Memorial Day: Some Traditions Aren't Meant to Be Broken

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Memorial Day's weather has never agreed with any plans I've had...unless those plans included an "inside-my-own-house" activity.  The weather always stinks.  Sure we have sun for fun on at least one of the first three days of the four day weekend.  But like death and taxes -- rain is, more often times than not, a guarantee on last Monday in May.

Qunicy asked me on Saturday if we could go to the pool on Memorial Day--Centennial Pool in Orland Park is our favorite destination every Summer.  The boy has been counting the days until opening day since Labor Day's closing last season.  Thanks to spring baseball games played at Centennial Park, we've witnessed the pool cleaning, filling, tube and chaise lounge arrivals, and the best sight for sore, tired from the winter eyes, was last week...lifeguard training.  The pool is ready--the only thing left to wait for is the calendar to signal the Memorial Day Holiday.

Now, please keep in mind that my caboose is in no way shape or form "swimsuit ready",  I've yet to renew our family pool membership, we need new beach towels and I've got some SPF 30 to buy as I threw out the sunscreen from last season when we moved.   I knew that there was no way we were heading to Fun Drive today--but I wasn't sharing my issues with the kid.  Instead, I told Quincy if the weather agreed--we'd head there--yeah, sure honey, sure we will.  Because I knew I had history on my side.  Come Monday--the skies would open and the rain would fall.  It's a Memorial Day tradition for as long as I can remember.

Today's steady rainfall was just the answer to my prayers, as well as validation to what I've said all along--the last Monday in May provides rainfall.  But, again, I chose not to waste this detail on the kid.  Instead, I used the rain falling today, just like the rain that usually falls on Good Friday, as an opportunity to teach a lesson.

If you ask me--and you better believe Quincy Q. Questions will, I think the rain falling on Memorial Day symbolizes all of Heaven's Angels and Saints weeping for our fallen soldiers...weeping for their ultimate sacrafice...tearing with joy at the freedom we experience all because of the selflessness of these wonderful heroes, and of course, weeping again because we clowns on Earth are taking the day off to hit up the mall for the latest and greatest sales...if you need anything from sandals to a king-sized-mattress...this is your weekend.

And, when thunder, strikes of lightning, gale-forced winds and the hail we witnessed earlier today is thrown into the mix, I've got an explanation for that too--that is Jesus adding an exclamation point to the complete advantage we summer seekers are taking of this solemn holiday.

Maybe you don't believe in Jesus--perhaps you ride on Allah's train--or you're a direct decendent of one of the life long sufferer's from Israel--maybe you don't believe in any one superior being--hey, I'll bet you believe in karma...and if you do, then look at it this way--today's thunderboomers were nothing more than karma biting us in the arse.

Don't believe me?  Why don't you ask the President.  Last week's news about the BP mess was peppered with info regarding the Big Guy's mini-vacay to Chicago (me thinks it was getting a bit hot in the current administration kitchen--and the guy was just looking for a quick escape).  Trust me Nation--no one is less excited about this trip than the people in Chicago Proper...it's bad enough every major inbound/outbound is down at least two lanes in each direction due to road work--a visit from the First Family means traffic like most mere mortals could never even begin to imagine.

And, like clockwork, the guy who built his presidency around the hope and change B.S. is at it again--now he's going to put a spin on the traditional laying of the wreath on the tomb of the unknowns--he's back to sniffing down the Abe Lincoln Trail. 

Emmulating the guy with the tall hat served him well during the election season--now, with his numbers steadily falling--the flack he's taking for the mess of BP it is BS if you ask him--and according to Dick Durbin--the King of Spin/Master of Manipulation--Abe Lincoln Cemetery is where the burial of our nation's soldiers began--a photo op at a cemetery bearing honest Abe's name seems the perfect opportunity to right himself before a nation that is all of the sudden doubting his ability to make a decision, while at the same time finding comfort for a bruised ego by coming back to a familiar place he used to call home.

If you caught any of the news coverage this morning, you'll understand what I'm talking about regarding the irony of today's weather patterns.  My buddy, Joe Biden--who has been out of the spotlight and apparently muzzled since the "big effin' deal" comment--was annointed official wreath layer/speech maker at Arlington National.

I'm sure you noticed the skies were blue and the sun was shining over the tomb of the unknowns.  VP Biden gave a very moving speech, and like most things say-it-ain't-so-Joe says, he really meant it.  One thing about Biden--what you see is what you get. 

Somehow, I don't think the Big Guy upstairs, nor the Angels and Saints, and certainly, most definitely not the fallen soldiers, liked the idea of the President dodging the Arlington National ceremony in favor of heading to Elwood Illinois...to Abe Lincoln National.  Sure there were Commanders in Chief during previous administrations that side stepped the tradition of the Memorial Day Wreath Laying...they let the second in command take their place...but they didn't choose to overshaddow this event with a photo-op at another cemetery.

As he took the podium a storm blew into Chicago--rain, thunder, lightning, strong winds, hail...this is the exclamation point I've been telling you about.  Not sure if it was Jesus, God, Allah, Moses, or General Patton, for all I know...one thing is for sure...someone upstairs was not happy about the goings on in the Chicago area this morning and early afternoon and sent an urgent memo to Mother Nature.  Bolts of lightning and hail suggested someone was really pissed.  Exclamation Point.

The President suggested the growing crowd return to their cars and wait out the storm...while he headed to an administration building to decide what the next step would be.  I was really surpised at the amount of people still standing...tree leaves were hitting the ground from bended trees--some had garbage bag ponchos, but most were just soaked holding umbrellas that were turned inside out from the force of the wind.  Our President was hopeful the storm would pass.  Perhaps there might be a change of venue.  Funny, it seemed sunny in the last report live from Arlington.

Sadly, the strom did not blow over.  And, the big deal that the press had made an even bigger deal of for most of the week, in the end did not happen at all.  And, as tradition would have it, a wreath representing the people of the United States of America was placed at the Tomb of the Unknowns as it always has in the past.

Perhaps the President will take this as a sign to consider skipping his trip home during the last weekend in May next year and take his vacay during the Fourth of July holiday instead.  I'm sure his Sasha and Malia remember the July 3rd firework show they most likely witnessed from their lakeshore neighborhood.  Maybe if they made an apperance a long enjoyed tradition of the Third of July fireworks may return to Chicago.  It never rains on July 3rd. 

Traditions are a wonderful thing. They bring many people comfort.

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