Feeling nostalgic on Memorial Day weekend-
My oldest daughter, my grandson, granddaughter and I went to the cemetery in Saco to plant the Memorial Day flowers. First you should know that I, and I suspect, my daughter, have always felt a sense of calm in this cemetery. It is huge, well groomed and has graves that date from the early 1800’s to now. I noticed that each time I visit I go down a different in-road that brings my eye past new stones, so it is possible that there may be some earlier graves that I haven’t discovered yet.
I used to go dutifully with my own mother when I was a child- we would visit her parents graves, plant and tend the flowers, visiting from time to time throughout the summer and fall to tidy the flowers up. She visited often. I believe she truly missed her mother who died before my mother ever married.
So, we all went to my grandparents graves first. It is always a surprise to see that my grandmother was born in the 1890’s! My daughter prepared the earth by the stone (she is a farmer after all) and my grandson helped with watering using his own watering can. Quite sweet. I know that both of my daughters and my son are trying to make a mental note of just where this grave is so that they might tend it after I am no longer able. Like I said, this is a large cemetery and it is easy to get lost! My grandfather was a very stern man that we lived with until his death when I was in third grade.
We went to my parents grave next. This time I did the tending- lots of work getting the earth to cooperate but I finally got the mixture of flowers planted , again, with my grandson’s help. Such a bittersweet thing, visiting my parents there-instead of at my childhood home not a mile from this place. I do miss them and I think they would be so thrilled with how their own grandchildren are doing and would love their great grandchildren to pieces.
Our lunch was at another childhood favorite on the coast, Huot’s – NOBODY makes clam cakes like they do- and as usual, they were delicious.
After a long day I drove back to my own home but as I drove past a local campground it was the first time in the season that I could roll down the windows and take in that familiar campsite fire aroma, ahhhhhh. My family used to go on yearly camping trips, usually to Canada, so again, a flood of memories. We used a heavy canvas tent and slept on the ground on air mattresses and in sleeping bags. I envied the people with their campers but now have fond memories of that tent.
As I arrived home a letter was waiting for me- my first thought was bad news because that is usually the only time I hear from my cousins wife.. I was delighted to find a short note with this photo enclosed. A fabulous photo of my parents at the beach before they were married- so full of hope and promise.
So- happy memories to you and keep Memorial Day close to your heart- for now, I am building new memories and I hope is that you do too.