I've said it before, but I'll say it again. Memorial Day is every good thing about holidays-- family gathering, good food, feelings of gratitude. None of the stress-- no gifts to give, fancy food preparation, house cleaning.
No, not really.
Elinor and I at Tessa's and my mom's graves.
The kids copied an idea they saw elsewhere at the cemetery, to put a pine cone heart around the grave. These are the graves of my great-grandparents Franklin James Richards and Marie Larson Richards.
Our next stop was Memory Grove in Salt Lake. We visited the marker for my Great Uncle Hugh whose ship sank in the Pacific in WWII. I wanted a picture with all of my menfolk, but Clark was otherwise engaged.
Faith, the mistress of details, spotted a good-sized garter snake nearby and Clark, the Reptile Whisperer, captured it. How exciting. Unfortunately we already have an overabundance of reptiles at our house so this one had to be left behind to startle other innocent and unsuspecting visitors to Memory Grove today.
When the weather is nice it is such a treat to dip feet in the City Creek. The water was cold but that didn't stop them.
We went to Valley View cemetery next to visit my Cannon grandparents and great-grandparents. Cannon and I had to get a picture together. This boy absolutely melts my heart. And he turns five tomorrow. And now I'm going to cry.
Just a few rows over at the same cemetery are Abe's Jolley great-grandparents. So the Jolley Foxes needed a picture together. Clark was joking that he needed to change his name to Clark Jolley Richards Larson Badger Cannon Fox. Then he could be the star at the cemetery! He is kind of the star at Wasatch Lawns because that's where the Clarks are.
I loved that the cousins got to run around together all day. Here are Brigham and Emi with George and Cannon. Brig and her kids came over to our house for dinner yesterday so we've had a lot of great cousin playtime this weekend.
One of the most rewarding visits of the day was a trip to the old and humble Pleasant Green Cemetery just southwest of Magna. My great-great-grandparents August Larson and Martha Larson are buried there. It's quite a small cemetery and we weren't sure exactly where the site was, but Abe found it. And lest you think I force Abe into the Memorial Day traditions, let us remember who the tradition czar in our family is! Abe loves it and delights in sharing my family history with me and I love it.
The Larsons came from Sweden and August died in a mining accident only eight years after arriving. They did not join the church before coming to Utah, rather she was a Baptist who joined the church five years after August died.
Here's what surprises me every year on Memorial Day. Nobody complains. There are the necessary potty breaks and drink requests, but everyone seems to enjoy the day's activities. I hope when the kids are grown this is something we will all enjoy doing with their families.
We had a perfect end to this holiday weekend by enjoying a hotdog cookout in the park with good friends. Faith and Katelyn thought it was so funny that they had the exact same meal for dinner.
The guys spent much of the evening in the sand volley ball pit. As the evening wore on the little kids ran out of energy and we sat around playing two truths and a lie. It was hysterical to listen to Cannon and Jake try to come up with their lies and truths. That must have been very confusing for them when we encouraged them to tell us lies.
We got a kick out of George crossing his legs and talking with us like he was one of the big kids.
Cannon's birthday is tomorrow and we're planning his party for this weekend, so George is really into talking about his birthday (in July)-- all day long. It serves me right. I was super obnoxious as a kid in anticipating and counting down to my birthday.
Do you want to hear something beautiful? As I have written this post I have enjoyed Bethany painting my toe nails and giving me a foot rub with Anne of Green Gables on in the background. Life is good.