I’m not sure how many years ago my mom began what has become a Memorial Day institution. For at least ten years, maybe more, our family and the families of my dad’s three sisters all convene at my parents’ home the Saturday afternoon before the Monday holiday. My parents have a screened-in house we call the “pond house” and we gather there for BBQ and hamburgers and hot dogs and my Aunt Gloria’s fried pies, yes and amen.
There is a pond, hence the “pond house” designation, and when there is water (not always a given in south Alabama) the kids swim and take a turn with the pedal boat. My dad also constructs a giant homemade slip-n-slide with several yards of black plastic, a couple of sprinklers, and enough liquid soap to insure the slip portion of the slide. There is usually a baseball game going on in the front yard and the evening concludes with roasting marshmallows and eating s’mores. This year my son brought his banjo so we enjoyed a little picking and grinning as the sun settled.
It’s great fun. I am reminded every year of the bond of family and I am grateful for it. It’s the only time of year the extended family as a whole is together. Those who live close see each other often and that is awesome. A few of us, me and my family included, live away so we are glad for these May get-togethers whereby we can catch up and exclaim how grown all the children are becoming. Of course we ourselves are getting older too but we don’t like to go there.
Family. Faith. Freedom. I think on these things each Memorial Day and I am humbled and thankful for the Lord’s gracious gift of each.