Memorial Day

I have been out on the patio this morning; watering flowers, spraying down the tile, Windexing tables and windows. This is the time of year when I don't consider it a chore and I actually enjoy keeping the patio spotless. After planting my flower pots this week, I find myself being drawn outside again and again to admire what I've accomplished.

I never had an interest in planting anything until my mid-forties. I remember the first or second year I planted flowers. I planted something that blooms only once in several pots. That flower was intended for a flower bed, where it would come back every year. But I had no idea what I was doing. My next door neighbors confessed later that they giggled when they saw what I'd chosen. I laughed, too. I was such a novice.

I've come a long way. I really enjoy my flower pots and my patio now. I don't plant all the same things every year. I like to experiment. But I have become a huge fan of Mandavilla and Hibiscus. This year I have three large pots of bright red Mandavilla and two Hibiscus pots; one bright pink and one yellow. I think I love them so much because they look tropical. I also love my Knockout Roses, which the builder planted in all the flower beds surrounding our patio area. It is just gorgeous out there this time of year.

This Memorial Day Weekend we are having family over and grilling burgers on Monday. We'll sit on the patio and enjoy each other's company, along with the flowers, the kids, good food, and hopefully a beautiful day in the mid-eighties. (That was the forecast last time I checked.) I can't wait.

At the same time, I don't want to think only about cooking out, enjoying my family and my blessed life. Memorial Day is more than a time for picnics and bar-b-ques, or the official beginning of summer. It's a time to reflect on the sacrifices that have been made by so many. Freedom has been handed to me on a silver platter. I don't ever want to forget the heavy price that has been paid by others. This is a day to honor them and their memories in our hearts.

Larry, if you're reading, you reminded me of this when I read what you wrote on Facebook. I have been looking forward to this weekend all week and thinking about cheeseburgers, potato salad, being with my family, how pretty my patio looks. My thoughts have been focused on my enjoyment of a holiday. But that is because I haven't lost anyone close to me in a war. I'm very thankful I haven't, but I need to remember those who have. Thanks for the reminder.

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