Memorial Day Guests

from my booklet “words within 2018”

as for Memorial Day, i can guess,
there is an elaborately prepared and fastidiously displayed ‘simple family meal’. Weather permitting, the multitude of dishes are spread through out the built in BBQ area arranged on the seasonal table clothes. 

At the patio table, and garnering a bit of shade, Uncle Arch and Grandpa sit comfortably on the rocking cushioned chairs within ears reach. Their walkers and canes will be out of sight but within reach, should they need to move from this center of attention (for food or bathroom breaks). They will both take turns in leading the conversation. 

Grandpa will lead with a question, “ Arch, remember…”  and Arch will cock his head a bit and reply “yup” if he doesn’t have anything more sarcastic wisdom to impart. and it will go on like that for a while, through “the war” years, and growing up on “the farm” [ which in their case is two very distinct farms a few states away from each other and under very different family circumstances ] And Grandpa who has a mind and memory that is sharp as a tack, will just continue to bring forth memories and names and places from 60-70 years ago, from a time that to most in between pages in a history book now. But to him, the visions of the memories are just like yesterday. Times when a young boy went out on his own to hunt, and sell the pelts. Times when a young boy had chores to keep the family farm running. Times during the Depression when families would come begging for a bit of food, and were never refused. Including the story of how his mother set him with a family friend, for a job repairing planes and how that knowledge probably saved his life, and the friends he made in the South Pacific on the aircraft carriers where he served his duty, remembering the last time he’s seen those still living and many that have moved on. and at least once in his conversation he will state that he sent money back home for his parents to save for him, and that his father was amazed that his son was making more money in the service than the father was on the farm. 
Uncle Arch who can be short on answers, while long on witticisms has his share of stories also, many told through the generations of friends he has made running a two-man motorcycle shop over 50 years in the same town. If there is a lesson for living life by example, Uncle Arch has that story.

When you have lived an adventurous life as these two have, a conversation around memories and stories of folks, can go on a rather long time, one memory sparking another, at least until the food is served. Full mouths don't talk as much.

Soon the sunlight is exhausted. If you are observant you will watch them both nod off after dinner, a talent that seems to be an inherited family trait. (there needs to be a lot more said here on memories and dreams of lives long lived, and well lived, and one day i will return to this page to do that)

Yep, i can see it all…as i sit here sipping my ’Sook Harbour House’ Garden Tea…but that’s another story, for another trip.