Thanks for the Memorial Memories

It’s funny when you’re retired. Holidays don’t take on the same meaning. Man alive, I well remember those three-day holidays when I worked hard for a living. Three days of pure relaxation to which you looked forward for weeks! Now, frankly, most of my days are relaxing. But though they aren’t quite as satisfyingly refreshing, holiday weekends are still a lot of fun.

This year, Memorial Day took on a bit of a different tone, as Dave and Jll and the four kids are leaving in a couple of days for their three-month adventure. The six of them will be traveling by RV across the western part of the United States, through Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington State, Alaska, Oregon, Northern California, Southern California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and back to Colorado come mid-August. Along the way, they will stop at nearly every National Park in each state thanks to the Every Kid in a Park program sponsored by your United States of American government. The program allows for free entry for fourth graders and their families throughout 2018. So, thanks Maggie Faith for being a fourth grader.

Here is just a quick look at what to expect from the Traveling McLains…..

The family van will be attached behind the bikes. Can you hear the National Lampoon’s Vacation theme playing in your head?

Saturday night, Jll and the kids came by to enjoy a nice spring afternoon and evening in our back yard. The weather was nearly perfect, and – though we missed Dave (who was traveling back to the U.S. from Poland as we nibbled our barbecued ribs) – we had a great time. Following dinner, we put Alastair’s Boy Scout skills to the test, asking him to build a fire for S’Mores. He was very serious, and very successful…..

We enjoyed our treats. I especially enjoyed what Dagny called The Perfect S’More which she prepared for me. I think she was right…..

Sunday morning, Jen drove down from Fort Collins to spend the day with us. She and I made our annual trek to Fort Logan National Cemetery, where we laid flowers next to Mom and Dad’s headstone. The cemetery is always lovely as every year a Boy Scout troop sets flags next to each grave. Mom and Dad wouldn’t haunt us if we missed a year, but we have strong memories of making a trip every year with Mom to our grandparent’s graves in Columbus. Just as Mom did, our bouquet consisted of iris and peonies from my gardens…..

Sunday evening Court and Alyx and the kids joined us for a dinner of ceviche, carne asada, and Jen’s homemade Spanish rice. For dessert? Why mess with perfection? S’Mores. This time Court was in charge of the fire. He was a bit more challenged by wet fireword from a shower earlier in the afternoon. Still, after a few fire starters, a nice fire was born…..

Kaiya and Mylee enjoyed S’Mores…..

Cole chose not to eat a S’More, being more of a purist. His choice was too-many-to-count plain marshmallows. Though I missed the sight, I’m told at one point he had one in each cheek, resembling a chipmonk.

Yesterday was a bit quieter. I had lunch with Addie, because she hadn’t been able to be at dinner the other night, having one of those annoying things called a J-O-B. So we ate burgers and she talked about her upcoming adventures. In the meantime, Bill spent the afternoon with Dave, smoking cigars on their front porch and listening to his adventures in Poland.

I love summer, and in the eyes of my mom, Memorial Day was the beginning of summer. She was always as happy as I . Here’s to a great summer for everyone, and if you happen to come across an RV carrying six bicycles, wave hello to the Traveling McLains.

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