Early in the morning, we'd make bouquets from flowers blooming in our large yard in Mason jars. These were created to place at the headstones of family members--grandparents, brothers, sisters, great-grandparents, nieces and nephews.
With flower-filled jars placed in boxes and a whicker basket full of fried chicken, potato salad chilled in a jar, pickled eggs, sliced cheddar cheese, pies--both apple and blueberry, we'd take off to town 1/2 hour away to attend the short Memorial Day parade.
After the parade, we drove to four different cemeteries to place the jars in front of headstones. Then came the guessing game of who'd brought which bouquet. My mother would sneer with disdain. "Look, I bet those are flowers from a store."
Once all our home-grown arrangements were delivered, we'd go for a long drive. Gas was 26 cents a gallon at the time and we had a '54 Chevy. We'd drive for what seemed like an hour or more to a church in the country or a field. We'd crawl over the fence if there was one and Dad would carry the filled basket of food. Mom, the igloo cooler of homemade lemonade, in which she always added a half-cup of vinegar to make us pucker. After all, our thirst couldn't be quenched until we puckered. A recipe handed down from German great-grandmas.
We'd find just the right spot to spread the starched and ironed tablecloth. We'd eat until we couldn't swallow another bite. Dad would stretch out and nap on the grass. Mother would tell me stories until she fell asleep. Then I'd sit under a shade tree and make-up stories of my own. Now, I'm still making up stories.