Memorial Day brings up images of floral homages, stone statues and sunny skies. For us, it literally takes us to cemeteries. My husband and I carry on a tradition that his father began years ago. We visit two cemeteries in Southwestern Wisconsin to plant geraniums near the headstones of many family members including Great Grandparents and Grand Uncles. We also eat lunch at a local restaurant to get an Wisconsin Miner’s traditional lunch, The Pasty. Of course they make them on Thursdays, so if we go on a Friday or Saturday, we are taking a chance. They may be out of them.
This year was one of the first years that we went on the trip alone. We began by going with my father in law, but he wasn’t able to make the trip for a few years before he passed away. We video taped one of our visits to show him. That was the year my husband scooped up some soil from Harry’s old farm land. We used that soil later that year for his grave.
Some years, we heard stories from Harry about his old farm life. How his sister took eggs to sell in downtown Shullsburg. She walked up and down the streets to sell the eggs and used the money to go to the movies. I am sure she will forgive me if I have some of the details wrong. We were so lucky to spend so many trips with my husbands Aunt Eileen and Uncle Art who have since moved to the Minneapolis area to be near family. The stories she shared will be with us always.
Each year that we go, we see something new. This year, we found some new Trestrail markers. We don’t know how or if they are related, but it is something to work on. We found a marker that belonged to a Black Hawk War Veteran. This is simply the oldest marker I have ever seen. Amazing. And, we found a new restaurant with amazing pasties and delicious desserts served by Miss Laura. Memories are wonderful things. I took some good photos and penned a short poem. Enjoy!
Faithful, the blooms wait in the trunk
of our old blue chevy. We pass the
corner of Church and Judgement
on our annual memorial trek.
This year, we will search for ancestors
we didn’t know we had. We will eat our
Thursday pie, on Friday, with luck.
And hope the rain doesn’t ruin our trip.
This is the first year, we will make the journey alone. We don’t mind. The tradition will continue as long as flowers are red, families are faithful, and memories are strong.
Enjoy your memorials and memories this weekend!