Where I live (southern MN) we had a series of about fifteen years when it rained every Memorial Day weekend. Then by the time we’d packed up and gone home the sun would come out on Monday and shine beautifully. Finally we got out of the habit of making plans for the holiday.
Since we are now retired we can travel any time we want and also avoid the holiday crowds and prices.
We will do the usual: visit the cemetaries in southern MN and northern IA where our loved ones are buried and decorate their graves. Then we’ll attend a Veteran’s memorial ceremony.
After that we’ll probably have some friends over for hamburgers on the grill.
Here in Australia, we are just starting the Anzac Day weekend, since Anzac Day is on a Friday this year. (Anzac Day is probably the best equivalent to Memorial Day, but it’s always on 25th April, so usually it doesn’t produce a long weekend.) The most exciting thing my wife & I will be doing is looking after our grandsons, since our daughter and son-in-law (both high-school teachers) will be doing some work getting ready for second term, which starts on Monday. Having a one-year-old and a three-year-old around would be too distracting for them.
But, like Tethered Kite, since we are retired, we find long weekends are times to avoid going away now.
I think since I got out of college, there have only been 3 or 4 years of my life in which I had a M-F job with normal weekends off, so I have pretty much gotten out of the habit of thinking of public holidays as harbingers of anything worth looking forward to. Now that I’m retired, they are just days on which I can’t do what I might need or want to do.
For the past 10 years:
Saturday, putting flags on the graves of Veterans at a local cemetery, then lunch at Watsons Drug Store in Orange, CA.
Monday, ceremony at the same cemetery, with the parade of state flags. Great ceremony, typically has a flyover, etc.
It all feels like 1950s America (the good part - drug store malted milkshakes, veterans, etc.).
Last year we took my nieces to the local parade and met some of my friends and their kids there and it was good fun. We point out all of the veterans and tell the girls they are “grampy’s friends” (dad is a Vietnam vet).
I didn’t make it to the cemetery ceremony because I had just lost my grandpa and I wouldn’t have made it through.
This year we’ll probably do the same, and also visit my grandma as the 27th is grandpa’s birthday. I guess everyone will want to go to the cemetery where he is buried but I don’t know.
First thing on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday mornings, I’ll hang the flag out on the front porch. We’re supposed to have beautiful weather, and we’ll probably work out in the yard.
At some point, I’ll fire up the smoker. I’ve got two, nice chickens that I want to toss in there, as well as a turkey. I suppose I’ll find some sort of ‘real meat’ to toss in, as well. Either beef, or pork. You can never have enough smoked meat, you know! I’ll probably cook up some baked potatoes, and corn on the cob, on the grill, to go with it all. We may, or may not, invite the in-laws over to eat with us. I think we will, though. They’re fantastic folks!
As in every year, I eagerly await the Greatest Comedy Show on earth. In my part of the world, Saturday is the day that Bubba and Chester pull their ignored and unmaintained boats out of the back yard and head for the launch ramp. Their entire preparation for this event seems limited to filling a cooler. Nary a thought is given to vests, boat condition, batteries, ropes, anchors or any of those pesky details that interfere with their drunken march to the water. And it is hilarious.
I’ve staked out a good spot next to the busiest public ramp in my area, and I will be anchored and ready by 9:00 am. As always, we will (quietly) give awards in the categories of Best Backer-Upper, Best Spousal Argument, Best Acting Performance in the “Where’s the DRAIN PLUG?” event, Best Docking Attempt, and after they’re all exhausted and sunburned in the afternoon, we’ll award Best in Show.
For those of us who boat year-round, Memorial Day Weekend is bittersweet. It’s the beginning of the Parade of Fools (which if fun to watch) but also means the water belongs to the yahoos for the next 3 months.