My grandfather served in the U.S. Army in World War I. My dad served in World War II. Neither of them ever talked to me about it. I know nothing of my grandfather’s service. What little I know of my dad’s is from a few letters he wrote home, and a few things my mom has told us. I think he had a pretty awful time serving in Germany before getting shot, not fatally thankfully, and being sent home. That’s him above, just before going over, age 17, I think.
No one else in my generation of the family has served in either war or peace time. When I was getting out of high school, we were fighting in Vietnam. There was a compulsory draft, and draftees were chosen by their birthdate. A draft lottery set the order of birthdates that were drafted from, and by luck mine was 320 out of 365, so I was never called up. It’s the only lottery I’ve ever won. My brothers and cousins also missed being called, so for us, Memorial Day has always been just a holiday.
In recent years, living close to the shore, Memorial Day weekend has often been a time for me to get a few annual flowers planted in the front garden, and in pots and planters around the rest of the yard. This year the weather was perfect for it, and that’s what I did. Saturday I weeded, and we went out to buy plants. Just two flats, one all impatiens, the other mixed annuals. Trying to keep it simple. Sunday I planted them and put down root mulch. The voles will probably eat some in the front garden, shown above, and some will die, but hopefully enough will survive to make it look reasonably nice. Inside the walkway all the perennials are coming up. Don’t have to do anything for them except water them occasionally when we have a dry spell.
Monday I cleaned as much algae out of the pond as I could. It’s a losing battle, but I do what I can. Our one surviving goldfish is still there, getting pretty big now. The largest bullfrog seems to have moved on to some larger pond, but we still have the medium-sized one and a small one. They didn’t like the pond cleaning, and hopped out into the grass to wait until I was finished. Now everything is stirred up, and I’ll have to keep changing and cleaning the pump filter often until it settles again.
Out on the roads to the beaches, it’s crazy busy. We usually make it a rule not to go out there on holiday weekends in summer unless we have to, but we broke the rule today and went to the shore town of Avalon for lunch at the Pudgie Pelican. Not a lot of traffic going, but coming home we were in bumper-to-bumper traffic on Route 9 for about 15 minutes. We know the rule, and we chose to break it, so have no one to blame.
Now I’m doing some laundry and lettering some pages. I’ll paint a batch of Neil’s prints this evening. 250 to go at the moment. That’s my weekend.