ANOTHER DAY IN THE COUNTRY:   Remembering Decoration Day

© Another Day in the Country

The Pecinovsky siblings were back in Ramona this year on their annual pilgrimage to all the cemeteries in this area. I don’t know anyone as religious as they are about tending to their relatives graves.

“We take the Marion Record,” they said, “even though we no longer live in Marion County and if you aren’t in there we wonder where you are.”

I had to chuckle because on the day after Memorial Weekend, that Tuesday morning when I was supposed to have sent in my column, guess where I was? I was having breakfast with the Pecinovskys and I was completely oblivious to the fact that my newspaper deadline was approaching.

Obviously I missed that deadline and the next one as well. There’s something about a “our-day weekend that just throws off my internal clock.

We did have a great Memorial Day weekend in Ramona. The weather cooperated with just the right amount of rain at the right times. The wind didn’t blow excessively, and the sun came out to warm our bodies while seeing loved ones back in town warmed our souls.

That Sunday, I reminded my sister that we hadn’t been out to the cemetery to decorate graves, yet. Where did the time go? We were having so much fun enjoying our cousins who’d come from Colorado that we’d completely forgotten about the reason for the season.

Within minutes, Jess had retrieved our “flower stash” from storage and we were standing in the middle of the kitchen putting together ribbon and bunches of flowers for what used to be called Decoration Day.

Once again, as we stood at the markers for our dearly departed, warm memories of the time spent with them flooded over us. This year we tied red ribbon around Aunt Naomi’s headstone with red roses attached. It was indeed a “showy” display and by the time her children all brought flowers to her grave, the site was a masterpiece of color. “She would have loved this,” I said to her daughter-in-law, Janet, from Lawrence.

When we got to Tony’s “front-row seat” at the Lutheran cemetery outside of Tampa, we left two bouquets because we had extra. The flags were flying at the entrance, snapping in the breeze with huge clouds rolling over this idyllic prairie vista — a beautiful sight on a lovely spring day. So beautiful I had to take a picture!

For 25 years I’ve been coming to the services out at Lewis Cemetery. I’m so grateful to the folk who choreograph this event for us. Year after year we greet each other, pausing a minute to acknowledge this brief span of time that we spend in one another’s company.

Two weeks have already passed since we stood together singing patriotic songs. The wind, with hurricane force whipped through town this week toppling trees and rearranging roofs. It really had fun with all the flowers at Lewis Cemetery.

Yesterday we set ourselves the task of retrieving Memorial Day flowers from off the fence, in the ditches, and out in the pasture. A lot can happen in just a week or two and life can change abruptly in a day or an hour.

All of the company has long ago gone home, back to their normal lives. We’re still picking up limbs and repairing things in Ramona, as they are in quite a few small towns in Marion County, thankful that we’re still here spending another day in the country.

 

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