Back when we lived in our house in Lehi,
(and I can’t find any digital pictures of the house or the backyard right now, so I just threw in one of the kids in the living room), we lived right by the cemetery. When we looked out our back yard, we could see right into the cemetery grounds. We had to try to be quiet and not play outside when there was a funeral going on, just out of courtesy to the families. We never thought it was creepy or weird, since it was a beautiful, well kept place; not creepy and old. We used to walk or ride our bikes back there, and the neighbors were quiet.(Thanks, Ryan, for finding pictures of the old house. It must have been winter, because our grass sure looks dead, doesn’t it?)
I learned to love Memorial Day. Before we lived there I didn’t really think much of the holiday except that it was a day off of school and work. We weren’t really big cemetery visitors and it wasn’t a family tradition to go and visit graves and place flowers. Maybe because we didn’t really have many people close to us who had died. Oh, I do remember going to my Grandma’s grave, or my Grandpa’s grave a few times, but it wasn’t every year.
But living right by a cemetery, you get to see all the people come and do some big time decorating. One family made a balloon arch every year. That was cool. Others, who had lost a child, would decorate with balloons, flowers and stuffed animals. Those graves were often decorated for every holiday, not just Christmas. And when I would read the headstones, I would feel so sad for those families. The decorating frenzy would begin on Saturday, with the views from the back window growing increasingly colorful as the weekend progressed. Families would gather, some with food and games, and have a fun time of it. It was always nice to observe. Then we would go for walks and look at all the pretty flowers and decorations.
On the Monday after Memorial day was the day to go mum hunting. You see, if families don’t come and pick up their flowers, the city workers would come by on the next Monday and throw it all away. So, Sunday night or Monday morning I would go through and pick out some that were still living, bring them home and plant them. I got several mums that way. That is not stealing. They were going to throw them away anyway!
This Memorial Day it’s all about fun with friends and family. Saturday evening we had some good friends over for dinner. The kids played with the water bottle launcher, jumped on the tramp and climbed on the playground. The adults talked and laughed. We had good food and it was very nice! There was that small incident of a child throwing up in the bathroom, but I think my bathroom came through it cleaner than it started, thanks to my lovely friend Melinda. I hope the car ride home was uneventful and there was no further throwing up.
Sunday we had a nice time at church, and enjoyed the much smaller numbers. Usually we have about 500 in Sacrament meeting, and this week Ryan tells me there were about 270. Room for everyone on the nice soft benches, and only 10 in John’s sunbeam class (instead of the usual 17).
Monday we are going to go to my Grandma’s house. Grandma has moved in with my aunt, as she can no longer take care of herself. He house will be sold, demolished and made into a cul-de-sac, I think. I believe someone bought two houses and will take them both out to put in a few more. So, we’re meeting there with my cousins and family for one last picnic at the old family home. It will be kind of sad to see it go, as we have so many memories of that little old house, and my grandparents who lived there (good ideas for a later post). Later we have a pool party and barbeque planned with Ryan’s family. So, it’s a full day of fun family goodness.
I hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day, too, and that we don’t forget those who served and died for our freedoms.