Memorial Day

Our Memorial Day~

was what it has been…

since we moved to Utah 34 years ago.

In California, where I grew up, I honestly had no idea that the day existed because we were first generation Californians–

and we had no family there to honor.

But once my Mama brought us all back “home” where all her family lived…

she showed us the way that she had grown up celebrating this very special day.

My mama would get up early and cut her beloved iris and peonies and put them in buckets of water so they’d open just right.

Once we got to the cemetery she’d arrange the flowers in huge baskets and put them on her mama and daddy’s graves.

I think it made them smile.

She always had a small arrangement for her baby brother too.

My children grew up loving Memorial Day– as a day full of baskets and green grass and kisses and cousins and flags and wet feet and laughing. But it was mostly a beautiful bright summer day with Grandma and Grandpa and lots and lots of flowers. Now, all these years later–it still is.

And I think it makes them smile.

Balloon Love

Oh, yes–we’ve done this up-by-the-crack-of-dawn, 4th of July, balloon festival thing since the caveman days. I can prove it too–check HERE and HERE…and…oh, that’s enough. Just trust me.

But THIS time the “crack of dawn” meant 5:45am instead of our usual 6:30am wake-up call.

We were determined to get there BEFORE all the balloons were in the air.

Please be amazed at all these adorable smiling faces–so very, very early in the morning!

Of course our beloved fruit pizza breakfast could have something to do with it! We are, I’m afraid–hopeless traditionalists and once something is in our celebration routine–it ain’t never coming out. :}

We had a bit more of a wait for the balloons to fill because the skies were so cloudy that the officials were nervous about lightning and wind.

We were forced to content ourselves with whatever means were available to us.

Such good sports on this silly, chilly morning.

At last, at last–a few brave souls began torching up their balloons…

all around us.

Oooooh–ooooOOh. Haven’t seen THIS guy before. Spoooky!

We spotted some of our dear friends in the crowd too–what a lovely surprise!

Who knew that there were so many crazy early-bird people in the world?

There’s just something about a field of gigantic balloons that make you feel very small and peaceful…even in a crowd.

That is, of course, until the wind kicks up and they all start deflating…

and blowing over on everyone! It was actually kinda funny–everyone running and yelling as the big things were flapping down on us. Sorry–no pictures. Too busy running!

In a matter of minutes the entire park was emptied of any sign of balloons. Gone. Just like that.

I have a feeling that this event, for us anyway, doesn’t have as much to do with the balloons as you might think. Seriously–you know our motto…

Any. Excuse. To. Play.

Heh.

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Summerfest 2011…

is coming.

Yep, the signs are positively everywhere…

Roustabouts putting up there rides…

then testing them out.

Bleachers being set up to get a better view of the parade…

or watching those who are perfectly happy to watch everything from the ground level set up “camp.”

One the best signs that our favorite event–Summerfest– is coming soon is..

the official “claiming of a half city block” in the name of two sisters, 1 brother and all their kids.

I know, I know…it starts on Saturday and we have our blankets down on Thursday morning. It may seem early to you, but we do what we must to make sure nobody…I mean nobody–takes our special spot.

So if you go out on Saturday, and you see us, be sure to say hi. I promise, rain, sleet, snow or sunshine…

we’ll be there–so stay tuned!

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Parting With the Tree

A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from our lives.

A simple, special, memorable moment.

A moment I want to pause, savor and keep close to my heart.

If you are inspired to do the same–leave us a link in the comments.

Happy winter weekend my friends!