Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

When I was a child, my mother would buy us red paper poppies to pin on our collars for Veteran's Day. I didn't learn until I was much older that the tradition came from the British in the aftermath of WW I. I had no idea what the poppies symbolized, but I loved their papery crinkliness and the bright color. And because I come from a line of military men, I was aware that honoring our veterans was important.

Today, when I visit Arlington and the graves of my grandfather, father, and uncle, killed in Korea, I never fail to get a lump in my throat when I see the rows upon rows of white headstones. My brother and I considered buying a larger headstone for our relatives, something fancy like those marking the graves of those whose families have eschewed simple white marble. Bu ultimately, we stuck with army-issue, simple and plain. If they're good enough for those thousands upon thousands of men who fought and died for their country, they're good enough for our family.

From our family plots, I can see the new sections, opened to take in the dead from all the wars in the Middle East. The lump in my throat disappears as I cry, openly. Arlington is both a beautiful and terrible place.

Friday, May 10, 2013

I can't believe it's done!

Yes, the grand back yard renovation is finally finished. I want to add about a hundred exclamation points, but I restrained myself. Barely. I love it. Evan Froelich of Fernhill Landscaping did a wonderful job, and next year, I've already told him to start planning the front yard renovation.  What I love is that there's room for growth, everything will have color or scent throughout the year, and the birds are flocking to our new cherry laurels and hollies. In fact, it's a regular chorus of cardinals, bluebirds, chickadees, mockingbirds, robins, and woodpeckers. When I take the dogs out at night, the air is scented and just plain heavenly.

The grand bridal shower is tomorrow (for the best friend of my younger daughter), and I'll try to post pictures.  For now, here are a few of the finished product.