Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Memorial weekend, USA

As we traveled for the Memorial Day long weekend family annual gathering on Cape Cod, MA, it hardly seemed possible to believe five years have already lapsed since our brother in law Doug passed away.

Arriving at the Masspike

Owning a home on the Cape was a dream for my sister and her husband, and they were able to realize this dream nine years ago. While their careers were in downtown Boston, living at the Cape house was virtually impossible at first, therefore they decided to use it for a secondary source of income for the upkeep of the home, renting it out to other families during peak seasons near the seashore. The goal was to move there permanently some day when retirement was at hand, and both dreamed of being able to host and entertain family and friends at that time. As fate would have it, Doug succumbed to esophageal cancer and lost his battle at the young age of 52. Upon his death, my sister and her grown children decided to make “Memorial” long weekend, the last weekend every May, a time for family to gather and realize this dream, also becoming a tribute to his memory with friends one evening during the weekend. This year my sister spoke about not only the memory of her husband, but also mentioned each of us has someone we wish to remember who has touched our lives in some special way, so why not use the Memorial weekend to foster this significant occasion in our hearts each year.

Entering Cape Cod near "Sandwich"

Traffic entering the Cape was heavily backed up on every major route, each one merging into another, obviously many folks were on their way to kick off their summer as children in the US were off school the day before. With the ocean a short distance away from the home, the smell of salt water was evident and the smell alone created a seashore environment of summer thoughts. Bring it on!

Once the children were settled in for the evening, the older looking after the younger, the adults headed off to the “Captain’s Table” to enjoy the ocean views while having a few appetizers.

The “Figawi Sailboat Race” was about to commence the next morning, so the docks outside were filled with sailors kibitzing and making visits back and forth to the outside buffets set up for them all at the restaurant beneath of us. Sailboats speckled the water, hundreds of them as they docked for the evening, and water taxis were bringing still more to shore to join the evening’s celebrations.

The 36th Annual Figawi Race Weekend is recognized as a top sailing event not only on the east coast but is known nationally as well as internationally. Figawi Race Weekend kicks off the Cape Cod and Nantucket summer season. Entries include sailors from several states -240+ boats (including 30 power boats) and over 3,000 sailors and visitors, as well as locals, attend this event.

The planning for this annual weekend event is huge, and we are so grateful to all for their hard work to host such a pleasant, memory-making affair. Thank you Helen, Amber, JM and all.

Late picture together,
younger children were in bed.

The next morning, all hands were on deck assisting in the preparations for the late afternoon and evening attendance of many friends joining the family. The deck was transformed into an outdoor living room, all looking marvelous and so very inviting!

Our niece was in charge of the menu planning for the weekend, and a Mexican flair was the theme for the weekend with yummy foods to savor any appetite. To add to the table, Haik brought his cooler filled with fresh oysters, shucking them and serving all on a platter with fresh lemon slices.

Fresh Oysters

The cleaning lady and her husband were dressed as butlers, assisting the kitchen and serving beverages from a makeshift bar area outdoors. Latino music filled the air with the sun shining on the evening’s festivities.

The yearly traditional lilac tree planting, a favorite tree to Doug, was changed a bit. Rather than plant another tree, the fifth one from last year was “watered” in his honor instead. It was a fitting remembrance, emotions all over the map surprising us all. The friends gathering there have been tremendous with valuable and treasured relationships running deep, all enjoying their time together.

The children were so happy to be together, little cousins knew the big kids would be their buddies for the entire weekend. Playing baseball outside, a game of mini golf, walking in the sand, taking a nap each day, seeing a huge train set taking up almost an entire basement, and other assorted fun stuff, it soon became a nonstop play date weekend of memories.

Like gypsies we moved our caravan up the coast to Plymouth, nestling into our host’s home ocean side. How can anyone not love waking up to sunrises in the living room, beach walks, and fresh salty air?

Overlooking Plymouth ocean shores

It beats me how this million dollar view could get any better. Here in this home we took up the entire top floor, remaining the next two nights with the windows open, listening to the waves lapping up on the shore. Terrrific!

Cookout with hubby's homemade burgers

Visits with family continued, however they drove to Plymouth to visit with us there, enjoying the beach, having cookouts and sunset appreciations. The children roamed the water’s edge, were soaking wet in their clothing, played hacky-sac, and ran with fairy ribbons on their wrists so they bounced and floated in the windy breeze, loving it all.

Oceanside fun with views and fairy ribbons

Time together is the key, and time together is such a gift.

Memorial Day (USA) Prayer

We recall today the words of Jesus,
“Blessed are the peacemakers,
they shall be called the sons and daughters of God.”
As we remember all who have died because of war,
Inspire the leaders of all nations
To turn away from war and work for peace.
Help us also to live in peace with one another,
And with peoples of every nation, race and creed.
Bless this food we share
As we celebrate this day with our family and friends.


...much more to come about our trip, the sights we took in, the memories made.