A Day With Jr.

Today Tracy and I will be taking our Grandson, Junior, to Tracy's company picnic. This will be the very first time that we will have taken one of our grandsons on even a short trip anywhere. For me it's even more of a first since I've never done anything like this before.I know he's my GRANDSON, but I received all of my kids nearly fully grown. Junior is only 5. He's a great kid and I'm sure I will be fine, but I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little nervous. All of my experience with small kids has either been in the confines of a classroom or my own home. Tracy and Kristie will both be there of course, but as "Grandpa" I should be able to hold my own. I will know soon enough.

Shopping Time!

It's that time of the week again, shopping day. I even volunteered to come along this time. Apparently I had a momentary pang of guilt because I don't always tag along. I think we are only doing Target, so not too bad. I know I'm horrible, but I've never enjoyed grocery shopping. I know it must be done, but it's not a thrill for me, just a chore.

I do though enjoy being with Tracy, no matter what the task. So that makes the adventure one I do like.

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Big Family Dinner & Reunion

In honor of my mom coming all the way from Whidbey Island, Washington, the entire extended family (14 members from my side) got together for dinner at a local Chinese Buffet in Frisco. First though we all met at my uncle’s house for drinks, hors d’oeuvres and catching up. Once the family had gathered together we piled into the family bus. It’s a long story, but basically one of our younger members has a small bus that he has fixed up and uses at college to shuttle party goers to and from 6th street in Austin. The bus shuttled us to a local restaurant in relative comfort and lots of gabbing.

We all had a wonderful dinner at The Great Wall of China Buffet. Everyone chatted, continuing to catch up with one another. Mom with everyone and my sub-set with most as we only get to see most of them a few times a year. Good times to be sure.

After dinner it was back on the bus, a little wetter due to a sudden summer rain, and back to my uncle’s house for desert and some Mavericks action - GO MAVS!! Soon we all had to go our separate ways as another work day is quickly creeping around the corner.

Mom heads up to Tulsa for several days on Thursday, returning on Sunday. Then come Monday I have to take her to DFW and her return flight to Seattle.

Soon though my brother and his family will be traveling down this way on their vacation. So it will be one family reunion after another during Summer 2011.

Memorial Day - Give Thanks

US FlagToday we celebrate our fighting men and women who gave their lives in service of their country. There is no greater sacrifice and therefore no greaterhonor that can be bestowed upon them beyond remembering their sacrifices as we have done since the end of the Civil War.  A bit of a history note, I looked up the start of Memorial Day, once known as Decoration Day, and was not surprised to see it dates back to the Civil War. I was surprised to see how it began. According to Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/mnUiOm) Memorial Day was begun back on May 1st, 1865 by freedmen (freed slaves) in Charleston, South Carolina to honor Union soldiers buried at what we know today as Hampton Park.

These freed slaves had exhumed Union soldiers buried in a mass grave at the site of a Confederate prison camp for captured union soldiers. They reinterred them in individual graves at that site, then built a fence and an entry arch declaring it a Union graveyard. On May 1st 10,000 mostly black residents of Charleston went to the new cemetery to participate in songs, speeches and picnic.

On May 5th of 1868 General John A. Logan, commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, issue a proclamation that "Decoration Day" should be observed nationwide on May 30th. That date was chosen because it was not the anniversary of any particular battle.

Events were held in 183 cemeteries in 27 states that same year. These events were sponsored by The Women's Relief Core, which at the time was 100,000 strong.

In 1871 Michigan was the first state to make "Decoration Day" a state holiday. By 1890 every northern state had followed suit.

The name "Decoration Day" continued to be used for many years, but slowly "Memorial Day" began to be favored. After World War II it became the preferred name for the holiday.

The nation would continue to celebrate the Holiday on May 30th until 1971 when "The Uniform Holidays" bill took affect moving 4 national holidays from their date based observance to a Monday observance making four 3-day holidays. Memorial Day became the last Monday of May.

Today we celebrate Memorial Day in many ways, most concern the welcoming of summer and not our fallen heroes. A few somber traditions continue. For example veterans across America place flags on graves of soldiers at national cemeteries. There is also a national moment of silence at 3:00 pm local time. Finally many fly flags at half-mast from dawn until noon.

It doesn't truly matter how we honor those that gave so much, as long as we do honor them with our thoughts and prayers. We should also honor the living heroes of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, National Guard and Coast Guard. All currently serving are dedicated to keeping the freedom our forbarers secured with so much blood, sweat and tears.

Our nation remains a better place because of the sacrifices made by all of them yesterday and today as wells as the sacrifices yet to be made tomorrow.