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Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day 2015

Ohio Veterans Home, Sandusky, Ohio
Memorial Day, originally Decoration Day, was started in 1865 to decorate the graves of Civil War soldiers who died in battle. In 1888, the Ohio Veterans Home was opened in Sandusky to care for all Ohio Civil War veterans and has been in continuous operation since that date. Presently, there are 1,963 graves on the property and the photo above captures just a small area of the cemetery.  

Ron is often at the Veterans Home under auspices of Stein Hospice where he works as an RN assigned to the Honor Our Veterans program. He distributes to veterans in hospice,  a pin and a blanket from their branch of service, a certificate of appreciation and recognition of their service, and arranges an honor guard escort upon their death. He has heard many stories of war experiences never recorded or discussed before and of course, has promised to keep all such discussions in confidence if so requested by the veteran.  

Memorial Day is also the unofficial start of summer. Sometimes cool and rainy, this year it was warm and sunny and the perfect weather for outdoor picnics and other summertime pursuits. It is also the time when you can start wearing white linen pants, and white shoes-if you dare.

Rhubarb pie cooling in picnic basket in kitchen
Memorial Day weekend is also a time to have traditional picnic food, including homemade pies. Our neighbor brought over 7 stalks of freshly cut rhubarb from his garden. My mom used to make a rhubarb pie for my birthday (June 13) every year. I decided to give it a try myself-a few weeks early!

Most of you know I am a  cook/baker with very limited skills and even less interest in the entire subject matter. However, every once in a while I try to rise to the occasion and this was one of those rare times.

We have a fabulous Hoosier kitchen cabinet where all of the baking stuff is stored, so, it was fairly easy for me to locate my mom's recipe, get out the ingredients, bake ware, and utensils. I was just ready to start when I discovered we had no eggs. So, off to the local convenience store I went. You can't buy just one egg, which is all that I needed.  And the clerk absentmindedly rang up the sale for a six pack of beer, which is what she had been selling all day. She also seemed disappointed I didn't buy a lottery ticket or a pack of cigarettes!

Rhubarb, sugar, egg mixture

Front yard ready for Memorial Day

We spent most of the long weekend setting up the furniture on both front and back porches, finishing weeding and mulching, and planting window boxes, pots, and  arranging various garden "features." One night, I silently counted eleven areas that ached with arthritis pain and decided this might be my first and  last year for hands on gardening, so to speak.  Thank goodness we just have a small city lot and not an acreage!

Ron's at the grill, preparing hamburgers for him and a veggie hot dog for me. We having my  mom's potato salad for both of us and her rhubarb pie for dessert!  Yep, the gardens look great and the pie episode ended with success. We missed spending a weekend at the campground, but, loved our time in our little city oasis.