In this photo, I'm probably in first grade and my sister is in kindergarten, and the babies are my now-grown cousins. We're all gathered around my Grandma Churchill whose farm near Mansfield, Missouri, we loved visiting over the summer.
Leading up to Memorial Day, my mom and my Aunt Diana would plan their plastic flower hunt and hit the TG&Y, Ben Franklin and Mini Mart to find the best buy on forever-blooming roses, daisies and daffodils. And then we'd load up the car with all of our plucked plastic and take them to Grandma's house for a weekend where we'd decorate the graves of long-gone relatives and family friends.
Many of the graveyards we visited were practically hidden from view. Some, we'd drive up a gravel road as close as we could, but then walk the rest of the way up a hill along a winding, brier marked path, toting our plastic wreathes and sprays with us in plastic shopping bags. Once we reached our destination, we'd clean the graves and re-distribute old flowers that still had color left in them to sites that seemed lonely and forgotten. I loved hearing the old stories of people I'd never met, and walking over the moist grass to visit people whose names I'd never heard.
Grandma Churchill knew everybody, and everybody knew her, whether she was grocery shopping at Town & Country or visiting a neighboring church's revival. Why, she even treated complete strangers as if they were long-lost pals. I remember hearing a story once of how Grandma thought she spotted a friend in a store and walked up behind the woman and pinched her on the arm! But when the pinching victim turned around, Grandma realized that she'd never seen the woman before. I don't know exactly what ensued, but I do know that when she retold the story, she could hardly tell the tale without bursting out chuckling half-way through it! And when Grandma got tickled, the laughing was contagious.
On this Memorial Day, I wish you many warm memories filled with comfort and cheer.
Always Frugal, Always Fabulous!
The Elegant Thrifter