Another Memorial Weekend is about to come to a close.  I was traveling on business throughout this week and did not return home until Saturday afternoon.  Our usual Memorial Day plans involve gathering family and friends for an outdoor barbecue, but because of the shortened weekend due to my travels, my husband and I agreed not to make any plans this time around.  What is surprising is that I stuck to the promise.

This was the quietest Memorial Day Weekend I have ever spent.  I admit, I missed the hustle and bustle of the traditional backyard gatherings.  Never again will I make plans to “have no plans” on Memorial Day.  It was a nice weekend, but not the joyous weekend it could have been.  Yes, I was tired… but a nap and one good nights rest took care of that and besides, nothing brings energy and zest back to a weary body like the laughter and hugs of people we love and care about.

Some think that the meaning of Memorial Day has been lost of special retail events and the anticipation of the weekend backyard cookouts.  I tend to be a bit tired of the Memorial Day Sales pitches that bombard us all during the weekend, but the backyard cookouts with family and friends…not at all!  As I have had plenty of time to reflect on this over the last few days, I  believe that gathering in the backyard with friends and family is a great way to spend Memorial Day.  What a wonderful expression of freedom, spending time in the beauty of our own yards with people we care about.  You can’t get much more American than that!

I am very grateful for the countless numbers of men and women who gave their lives in the fight for our freedom.  I thank God for them and paused today to honor them.  I believe all of our veterans smile at the thought of families and friends enjoying the freedom that is being celebrated in such a simple yet lovely way today.  I thought of this as I took a walk around our neighborhood with numerous flags displayed on freshly mowed lawns and  the smell of charcoal grills filling the air.  As I was walking, my cell rang.  It was my friend Karen inviting my husband and I over for a backyard cookout next Saturday.  Before I checked how hectic my upcoming week was or thought about how tired I may or not be by the weekend, I smiled and beamed “Yes, that sounds perfect, thank you!”