Memorial Day

May 25, 2020

At dinner tonight, Jim and I tried to think of anyone we knew — in our families, extended families, community of friends, community of acquaintances — who had died fighting in a war on behalf of the United States.  It wasn’t until we got down to that last one — community of acquaintances — that we could even imagine anyone we knew who might have died in a war, any war. I can’t name anybody, but there must be someone we know. A lot of wars and certainly a lot of folks who’ve died in them.

While we couldn’t summon a single name, we acknowledged it’s an enormous sacrifice.. losing one’s life for one’s country.

A few weeks back, as we watched Ken Burns’ documentary series on the Vietnam war, I felt emotionally wracked by the whole mess.. by the wrenching decisions that were made that kept us in that conflict, by the senselessness of battles, of deaths, of being there at all. I just can’t imagine the pain of losing a son, a daughter, anybody, in a war, any war, and especially a war that served so little purpose. It just turns my stomach. I’ll never get the images out of my head of those the young men, barely men, in all that chaotic, brutal combat. And then to die.

I’m thinking about you. You gave everything.


Not that this belongs in the same post…

Memorial Day = the start of summer. I can’t begin to organize all of THOSE thoughts. How is it, on the uphill side of a pandemic, people are out, in force, to celebrate — in some cases with a nasty vengeance — their freedom. Crowded parks, beaches, beachside bars and restaurants. Little to no compliance with what remains of guidelines.

So.. awful. Not going to discuss that one at this moment.

I have a couple pics on the day, though.

First.. yesterday, Ruben and his crew finished leveling the front yard and then turned their attention to the back. They removed thick (THICK) vegetation from about 1/3 of the backyard.. here’s what it looks like right now:


That is bare ground, where once a thicket of shrubs, flowers, weeds and a ton of construction detritus and former garage junk existed! Today, Jim segregated the wood he wants to hang on to — stacked in the back there — from the scraps he’s willing to let go of (prouda him). He’ll continue to add to this pile of junky junk and Ruben will haul it off next week. Out of camera shot, there is a bunch more (plants, trees, weeds and junky junk). Within a week or two, the back will be a tabula rasa, ready for the next phase.

While Jim did that, I made a new Spotify channel (my first, actually,  John Prine channel which turned out to be audio heaven) which I listened to while swinging in the hammock:


It hit the high 90s today (so got an early morning Arboretum walk in with Janet before it got too unbearable).

I had the outdoor ceiling fan going at top speed, but it was still too hot by mid afternoon to lie out there. Shifted indoors and wrote 20 postcards to would-be voters in Arizona, encouraging them to register to vote by mail online and then vote for Mark Kelly for Senate in their August primary!


Made some wee progress in my book (The Dog Stars, by Peter Heller, about the aftermath of a pandemic, of all things), and then Jim and I launched BBQ season with turkey burgers and grilled eggplant.. and fresh tomatoes and pears… ah.. summer.


No beach. No park. No picnics. No family/friend gatherings.  And let me add.. no judgment on that (except for those who did not do those things safely). I know people who were out, and together, and celebrating summer, and who did it carefully and respectfully. I’d have enjoyed being there, too. We just didn’t have the opportunity or imagination.

But had a nice day anyway.





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