Memorial Day 2020

This coming Monday we celebrate Memorial Day. This federal holiday was originally called Decoration Day and began as a way to remember and honor both Union and Confederate soldiers who were killed in battle during the Civil War. After WWI Memorial Day was extended to honor Americans who died in all wars. Today most Americans use this holiday as a time to decorate grave sites, whether the deceased served in the military or not.

Memorial Day 2020 will be quite different from those in past years. No parades. Limited Memorial ceremonies. No military display at Willshire Home Furnishings.

Vast array of uniforms, photos, and other items on display at Willshire Home Furnishings. (2015 photo by Karen)

These events, as well as many other events and just about everything in our everyday lives during the past couple months, are causalities of the effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus. It has affected everyone, from school children, to business owners, to church-goers, to nursing home residents, to friends and neighbors. Everyone. Some call it a new normal. Personally, I long for the days of the old normal, not knowing if our old way of life will ever fully return. Many are fearful and fear is a terrible thing. And the fear is fueled by how easily the virus spreads, how serious it can be for some, and not having a good treatment or vaccine for it. I never imagined something like this happening here in America and around the world. It crept in so quickly. It is the “invisible enemy.”

We have done our part to isolate ourselves here and we still do. After all, we are in that high-risk age group. We wear masks when we go out. I have no problem wearing a mask. In fact, after wearing a mask at work for the better part of 44 years, I feel quite comfortable wearing one. We go out shopping to small local stores occasionally now and try to support our local small businesses. We are grateful that we are able to do that now. But basically, because of our age, we are staying around home most of the time. Hopefully, as things open back, up this will transition to something more like the old normal.

I look forward to the time when we can once again gather in groups and have the ability to do and go to any event we want, without worrying about keeping a social distance so we don’t spread a disease.  

Faith and hope are better than fear. I pray and hope that some of the treatments for the virus will make it less deadly and provide a faster recovery. That, until a successful and safe vaccine is developed.  

For us, I call this the lost year. We were able to take one short cruise in late January, to San Francisco of all places, right in the thick of things, just before all hell broke loose. We were there about a week before flights from China were banned. In fact, a couple weeks later, the cruise ship we were on was quarantined with the virus off the coast of San Francisco. Since then, our lives, along with everyone else’s, have been a series of cancellations and shut-downs.

It has affected everyone in many ways. For us, the results are mainly inconvenience and disappointment. Today we were supposed to be cruising the British Isles, visiting England, London, Ireland, Scotland, and France. We had tickets to tour Highclere Castle, where they film the series Downton Abbey. Instead, a couple weeks ago I constructed a 3D puzzle of the castle, a Christmas gift from Joe in anticipation of our visit.

Highclere Castle 3D puzzle.

Highclere Castle 3D puzzle.

This is probably now as close as we will get to seeing the castle. Our upcoming Alaska cruise in September was cancelled. Our 50th class reunion was cancelled, rescheduled for next year. Schumm reunion—postponed until 2021. Most local festivals cancelled, except Celina Lake Festival, which they are still debating.

On the positive side, we still have our health and we have a nice place here to stay at home. Joe has had plenty of time to work in the yard and I have been putting puzzles together and trying to improve my photography skills.

Here are some of my recent photos:

Baltimore Oriole


Red Winged Blackbird


House Wren

Flowering Crab


Wild Phlox  

Have a nice Memorial Day and take time to remember those who served our country and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

The next installment of Nimrod Headington’s Journal will resume next week, as he begins his quest for gold in San Francisco in 1852.

Be safe everyone!   


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  1. So impressed by your 3-D castle puzzle as well as your beautiful photos!

    The virus didn’t eliminate spring!

    1. Thank you! You are correct about spring and it has been a very nice spring. Thanks for writing!

    • Virginia Britten on May 22, 2020 at 3:20 pm
    • Reply

    Well said! We that are healthy yet can count our blessings, and thanks for writing your column.

    1. Thank you! I appreciate that and thanks for reading.

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