I see people packing up their campers and fifth-wheels and hooking up boats and campers and trailers with their dirt bikes and ATVs and all kinds of fun toys for the start of the opening weekend of the summer season, ready for some fun trips to … wherever.

More power to y’all!!!  Enjoy the long Memorial Day weekend!

Memorial Day has long been one of those weekends I’ve looked forward to for a very long time.  For me, it’s meant packing up stuff myself, throwing it all in a car or a pickup truck, and heading out to visit family in my family’s hometowns in central and southeast Idaho.

Memorial Day Commemoration 2008
Memorial Day Commemoration 2008 (Photo credit: davidyuweb)

It’s meant tons of memories, with time spent visiting our loved ones and remembering those who’ve passed.  It’s meant placing flowers on the graves of my older brother and my father, looking at the small American flag flapping in the breeze next to Dad’s headstone to remind me that he served his country in World War II during his younger years, feeling a sense of pride in that.  It’s meant standing in the cemetery where he’s buried and hearing “Taps” being played, imagining what it might have been like to hear that being played at his funeral, around 15 years after WWII ended, and seeing an American flag being folded up and handed to my pregnant mother.  It’s a flag that I gratefully have in my possession today, displayed with pride in my family room in my home.

To think that there are people who’ve written to me to tell me that I’m unpatriotic or disgracing the service of America’s veterans through the things that I’ve written here in my blog.  I’d like to hand those people a dollar bill and see if that would help them to buy a clue.

Memorial Day weekend to me has meant lots of visiting with family, reliving old memories and making new ones, sharing endless laughs, picnics.  Those are the good times that I cherish, and I have ever since I was a child.

I haven’t been able to spend Memorial Day weekends with family for a few years now.  Even when I had a job, with the cost of fuel and no cost-of-living pay raises (not that I was alone in that, and not that I wasn’t putting in the effort to earn them) for way too many years, along with the increase in costs for everything else, it’s made it next to impossible for us as a family to do anything but basically stay home.

This year for Memorial Day, we’re adding to the fact that I’m unemployed and our finances are dwindling with the truth that we are now going from three running vehicles, down to two as of last November, down to one as of two days ago.  Our high-mileage minivan’s transmission has bit the dust, and it’s not like we have the money to fix it or replace it.  Right now, we need to focus more on keeping a roof over our heads and food in our stomachs … surviving.

That seems par for the course these days.

We do have things to look forward to this weekend — dinner with our church pastor’s family tomorrow, and time spent together as our own little family.

But, oh, how we do miss those days when we could just stress out over packing everything in our vehicle after getting off from work and taking off for an enjoyable three-day weekend.  We’ll be thinking of those beloved relatives of ours, imagining what they might be doing at particular moments in time, thinking of the laughs that they’d be sharing, decorating the graves of those loved ones who’ve gone before us, and wishing so much that we could be there with those whom we love so dearly.

Just like it used to be, back when living in America seemed … easier.

That’s the old-fashioned kind of America I’m looking for.  We could get there again, if we really tried.

Copyright 2012, Daddysangbassdude Media


3 thoughts on “In search of America for Memorial Day — Part 1 of 4

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