rushed cooking/baking, Haley finished straightening her hair and came upstairs to help.
  • While all this frenzy happened, Kendell and Jake mowed the lawn and cut out all my bleeding hearts, which were damaged in last week's storm.
  • We drove out to the military cemetery north of here, to visit Kendell's Uncle Buffalo's grave. (When I explained to Kaleb where we were going, he said "Mom, I really need to dig him up." "WHY?" I asked. "Because I just want to know for once if he really is a buffalo or if he's a guy." Then I explained the concept of nicknames a little bit better.) Missed the exit, took a detour through Lehi Farm Country. Can you guess which one of us was cursing and annoyed?
  • Finally made it to the cemetery, which was crowded because one of our senators was there making a speech. He was just leaving when we arrived; I felt lucky to miss his speech but still get to hear the bagpipes.
  • While sitting at Buff's gravesite, Kaleb kept pointing at a little person who had walked by. I explained to him that the man still had feelings and not to make him feel bad. Then he asked Haley, "How did that little person get born anyway?" and she explained "Well, he had a mutation in his genes." Kaleb thought for a moment, nodded his head, and said "he does have little jeans."
  • After a few minutes at the cemetery, we drove back home (managing to get caught in all the lovely traffic) to pick up the food and a few more flowers (not many from my bedraggled garden). I managed to drop the container of left-over guacamole, which exploded upon impact with the kitchen floor and splattered everywhere. Sigh.
  • Next we went to my grandparents' graves. I do not do this enough. Kendell wasn't sure it was worth the time/effort (he would have skipped the other cemetery, too, if I hadn't pushed), but I still miss them so much. We didn't have time to stay very long but I did feel that little flash of connection. Grandma and Grandpa both would have loved my gorgeous black-blue iris!
  • Then we were off to Kendell's parents for lunch. I ate way too much, and complained with my sister-in-law about parenting teenagers, and then had some more cake.
  • Because of my father-in-law's recent cancer diagnosis , Kendell has been helping them begin to clean out their outbuildings (a few barn-ish shed) so they can sell their house and move closer to us and to his sister. Kent, especially, is resisting this process. He doesn't like to see his possessions thrown away, even though they are things he doesn't need or are simply worn out. It's difficult to watch, and after the arguing and the passive-aggressive machinations were past, he was simply sitting on a lawn chair, defeated. I leaned down, hugged him, and told him I love him. I've never told him that before, and I felt simultaneously ashamed of myself for waiting so long and proud that I had conquered my discomfort at saying the words.

Probably that last was the reason I really wanted to blog tonight. As there are only four minutes left, I'm going to leave it here. How was your Memorial Day?


jamie `

caleb's comments: priceless and dang funny!
guessed the 7-layer dip, didn't get the cake.
Not sure on the cursing. I have a guess but not sure....
I'm not near any of my grandparent's graves. I wish I was. I am near a best friend who died in '96. I got there every once in a while and even took my daughter who is named after her to "introduce" her. I know her spirit does not reside there but it is dedicated ground. Maybe her spirit visits when I visit. I like to think so. Glad you had a nice moment there
and a nice moment later with the living.
I can't imagine how hard it would be to watch others go through and determine what to do with my stuff.


It was a nice day. I wish I lived closer so that I could do graves on Memorial Day. But what do you do? Plus I didn't have any flowers this year of my own to decorate with. Next year...

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