My child just returned from a few days in Colorado. The Rocky
Mountains were beautiful, she said, and although it rained during her
stay, she said it was brown and dry. During an extended lay-over in
Dallas, she called, saying she looked forward to green.
this from a chair facing the fresh yellow green of Ohio spring, although
the wind is heavy with sudden heat and the sky is a pale blue that we
usually see later in summer. My tastebuds are tingling from a weekend of
Memorial Day feasts.
I don’t know what you had at your house or
picnic table, but those that I frequented held various grilled goods,
coleslaw, potato salad, sliced tomatoes, dips and chips, baked beans and
some sort of decadent summer squash and cheese casserole. The pie crust
gene runs strong in my family, and wild berries are put up each summer
to fill the crusts, so two kinds of pie were divvied up for dessert.
this was consumed out in the aforementioned green. As we ate and
talked, enjoying the company of relatives who travelled in for the long
weekend from various points in the country, bicyclists pedaled past. Two
farmers worked the field. We remembered family who couldn’t make the
trip as well as those who never will again. And we were not, are not,
Thanks to my grandpa who milked his Jersey cows and worked
his fields during wartime and another grandfather who served on a Navy
vessel in the Pacific, we could take an after-dinner nap in the wide
open if we had a mind to. Because my father-in-law carried a radio in
Japan, as well as a wristful of shrapnel and half a lifetime of
nightmares, we could listen for birdsong instead of marching feet.
reason for my child’s flight to Colorado was to accompany a former
classmate to the Air Force Academy Ring Dance, a gala during which
cadets receive their cadet class ring, if I understood correctly. My
child had her pretty dress and Cinderella slippers, as did other invited
guests, but the young men and women of the Academy were the stars of
the evening. I thank them, and other service people like them, for
making it safe for me to sit in the grass beside my father’s grave on
Memorial Day and not fear the planes that pass overhead.
I trust that I won’t be remembering any of them this time next year.