Monday, May 26, 2008

Decoration Day

Memorial Day, but my mother and family called it Decoration Day.

We always knew we would see my uncle Buto (Bruno), mother's brother, as this time of year he would travel back home from Washington, DC to decorate the graves, not just for those who had served in the military and died, but those of family members. It was a time to honor those who had impacted our lives, loved ones, by visiting the cemetery and placing flowers and wreathes upon their graves.

I always looked forward to his visit and especially if my two other uncles, Whitey (Michael) and Willie (William), chose to come home. All of them returning at the same time was not a frequent occurrence, but when any of them did arrive, my grandmother would cook one of their favorite Lithuanian meals.

She would put on her best homemade dress and wide-brimmed hat, and someone would drive her to the grounds so she could visit one of her daughters who had been taken at a much too early age. Regardless of which of the families came, it was an exceptionally joyous time as we would gather in the basement kitchen; Uncle Tony, who lived at home, played the harmonica; everyone sang the Lithuanian songs, and while Uncle Bruno was especially gifted as a wonderful Tenor, all voices were to be heard.

Although the distance is too great to travel to the place of rest for uncles Bruno, Whitey, and Tony, my grandmother Tekla and especially my mother Roze, I honor each of them as a wonderful influence on my life and thank Uncle Bruno for his military service to our country.

The Day's Color

The vibrancy is everywhere: several of the Rhododendrons have faded but others are in full bloom as are the Siberian and Bearded Iris.The purple Allium. . .

anthriscus, coral bells, weigela. . . golden barberry and Viburnum 'mariesii' (with its lovely white doublefile blossom which lies atop the horizontally prone branching). . .

clematis, the old-fashioned Rosa Rugosa, and the banana plant (beginning its emergence from beneath the Geranium 'Johnson's Blue),

... each stunningly complementing the other and offering such abundance of joy and color, striking golden poses as with this Laburnum.

The Dogwood is about to revel with its months of continual display. . . but that for another day as it is time for breakfast.

Make your day a blossoming one, and honor those who are so special in your life.