Growing up, every Memorial Day weekend my family would drive 3.5 hours to visit Neola, is a tiny town in eastern Utah where my dad was born and some of my family still lives. We’d spend time visiting the remote, peaceful cemetary where a lot of his family rests and watch as veterans in their 70s, 80s and 90s fired shots to honor other servicemen. After the shots, a veteran would play taps on a trumpet.
[my brother posted this picture on facebook from today's service and then texted me after seeing my post to let me know he had a picture to go with my blog post! thanks Jack!]
We’d go to the morning service at the cemetery, then visit another very, very small cemetery that you wouldn’t know existed if it didn’t have significance to you. Afterwards, we’d head back to my favorite cousin’s house (sup Jeana!) for lunch as a family.
As I get older, not only am I grateful for the memories with my family but also for the servicemen who came to that cemetery every year as they aged to honor the men and women who have since served and are currently serving. It was truly a beautiful Memorial Day service and I’m so grateful that I was able to do that with my family. I took it for granted as a child and teenager but as I reflect on it, I realize what a unique and special experience it was.
I wasn’t with my family this year but I still had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. On Saturday night, I had homemade mojitos (thanks Liz!) and a dance party with a couple friends. It was a blast. I don’t really like crowded bars (and I’ve never been to a club) but I love dancing so we had a good time on their patio.
Today I was feeling really homesick for the Utah mountains, so I headed up to the NC mountains with the pup and some friends. We stopped for lunch at a Boone Bagelry – they have their dough shipped from family in New York. Holy crap, best bagels of my life. The owner swears it’s the water in NYC that makes them so good. We sat on the patio and Maizey was loved on by every customer that came by. She’s so sweet.
Then we headed a little further up the mountain. I lathered up in sunscreen, kicked off my kicks and listened to the river as I read Jane Eyre. (Anna, I’m not even close to being done. Can I still come to book club? )
After exploring the river bed a bit, we headed over to a quiet lake and snacked on some crackers + hummus, fresh fruit, and kombucha.
The only other thing I needed to make this weekend 100% perfect was if my family were here. But I’m very grateful for my North Carolina friends who have become my family here. I’m a lucky gal.