Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend...

As a kid growing up in the northeast, some of my fondest memories are of Memorial Day weekend. It marked the first barbecue of the summer. We usually went over to my grandmother's house, a duplex shared with my uncle, aunt and 3 cousins.

It was never a basic barbecue. Three women shopped and cooked for 3 days. Usual fare included sausage and peppers, potato salad, corn on the cob, pasta salad, baked beans, spareribs, chicken, steaks, some sort of seafood, sausage patties, and of course we couldn't have a get together without pasta and tomato sauce. We usually ate in the afternoon and then at night the hamburgers and hot dogs came out. Desserts were always plentiful and delicious, coolers were stocked with beer and soda and there was always the "drink Du jour"...Tom Collins, Fuzzy Navels, Pina Coladas, Sangria. If it rained, the men wheeled the barbecue into the garage and still grilled. The transistor radio was always on and tuned to the classic rock or pop channel. Except on 4th of July...patriotic music would be playing.

As time when on and we were able to drive, Memorial Day weekend became all about the first trip "down the shore". We always tried however, to go to the beach on Saturday or Sunday so we could be at the barbecue on Monday.

Eventually, we started bringing our boyfriends to the festivities. Soon I was married and living in Okinawa. One of the hardest transitions as a new bride was to NOT have my family around for holidays...even Memorial Day.

Now, after nearly 16 years of being married to a marine, Memorial Day has a deeper meaning. I still however, long for a grilled sausage patty, and my grandmother's ziti.

Thank you to all who serve.

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