Memorial Day is an odd holiday with conflicting purposes. The day itself is intended to be a time to reflect on those military men and women who died in the service of our country. Yet it is also the unofficial beginning of the summer, an anchor holiday to open the season, with Labor Day as the close in September. It makes perfect sense to greet people with “Happy Memorial Day” but when you really think about it, the point of the day is not happy.
Soldiers fight our wars. Inevitably many of them die so we ultimately can live free. At my core I believe all war is wrong but I do understand its purpose and I certainly benefit from it. Those contradictory beliefs are as complicated as the dual celebratory nature of Memorial Day.
My job dominates my life so it is actually odd for me to contemplate a three-day weekend. It is Friday night as I write this, I am drinking wine and picturing the rest of my weekend. Tomorrow afternoon I’ll be at a co-worker’s housewarming party, tomorrow night I’ll be back home in the house I so desperately want to move out of. All day and night Sunday and Monday, I’ll be working on straightening things out in my parts of the house and boxing up some of the things that won’t be in dispute in the coming “negotiations”. That’s all I’ll say about that here, but if you know me you know what I’m talking about. I’ll probably have to mow the front lawn too, maybe on Sunday.
The weather here for the next few days will be hot (in the 90s) and humid, typical summer weather here. My shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops are ready to be worn. Because of my recent medical crap, I’m not in the great shape I was in a few months ago, but I’m slowly working my way back toward summer-ready physique. I won’t have much of a tan this year, partly because of my skin cancer episode last year; trying to be more cautious.
This ‘beginning of summer’ weekend helps me to focus on some likely activity for the next few months. I plan to be moving to another address. One or two friends who live away from here might visit. I hope to visit my cousin in Virginia Beach again, maybe in August. There are several concerts on my agenda between now and September including Miranda Lambert, Coldplay, Kenny Chesney and possibly Dave Matthews. Using Memorial Day as the front anchor for my summer, there is a chance that by the season’s end I might have some pleasant memories to reflect on, so that Labor Day will also be a sort of memorial day but in a different context.
So that’s my holiday. What is on your agenda? The best appropriate greeting I can leave you with is this: have a safe memorial Day Weekend.