We had a very nice Memorial Day, albeit a slightly damp one. We started off the day right by going to the flag raising ceremony and pancake breakfast at church. I love flag raising ceremonies and the reverent reflection with my hand over my heart about the sacrifices that have been made to give us the freedoms we enjoy.
We headed straight from the flag raising and breakfast to the cemetery where Paul's grandpa is buried so that we could decorate it with flowers. He died a little more than a year before Paul was born so Paul never knew him but Paul still talks about how it was his grandpa who got him interested in fly-fishing because Paul found his grandpa's old fly-fishing rods in his grandma's garage. Paul's grandpa was a weatherman for the army during WWII and contracted polio which left him in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
Every Memorial Day the cemetery has a full brass band that performs patriotic songs and does a little program. Clara got a little flag to wave and a balloon, which she released into the air and watched until it was no more than a speck in the murky sky overhead. She wasn't sad about letting go of the balloon - she totally did it on purpose after having seen another balloon heading heavenward and happily called "bye-bye, balloon!" as it drifted up.
We waited in line to get Clara's face painted but when it actually came down to it Clara totally chickened out. She let the lady paint one little white line down the side of her cheek (she was going to get a star) and then bolted. Maybe next year. Oh, and I not-so-secretly love when we all dress patriotically.
Unfortunately, Paul had some work come up so he spent a good part of the afternoon working. So Clara and I went shopping for groceries and baked cookies. Clara kept demanding "more raining!" as we were out running our errands because she liked going from the car to the store and tilting her face up to the sky to get splattered and she wanted more time to get wet. We baked M&M cookies to take to a little cookout put on by our friends and neighbors around the corner and Clara liked watching them bake in the oven.
The cookies were very yummy, but Clara mostly just wanted to pick through them to pull out the M&Ms. Funny girl. She stayed up until way past her bedtime because the friends whose house we were at have a trampoline and a sandbox and she and the other kids were having so much fun playing that everybody lingered until it started getting legitimately dark.