Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ramblings - Memories, Summer, and a Touch of Patriotism

With Memorial Day Weekend upcoming, I've been getting in a better and better mood. The unofficial start of summer is upon us, and that makes me extremely happy. I always joke that I live in the wrong state because I hate winter, nothing about it makes me happy anymore. I will fully admit that I think every kid should grow up in a state that has bountiful snowfall. There is nothing more fun than bundling up, meeting your friends at the biggest hill you can find, and sledding all day, getting into snowball fights, and building snow forts. In fact, winter created some of my fondest recess memories.

First there was playing tackle football in the snow. Tackle football was not allowed, but, we would always play until we got yelled at, play touch for a while, then go back to tackle. I remember in about 6 inches of snow having my boot pulled off, then running the entire distance of the field scoring a touchdown and in turn getting one wet sock which made for an uncomfortable rest of the day.

Then there was the sledding, who could go the fastest, the farthest, stand up the longest, etc...I thank god that I grew up in the hilly part of the state (The Driftless Area), for hills were aplenty.

We always would tunnel the parking lot snow pile. Why, I don't know, but it was fun. Though seems kind of dangerous now as us elementary kids were no engineers, and I suppose a collapse was always possible.

Then, there were the snow forts. In 2nd grade, we wanted to make the biggest snow fort possible, we would spend all recess hour rolling one or two balls to make up the wall, it would take 3 or 4 of us to eventually roll the behemoth into place. After a week or so, we had our gigantic snow fort. It was, of course, boys only. Then a classmate, Megan, claimed she was kicked out of the girl's fort and wanted in to ours. Well, just as grown men are, even 2nd grade boys are susceptible to 'women tricks'. We trusted her, gave her the secret password, she played along for a day or two, but then told all the other girls what the password was. Before long, all the girls knew the password and then we had to attack to defend our turf with a good old fashioned snow ball fight.

BUT, that was the past. These days, I would rather not deal with the cold. I can have fun still, sure, but would much rather be out on a lake drinking a brewski or two. In fact, chillin' with nature on a hot summer day is definitely one of my favorite things to do.

I am doing a lot of fun stuff this summer. Going to Cleveland and Denver, many Brewer games...but what I am most looking forward to is heading up north camping in July. Last year we got a little wet, so this year, we went with a cabin right off of a lake in Eagle River. Should be a blast. To me, sitting around a campfire at night, telling stories with your friends under the stars and over drinks is pretty much heaven.

Speaking of sitting on lakes and nature, I just realized it has been a long time since I have seen the ocean. At my old job, I was at least once a month sitting on a beach watching the waves. This sort of saddens me as it was always a relaxing experience. In fact, the last time I saw the ocean was last summer in Maine....and with no ocean trips planned this year, likely won't be until next year...sad face.

To finish this rambling, I just want to say that while we often in this country bicker about things such as politics, we are all striving for the same things. While though it might seem we are divided on how we want to obtain what we all want to achieve, we always come together, be it for a time of crisis or just to share a laugh during a barbecue on Memorial Day....this ability to come together is certainly, uniquely, American. Now, as I was driving to work today, a song I have been listening to a lot lately came on my iPod, and since I was taking in the sights and smells of the back roads with the now green scenery, I literally had a big smile, filled to the brim with patriotism, the video is posted below, and while it is a country song, it fits this Great Nation, especially for an upcoming Memorial Day Holiday. So I want to leave you with this thought...please, while celebrating your holiday, be it barbecuing, tailgating, camping, or just relaxing at home...take a second to think of the purpose of Memorial Day, to honor those who have fallen, past and present, to help defend this Nation, so we can have the freedom to enjoy the activities that we choose to do in our lives.

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