Good morning and welcome to Coffee and Conversation #94 – hosted by PatAndCandy.com!
For many, many years, the only thing that Memorial Day meant to me was the start of summer.
‘Round the middle of May I started smelling Coppertone suntan lotion everywhere I went, dreamed of getting a new bathing suit. bugged my parents to schedule time to go spend a week at my cousin’s houses (one family had a pool, the other lived near the beach, both which I adored!) (but of course, I loved my cousins, too…wink-wink), and started planning sleep overs and cook outs with my school friends and their families. And then there was the summer reading club at the library… But I digress.
Then, when I finally got old enough to realize there was both a Veterans Day and a Memorial Day, for the longest time I couldn’t get my mind around the difference between them (the former honors all vets; the latter only those deceased).
I guess I finally “got it” when our family drove up to Pennsylvania one Memorial Day to visit my mother’s grave. She was a veteran of the Korean War, and so there was a marker and an American flag by her headstone, and it kinda hit home. One of my aunts, in subsequent years, dug up old photos of her in uniform, as well as photos she’d taken (she was a photographer). Ultra cool, in my book, and I was and am ultra proud of her service for our country.
I have other relatives who’ve served, and I’m sure many of you do, too. While my husband and I grew up in the Vietnam War-era, that environment, sadly, wasn’t exactly conducive to generating a proud sense of patriotism in our youth; few of my peers went off to war as far as I knew.
But I have to admit that as I’ve aged, as I’ve studied more, and read more (even historical fiction can be quite revealing); as I’ve lived through times when the freedoms in our country felt threatened, and then traveled to other countries whose citizens don’t enjoy even the tiniest bit of what we so easily take for granted – well, I’ve come to both appreciate and be deeply grateful for the sacrifices that the men and women in our Armed Forces have made for us all. Especially the ones who made the supreme sacrifice of their lives.
Those are some of the thoughts I’ll be having as I tend the grill and watch our kids frolic in the pool during the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. I’ll also be thanking God ~ for it all.
And let me leave you with this quote I found to inspire your thoughts and gratitude during Memorial Day, and beyond:
Ceremonies are important. But our gratitude has to be more than visits to the troops, and once-a-year Memorial Day ceremonies. We honor the dead best by treating the living well. –Jennifer M. Granholm
If you’d like a simple and sweet activity to do with your kiddos to dig a bit into the meaning of the holiday, my friend Beth at Online Unit Studies has a short Memorial Day Unit Study available on her site. It takes no more than a few hours, and at the end, your child will create a meaningful Canva creation to share with friends and family online.
And if you’re curious, I found this short video listing 25 Interesting Things About Memorial Day. Watch it for yourself – how many of them did you know? (#8 is a little creepy; I don’t know if I could do that…)
I mentioned this last week, but just as a reminder…you may be interested in this opportunity that’s available from Carson-Dellosa Publishers. They’re sponsoring a college savings giveaway, and three winners will receive up to a $2,000 contribution to a Section 529 college savings plan account of their choice! Yay for a college fund!
Click on the image to Enter – contest ends May 31st!
In the meantime, wishing you a wonderful Memorial Day weekend with friends and family. Hope you’re planning something meaningful! What are your plans? We’d love to hear them in the comments below.
Now on to this week’s features!
Sue from Welcome Heart, shared this totally relevant and clever and spiritual analogy. And I love this quote “Growing up means knowing where to set your mind…” Gotta admit, there are some days when I’m not so grown up by that measure. Just glad He’s not finished with me yet!
“You Are Not Alone” – isn’t this something that we all want to be reassured about? This is the latest in the “Warrior Woman” series from Anna in The Fitly Spoken Word…
I’m always looking for tools to help teach writing (yeah, whodathunk that “just” loving something doesn’t mean you can teach the skill or pass on the passion?). Anyway, Kim at WriteShop came up with this clever theme, which incorporateds some family time and exercise! LOVE it!
I wish I’d seen this for last week’s graduation discussion! If you’ve got one “walking” this month, why don’t you have ’em peruse these treats and bake up something different for a Graduation cake? From Nicole at Mama of Many Blessings
Laura Acuna had a wonderfully touching post entitled Time Got Away from Me, on her blog. No picture available, but please DO take the time to read it. “Grief and joy often appear together in a mother’s heart, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Truer words were never spoken…
Thank you all so much for your inspiration and timely words…
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