Memorial Day weekend has always been a time for
families to get together and barbecue steaks, ribs, hamburgers and hot dogs or what ever. I especially remember three when I was a kid and was able to attend the Indianapolis 500. My Uncle Charley was a salesman for an electrical whole seller who every year reserved second row seats on the straightaway between turns one and two. Back then I think we were less than ten feet from the wall and it was something else seeing those race cars up close and personal, hearing the Offenhauser 4 bangers and the Novi V-8 roaring by and smelling the alcohol fuel. But I digress.
This Memorial day we were invited by our friends, Mike and Kelly, to their place in Alicel in the center of our valley. They have invited friends and family each year to their place for an afternoon of fun, food and celebration. They have seven kids and are very active in youth programs in and out of the church. Where they get the energy for all of this is beyond me, but you seldom ever see any of them standing still. What surprised me was how well planned and organized this gathering was and how is was all about the 30 or 40 kids that showed up.
The afternoon started off by Mike giving a question and answer history lesson on Memorial Day and what it stands for. The kids were surprising knowledgeable and many had relatives that were veterans. Time was spent honoring the past and present members of the military and a prayer was offered to our soldiers who were still fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan for our freedom and way of life. Then it was off to the races and games.
Mike and Kelly had all sorts of games and races set up, based on gender and age group, that enabled all the kids, from toddler to college, and even us old folks if we dared to get out there, to compete. And compete they did. Oh how I wish I still had that kind of energy! Those days are long gone but it was fun to watch the kids of today run and jump, toss and kick anything they could get their hands on.
They did egg races and water balloon tosses, Frisbee football and kick ball baseball(or what ever they called it), drop the clothes pin in a jar, but every one was able to participate. A whole lot of energy was burned up that afternoon and I am sure those kids went home tired and slept really good.
For a few, 3 man tackle football was the only game they were interested in.
All in all, it was a great afternoon. It was fun fellow shipping with others, meeting new people, enjoying the view, remembering those who have given their lives, and sometimes limbs, so that we can enjoy this freedom, remembering the reason our country was founded in the first place, and thanking God for the blessings he has bestowed on all of us.