Deer hunting season ended in this state recently. For some, this is the most important time of the year — often finishing within a few days of Thanksgiving.
Yum, yum — venison roast. (No, like beef, venison is best aged. Consider it for Christmas dinner — not Thanksgiving.)
Not all deer were in danger. Take this oversized fellow, for example.
Deer hunting season for this shiny fellow is spent indoors — my guess would be in warehouse storage. He’s a holiday special. Gets a person to slow down and take a look as they drive past on the street. Hey — look here! This motel and restaurant is in the holiday spirit.
I’ll give him the highest marks possible for gaining attention.
The music is playing in public spaces. Decorations of green and red with more twinkling lights than a person can count adorn trees and doors, and walls, lawns. Every retail outlet, large and small, urges you to buy, buy, buy.
Are you feeling overwhelmed?
I bring you bad news. It is twenty-two days to Christmas.
If you are hunting for a quiet, yet pretty space, to decompress from all the noise and advertising I may have found one.
This is from the Missouri Botanical Garden in 2017. The displays complimenting the trains change each year. Do a little research and find a public display you can enjoy at leisure.
In a few short days, citizens of the United States will pause and celebrate Thanksgiving.
How will you mark the day? Family? Feasting? Worship? Football? Walk in the park? Shopping?
During the seasons of my life, I’ve done most of the above. My parents often hosted friends and/or family for a feast after a worship service. Other years we were guests in another home. (Bring a side dish — hostess prepared the main course.) I’ve watched football games either before or after the feast. The walk in the park (or through the neighborhood) works off a few calories to make room for a second round of dessert.)
This year? Well, in recent years I’ve obtained videos and binge-watched mini-series or television shows. This does not mean I omit the feast. And working on a shopping list for early the next week is a necessary task. And give thanks for the many blessings — my home, the food in the cupboard, transportation in the parking spot, family scattered across the country, and a spot of color from a holiday plant.
Halloween. During my lifetime, the celebration has grown from school and after-school parties plus trick-or-treat into a month-long season of decorations and activities for all ages.
Little kids in cute costumes. Older children running down the street high on sugar and good fun. Adults hosting parties with food disguised as classic horror movie items. Midnight (or earlier) showings of scary movies.
A lot of time, money, and effort goes into some of the displays. I rather enjoyed this interpretation done a few years ago at the St. Louis Zoo.
Today, or this evening, is the beginning of the Memorial Day weekend in the United States. It is a time to remember and honor those who sacrificed for an idea, form of government, and human rights larger than themselves.
In recent years, I’ve come to view it as my dad’s holiday.
He was the combat veteran in the family. (Some of my uncles also — but they lived a distance away).
Every Memorial Day dad would join with the other members of the local American Legion post in the ceremonies to honor those who had gone before. They made sure every veteran’s grave had a small flag. Then in the morning, accompanied by the high school marching band, they visited each assigned cemetery. (Legion posts cooperated to cover the country cemeteries.) They stood in formation for a short prayer. Then two my two, they escorted young girls (and boy scouts) to each grave to lay a spray of evergreen with poppies. When the decorating was complete — they fired three volleys — and a lone bugle played “Taps”.
Later in the day there were speeches and food and lots and lots of visiting.
Father and daughter ready for the ceremonies.
Memorial Day celebrations have changed a little through the years in this small town. Fewer veterans are decorating more graves. The children dress more casual. The band is smaller. But the emotions in the families watching, waiting, listening to the volleys and shivering at “Taps” stays constant.