Tuesday, May 29, 2012

"A Memorial Day to Remember"

We stay home on Memorial Day and the holiday weekend that goes along with it; and yet, we travel back in time or so it seems.

A small group of us got started on Saturday morning by placing flags on all the soldiers graves in our biggest cemetery which is a couple miles out in the country. Instead of rushing, we stroll along and take time to remember those who have served as protectors of our freedom. We have fallen soldiers from WWI, WWII, Korean Conflict, Vietnam, and more recent Middle East wars. This simple act of placing a flag in a holder transforms an otherwise plain country resting place into a colorful and patriotic symbol of honor. These soldiers would like it this way.
After that, we go to 4 more local cemeteries within a 10 mile radius and do the same for those soldiers. They are rural and small but are peaceful and nice places to be laid to rest.
And then otherwise we have a normal weekend like most folks do. 
But on Monday (which is the actual Memorial Day observance) we host a party at our home each year. By then most of our friends are ready to get together and visit. Mrs PF and her sister love to cook and entertain and have good organizational skills which doesn't hurt anything. It doesn't take long before the sandy street alongside our home is transformed into an antique car show since alot of our friends are into that hobby like we are.
Not too many years ago, the Catholic Church across the street from us built a new parish hall that we often use for events like this. Having a big room with kitchen and restrooms and climate control is a real luxury in our little town of 400 friendly folks and we appreciate it. 
Things got started at noon or so with a "happy hour" where liquid refreshments and appetizers were enjoyed. Some of us rode my motorized bikes and acted like kids. Or at least, I did...

And right as planned we went inside the Parish Hall for a grand meal of roasted pork loins with and without sauerkraut. There were a great assortment of side dishes that many of the guests had brought with them. Everything tasted good and we were hungry. The good attitudes and happy faces made for good conversation and easy visiting.

And while the guests were eating, I stepped outside to take some car photos. Imagine going to a car show without leaving home---I am lucky.

After we ate, it was time to saddle up and cruise up Main St. and fall in line for the annual PF Memorial Day parade. I call it the ghost parade. Just us folks on an empty downtown street with no spectators except for a handful of passersby wondering what is going on...,

The "Grand Marshalls" this year were my friends "the Ecks" from Beloit, KS which is about 1.5 hours away from here. We also had guests from Texas, Missouri, and Nebraska as well as Kansas.
After this long parade of 3-4 blocks, it was time to eat dessert. The girls did not disappoint us and had homemade ice cream of vanilla, strawberry, root beer, coconut, and rum raisen varieties.
There was cake, brownies, cookies, and pies as well.

 This sure was a good way to help us "keep our strength up" and was enjoyed by all.
And afterwards, I had made a "key to the city" which our mayor Gary (my friend and neighbor across the street) presented to my friends from Nebraska (Lincoln and Omaha) to welcome them here. He (on the left) was assisted by Mrs. PF who is shown here on the right. He told them this key would unlock the doors of happiness and I hope it did.
I posed with one of the Nebraska gals in front of the iconic PF limo which sadly was used for display only this time as it awaits a new engine transplant that will happen soon.
This is Donita who I refer to as former "Miss Nebraska"
and not to be left out was her pretty sister-in-law Marilyn who I later awarded "Best Pie Baker" in reference to the scrumptious rhubarb pie she had brought us.
 After this, most of the guests stayed and enjoyed the nice weather on our lawn drinking cold liquid refreshments and telling stories. Here is a photo of the men but I must have not taken one of the women.
And somewhere along about 7 pm or so we realized we hadn't had anything to eat for a few hours so the girls whipped up some pork sandwiches and leftover side salads and it was good. Amazingly we were hungry still...
By this time, most folks were leaving and a few of us locals went back to the 5 cemeteries to pick up the flags we had left on Saturday. By 9 pm the day was done and we were relaxing and thinking what a good day it had been.
So, that wraps up this year's event and I think we should do it again next year. Thanks for coming along for this report of the antic of Poverty Flats where the fun is simple, the food is good, and the smiles are plenty....

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