Saturday marked the two week mark after my second Moderna Covid Vaccine. You know what that means, don’t you? To me it means “ROAD TRIP.” And it was an especially special road trip because it was the first time since Christmas of 2019 that my two brothers and I have been able to get together with my 85-year old dad, who lives in Iowa.
We had a great time, of course. We cooked and ate together. There was a lot of joking and laughing and making fun of each other. In other words, it was just like when we were growing up in Iowa several decades ago. There was no need to get get reacquainted. There was no need to catch up on what we’ve been doing for the last year-and-a-half. There was no need to reminisce. We just got right down to the business of tomfoolery.
Yesterday I managed to get out for a two-hour bike ride. Here, just before the deadline, comes a few pictures of things I’ve never photographed before:
Those pictures were taken yesterday. This morning we went to the Oelwein cemetery for the town’s 153rd annual Memorial Day ceremony. I was amazed at that number–153. The ceremony included a prayer for those who sacrificed their lives for our country, the raising of the American flag while the high school choir sang The Star Spangled Banner (quite well, I might add,) the shooting of guns by members of the local chapter of the national guard, and the bugling of “Taps.” There was also a speech by a local dude who is an officer in the United States Coast Guard.
Oelwein seems to have a lot of veterans for a town that size. Many of them have died in various wars. One of those people who died was my nephew, Seth. And guess who knew Seth?
The first half of the speech given by the Coast Guard officer was about his career in that branch of the military. The second half of the speech began when he said “today is not about me though.” Then he proceeded to tell about how he knew another Oelwein kid. He had gotten together with that kid one night and it happened to be the night before he was going to Coast Guard boot camp and that other kid was being deployed to Iraq. Yes, that kid was Seth. And when the Coast Guard guy heard several months later that Seth had been killed in Irag, he cried. “And that,” he said, “is what Memorial Day is all about.”