This is a weekend full of family gatherings…cook outs…days at the beach…and remembering.

Memorial Day (once called Decoration Day) was born out of the Civil War. It was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by Gen. John Logan.  His original order was this: “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed.  The date was chosen because it was not the anniversary of any particular battle.

Since 1971, it has been celebrated on the last Monday in May.

In the year 2000, it was declared that at 3 p.m. local time, citizens are “to voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to ‘Taps’.

It has also become a day for families to visit all of their loved ones’ graves and remember those they’ve lost.  But truly, it is a day for us to remember and be thankful to all those who have given the ultimate sacrifice so that we may continue to enjoy our freedoms in this country.


Today, I remember my mom’s cousin, Paul J.”Paulie” Hess, Jr., who served as a Green Beret in Viet Nam and was killed in action at such a young age.  He was killed on November 11, 1966 while his helicopter was landing in order to rescue a fellow soldier. He was shot in an ambush. I still remember his picture being on my grandma’s dresser.  He’s a hero in our family and a hero to the nation.

So, enjoy the day with family and friends.  Hopefully, the weather cooperates.  Just remember the reason for the day and say a little prayer for the families of those left behind and, if you’re thinking of it at 3 p.m. – say a word of thanks for those who gave it all.


The Joys of Aging


“You’re only as old as you feel.”
– Anonymous person who was lying

As we began this latest landscaping project, we had big plans.  Most of those plans involved us never getting tired.

Some of the grunts and groans we make these days are humorous, and then we realize the windows are open and they become less funny.  Getting out of a chair after shoveling dirt and rock all day – not as easy as it once was.  Raking hundreds of pounds of dirt into the lawn – not so much fun.

When we think back on all of the projects we’ve done in years past, we marvel at the energy we once had.  Not that we’re THAT old – but once you hit your fifties, things begin to breakdown more often.  So in order to bring some humor into the situation, today I am sharing some of the perks of being over 50…

  • Your secrets are safe with your friends because they don’t remember them anyway.
  • You sing along with elevator music.
  • You have a party and the neighbors don’t even realize it.
  • People call after 9 and ask if you were still up.
  • There’s not much left to learn the hard way.
  • You no longer view speed limits as a challenge.
  • The gleam in your eye is from the sun hitting your bifocals.
  • You look forward to a dull evening.
  • You send money to PBS.
  • You wear black socks with sandals.
  • When you bend over to tie your shoes, you look for something else to do while you’re down there.
  • You start sentences with, “when I was young”.

It might be a little frustrating that we can’t do the things as easily as we once were able to, but the good thing about getting older is getting older.  The alternative isn’t so great.

Off to find the Ben-Gay.  Oh yes, one more…you can say Ben-Gay without laughing.



It’s not uncommon to see ads in print and on television that regale us with dramatic “before and after” stories. Those exciting shows about weight loss transformations – all wrapped up in an hour or so.  Everyone loves the “after”…no one talks about “during”.

The hardest time of any process is “during”.  We all want to get to the end and have the hard work behind us, the problem is that we must go through the trials and tribulations to reach the glory side of things.

We are currently living in the midst of mud.  We purchased a cute little bungalow in the winter when all the blemishes of the landscape were covered with a blanket of white, sparkly snow.  Well, the snow has since melted and we are left with mud.

There are a lot of great analogies in this story, but the one that really sticks out in my mind is the way we forget the “during” part.   It’s why women give birth to more than one child – it’s actually the only way, in my humble opinion.  We need to dwell on the positives of live and move on to the next challenge with determination and a, somewhat, revisionist history of how hard things previously were.

So as we begin this transformation, don’t be surprised to hear a lot about mud and rocks and bricks and sod.  I apologize in advance but I’m giving you fair warning.

I’m awaiting the rumble of trucks to deliver the bobcat and the rocks and sand – while I do, here’s a good before.  I’m actually looking forward to the “during”.