Getting started

Memorial Day 2013 – A doughboy plays taps – Aisnes-Marne American Cemetery, Belleau, France photo courtesy of Aisnes-Marne American Cemetery Facebook page

This is a bittersweet time for me. The beginning of summer always is. It is a feeling of relief and joy and uncertainty mixed into one. This should be day 2 of summer vacation. It is day 2 of summer, meteorological summer, that is. Celestial summer will arrive just after midnight June 21st and we’ll have our peak daylight. But, for now I have three days remaining before summer really begins for me.

We had a snow day in March and two flood days in April that threw a wrench in the school calendar and thus mine. It has been a rainy spring, which is nice because last year we had little rain and the fall fruit and harvest was dismal at best around our parts. Friday was warm and muggy, you could feel the energy in the air and Saturday was overcast with afternoon rain. We’ve been spared violent weather thankfully, but we had a spectacular lightning show last Tuesday evening and rain almost every day for the past week.

This morning I crawled out of bed and as I got dressed, Ivy met me upstairs to greet me and let me know it was time. She raced down the stairs and I followed, first to the coffee maker and then the back door for her. We got the paper together and she curled up next to me on the couch as I read the Sunday paper.

My mind has been a jumble of thoughts the past week or so, the coming of the end of the year and arrival of summer – real and vacation, always bring me back to memories of family, especially my dad. It is also a three-year anniversary of MakingtheDaysCount dot org (or com). I began blogging just over three years ago. The anniversary fell mid-week and I just don’t have time, or I don’t make time to blog in the middle of the week. Another anniversary is coming this week, too – the fourth anniversary of my dad’s accident and illness.

The past week, and the week prior, I thought of dad, my father-in-law, and countless others who put their lives on hold for a moment and served America. The week before Memorial weekend, I asked my students why they had a three-day weekend coming, and a few knew, buy many didn’t. I knew why and I spent the Friday before Memorial Day asking my students to watch a parade and take time out to remember our fallen soldiers.

In 1997, a time long ago and far away – the time before kids, B and I visited my dad and Julie who were living near Paris. While we were there, we drove to west to Normandy for a day trip and then east to Belleau and the Aisnes-Marne American Cemetery. It was a beautiful day sunny, bright, and clear. The kind of day when the lawn is a deep green, the sky blue, the flowers bursting with color, the sun warm on your skin, but not hot, a light breeze in the air to break the stillness – the kind of day it should always be. It should be peaceful – it is the final resting place for over two thousand American Marines, each marked with a white marble cross and arrayed in neat symmetrical rows and columns. In 2010, I came back with dad and Julie and Warren, David, Trish, and others. It was the same kind of day except dad stayed and we came home and back to our lives. Every year about his time, my mind wanders back to France and those crosses, that lawn, and the beauty of the day. I long to return and walk with my kids and hope they understand.

In 2010 when I launched, I never imagined I would keep with it for three years, even though I signed up for three years of domain and hosting. I am glad I did. In the three years, I have written and blogged I have grown in ways I never could have foreseen. I haven’t lost, or gained (thankfully) any weight and it is (once again) a summer goal.

With three days before summer, I have started my list summer goals. Health is on it – both physical and mental. It also has a hefty portion of domestic chores, but no summer camp with scouts. This summer brings seventy-four days of opportunity to grow, to relax, and spend time with family and it brings another summer to write and explore. Today is gonna be a great day, I know it. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, one memory, one step back and many forward.

Are you ready to step into summer?

photo courtesy of Aisnes-Marne American Cemetery Facebook page
Memorial Day 2013 – marble crosses marked with American and French flags – Aisnes-Marne American Cemetery, Belleau, France photo courtesy of Aisnes-Marne American Cemetery Facebook page


8 thoughts on “Getting started

  1. I’m happy to hear you’re still blogging after three years. I just passed my one-year anniversary a couple of weeks ago, though I was too tied up with other things to write about it. I am surprised by what I’ve learned in the year. I hope to still be here after three years. I hope you are still here, also.

    I love these photos. I cannot see rows of crosses like that without thinking of the lines from Flanders’ Field – where poppies grow between the crosses, row on row. . . .

    And, Yes! I am ready to step into summer!! It’s going to be a good one, I think.

    1. Flanders’ Field, indeed. The photos were taken at this year’s Memorial Day observance on Sunday – it is observed on Sunday in France. We were there in mid-June 2010 and as we drove through the fields to the cemetery we could see orange poppies growing alongside the rode – much like wild flowers grow flourish here. This year is the 95th anniversary of the battle of Chatteau-Thierry and Belleau Wood. It is an amazingly peaceful place and I longing to return to visit. Next time I want to spend more time than a visit and wander the graves and visit the nearby German cemetery.

      Three years goes by quickly, I can recall my baby steps and first posts, i go back and re-read occasionally. It is refreshing that finding writing topics is still as easy as it was three years ago. Keep writing, I enjoy your posts and thinking. Go summer!

  2. Wishing you a great summer. Very nice post about Memorial Day. I think most forget that it is a somber day set aside to reflect on those who bravely served our country and died while doing it.

    1. Thank you. I had wanted to write the post last week, but I ran out of time – between parenting and my other roles, writing took a back seat. My mind has been a million miles away in Flanders Fields and other places the past week. Writing today’s post and a couple of notes on Saturday was what I needed to do. Again, thanks and on to summer.

    1. Thanks for coming by, it sounds like both of our summers are off to a start – a good one at that. I mailed photos to my step-mom and a friend in France – they don’t have internet and won’t read the post -so I print and mail, the old fashioned way.

Thanks for visiting MtDC. How are YOU Making YOUR Days Count?