Memorial Day Remembrances

My brother and sister-in-law have been visiting us this weekend, and yesterday we went to the Pungo Strawberry Festival here in Virginia Beach. Pungo is a rural area of our city with many farms close to the North Carolina border.

Drat! If only I had a place to put these planters…

The fair was a small-town affair with its usual array of country crafts, homemade soaps, jams, jellies, and pickles.Food offerings consisted of smoked turkey legs, pulled pork barbecue, funnel cakes, and lots of strawberry shortcake. There was a small midway and a livestock barn. Sadly, we missed the pig races. It was a scene played out in small town after small town across this country during Memorial Day weekend.

Pungo Strawberry Festival

So many choices…

Not quite Coney Island


It reminded me of growing up in my own small town of Fairfield, Connecticut. Memorial Day was a festive affair starting with a parade down the middle of the Post Road. I played the piano with our school orchestra during the school year, but once the beginning of May came, I abandoned the keyboard and strapped on my bell lyre to practice Sousa marches with the band in preparation for marching with them on parade day.

Once the parade was over, my family spent the rest of the day with my mother’s best friend and her family, playing bocce and feasting on hamburgers, hot dogs, and my mother’s famous potato salad. The brother of my mother’s friend always brought his banjo, which fascinated me, and he showed me how to play it. He even loaned me one for awhile, but after struggling with sore fingers on those double strings that felt like razors, I returned the banjo in short order.

Yesterday we came home in the early afternoon, the three old people took naps, leaving me alone to do some writing, and then we grilled corn on the cob and steamed lobster tails. Today we will do the requisite hot dogs and watermelon, and another Memorial Day weekend will be over for the year. People may say we missed the whole point of Memorial Day, that it is a day to remember those who have served their country in the Armed Services, those who have fought and those who have died protecting their country. But I say that we can hold them in our hearts while we celebrate what they have fought and died for. Family, Friends and Freedom. The point has not been missed by us.

About Coming East

I am a writer, wife, mother, and grandmother who thinks you're never too old until you're dead. My inspiration is Grandma Moses who became a successful artist in her late 70's. If I don't do something pretty soon, though, I'll have to find someone older for inspiration.
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15 Responses to Memorial Day Remembrances

  1. Huffygirl says:

    There’s nothing like those small town festivals. I agree that your celebration of freedom is indeed part of the Memorial Day tradition.

  2. pattisj says:

    We have never gone to the strawberry festival. Might have to make plans for next year.

  3. Love the photos and you are celebrating correctly… you are enjoying your freedom and that is a gift worth celebrating, isn’t it? Sounds wonderful, all of it. About to get ready for a neighborhood last minute picnic here. Thanks for writing today! DAF

  4. Al says:

    Nice post, Susan. That first picture is funny. Is that what you call getting caught with your pants up?

  5. Leah says:

    Looks like so much fun! Thanks for sharing your great photos.

  6. Lenore Diane says:

    Very nice! Making the most of the day in honor of those who helped carve out our freedom. Sounds like a wonderful way to pay tribute.

  7. Shame on anyone who thinks you missed the point. Without those who continually protect our freedom we are not “free” to openly spend time with family and friends enjoying gathering together for fairs, festivals and celebrations. Sounds like a wonderful weekend! Enjoy the dogs and watermelon!

  8. Absolutely beautiful! Of course, as always, I love your photos.

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