Memorial Day, Musings, and an Award

Memorial Day as we celebrate it now honors those who died in war as well as those who survived their service. It has also been a day for families to go to the cemetery and tidy up the graves of their relatives and put flowers on. When I was a child, older people often called it Decoration Day.

DSCN3413 Although people close to me have served in the military, I am fortunate to have no war dead. As a young teen, I remember looking through my mother’s high school yearbooks with friends, fascinated at the different clothes and hairstyles. Often our attention would light on some photo we found particularly attractive and when questioned, my mother would have a look at the picture, and more often than not respond, “Oh, he was killed in the war.”


Recently, I have been thinking about war in a way I had not before because of my friend Anne who was plucked out of the ocean off the coast of Vietnam 40 years ago. She wrote an article about seeking out some of the people responsible for saving her and her family and encouraged me to see the documentary Last Days in Vietnam. In reading her article and seeing the film, I realized that Vietnam had been the backdrop to my entire childhood, from grade school through high school graduation.


In her post on the day, Eliza Waters wrote that “Memorial Day serves to remind us that peace is our utmost goal and that each of us must work to keep peace in our hearts and radiate it out to the rest of the world.” I think Anne would also say that we should take opportunities to heal wounds where we can–some longer lasting than others.


Because it falls at the end of May, it often rains on Memorial Day here in the Mid-Atlantic. This day was a model of spring sliding into summer. The air at the cemetery and near the river smelled of pine and honeysuckle and occasionally water when the breeze shifted direction.

Center white globe--The Old Naval Observatory, which Lincoln visited on his midnight walks through the city during the Civil War.

Center white globe–The Old Naval Observatory, which Lincoln visited on his midnight walks through the city during the Civil War.

The cottonwoods are releasing their tufty seeds, which float through the air looking like out of season snow. I tried to capture them in flight, but instead captured them in the water.

Yep, those white speck in the water are cottonwood seed.

Yep, those white specks in the water are cottonwood seed.

I also received a surprise nomination for the Sunshine Award by Derrick Knight, whose posts of beautiful photos of plants and children and other interesting things almost always leave me smiling.

Woo hoo! Never had one of these before.  Thanks Derrick!

Woo hoo! Never had one of these before. Thanks Derrick!

I am supposed to tell a bit about myself because of this award. As you know if you follow the blog, I am a gardener and a cook. I am also a kayaker, sailor, cyclist and hiker. I grew up in Illinois among farms and farmers, the child of a newspaperman and a creative crafty woman who made my brother and me felt Humpty Dumpty bean bags and Sword in the Stone hand puppets. My brother and I ran about in the woods, cycled country roads, and rode horses. Our father taught us about trees and plants and the habits of wild animals. A number of years ago, when he was already elderly, we were standing on a river bank after a cousin’s wedding and someone said, “Uncle Johnnie, what is that stuff?” pointing to a vigorous colony of … something. Dad looked at it for a moment and then said, “That’s wild mullein. Mother used to make poultices of it for chest colds.” So if the blog often seems to be filled with bits of arcana, you see I come by it honestly.

Now I need to tell you about some people whose blogs may cheer you if you follow.

KerryCan posts some lovely blogs, including one in which she was brave enough to rescue a skunk and recently one that proves she absolutely deserves the Sunshine Award.

Gardening Nirvana posts on all sorts of things, including how to get better organized. Meanwhile, her garden is gorgeous, even in parched California.

Stop by and have a peek at both. Kerry has some mighty interesting bridesmaids on display at the moment!

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21 Responses to Memorial Day, Musings, and an Award

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    Congrats on the well-deserved award and thanks for the mention, much appreciated! 🙂


  2. An excellent record of the day Lisa; and thank you for the compliment, and info about your origins.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a lovely day you had – Eliza said it all so well. I would love it personally if there was a national holiday of peace which everyone celebrated with community picnics and stories shared of meetings within other cultures and other lands and was a big multicultural event.full of song and dance and art and stories and food ……

    It was so nice to hear a bit more about the family and you too. One of the nice effects of these awards is the revealing of the recipients 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Robin says:

    Congratulations on your well-deserved award! I enjoyed learning a little more about you. 🙂


  5. Lisa, what a beautifully written post about Memorial Day. It was picture perfect in DC, wasn’t it? Congratulations on your award as well 😀 I loved learning more about you and your treasured past.


  6. What a beautiful post, the photos and writings! I grew up in The Netherlands and my family was saved by Canadian and American soldiers. I am always very aware of that and grateful. Memorial day gives me the opportunity to do a little extra.
    I love the cottonwoods to, it looks like magical snow.
    xo Johanna
    ps Congrats on the award! IT is lovely to learn more about you!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. KerryCan says:

    What a great post, Lisa! It sounds like you had an idyllic childhood–I want a Sword in the Stone hand puppet!! I have to disagree about cottonwoods, though! We have several of them on our property and, honestly, we all dread the season where they spew their little fluffs into the air! We get actual drifts of the stuff, just like snow! The rest of the year, they are very nice, well-behaved trees.

    Thanks for the Sunshine nomination! And congrats on your recognition–totally deserved!


  8. pamsyarns says:

    Thank you for such an informative post. I’m afraid I had not been aware of your ‘Memorial Day’ before. Such a moving story from your friend Anne too. On an entirely different level, congratulations on your award.


  9. A midwestern girl?? Oh, Lisa, I knew there was a reason I liked you as much as I do.
    I adore the arcane, and the more you dish up, the more I will gobble up your warm-hearted memories and moments of sharing.
    Congrats on the lovely recognition. (and many thanks for the terrific links!)


  10. Lisa, I enjoyed your perspectives here. I like the idea of ‘peace as our utmost goal’, and wish we could celebrate and strive toward that. Great post.

    I remember that bridge on our walk through D.C. and enjoyed the story of Lincoln walking about at night. I love learning new things.

    Congratulations on the Sunshine Award! It’s so nice to be recognized. And in that vein, *thank you* for passing it on to me along with a link to my blog.


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