Our Memorial Day Weekend: (Mostly) In Pictures

—– friday —–

We kicked off the weekend with a visit to Keith and Don's for supper on Friday. We caught up with friends while enjoying the weather from under the backyard gazebo, and Colt took breaks between his Sonic chicken strips and apple slices to feed the dogs, one kibble at a time.

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Chicken strip in one hand. Weird plastic, light-up spoon masquerading as a kid's meal toy in the other. As it should be.

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—– saturday —–

If you've followed the blog for any amount of time, you've probably seen photos of The Group floating the Elk River, which is just north of here, in Missouri. Well… all the Elk River nonsense started on Memorial Day weekend way back in 2006 – before we were even married. Jeff and I took a trip – just the two of us – and discovered our new favorite Summer weekend pastime. And since then, we've been MANY times. We've floated almost every Memorial Day and 4th of July weekend in the past four years – and many, many weekends in-between. After the first summer or so, we wisened up and transitioned from canoes to rafts. (MUCH harder to tip a raft.) And the group has evolved some, but we still have a heart for the Elk, and we always have a blast.

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Bus ride down to our put-in spot. A school bus, with the seats lined up against the walls — everyone in the middle is sitting either on a cooler or on another person. Racing through the backroads alongside the river… this was more than a little scary. Winner of the How-Many-People-Fit-On-a-Rickety-Old-School-Bus Contest?? Ding! Ding! Ding!

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Right off the bat, there was a slight incident. We came upon a couple kids watching the contents of their canoe float rapidly down the river while they clung for dear life to a branch sticking out of the middle of the river. We decided to help them. Here might be a good place to tell you we had four rafts and we had just finished tethering them all together. So here we come, this huge floating dam, and we stop right in the middle of the river to help these kids. Well, as luck would have it, there were a few thousand people on the river that day, and many of them were coming quickly right behind us. So in our efforts to help, we were making things drastically worse. Canoes and rafts started piling up behind us and the river was high and FAST. Canoes starting tipping and more and more people were hitting the water.

At some point, two of the rafts in our party, unhitched and floated on down the river and away from the log jam, but our raft and the fourth raft in our group were stuck on a tree. In some ridiculous moment of stupidity, I thought I would hop in the water and do what I could to push our raft off the limb. The water looked no more than three feet deep and in the split second of thought I gave to this idea, I pictured myself getting wet up to the bottom of my shorts. So I hopped right in, without even bothering to hang on to anything. Fast forward two tenths of a second to me in water at least eight feet deep, FAR over my head and me gulping for air. FINE plan that was. So I drug my drowned rat self back into the raft and stayed put through the duration of the ordeal.

As we were getting free from the tree, a set of canoes – also tied together – capsized beside us and instead of diving into the water, one of the passengers dove into our raft! We saved her! So the photo below is Jeff and me, Keith – and our new friend, Janet! Turns out it was her birthday and she actually floated with us for close to an hour because we couldn't find her friends. We finally reunited them and all was well. Happy Birthday, Janet! 

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We made it back in time to relieve the babysitter and give our boy some hugs before bedtime.

—– sunday —–

Church and napping. We needed the break.

—– monday —–

Becky and I met at The Fayetteville National Cemetery for Memorial Day services. It was a beautiful morning and I was pleasantly surprised to see so many people at the service.

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I think I expected a very solemn, nearly depressing service, but it was somehow uplifting and inspiring. The pastor who gave the closing benediction said something that I thought about the rest of the day. He said we should all pay our respects to the brave fallen soldiers of this country by finding our own courage, in everyday things. That not all of us will have the opportunity to serve our country in this specific way, but that we can all be courageous, in our own way. I like it.

Monday afternoon we braved the heat for some time at the park. This boy…

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One of these days I will stop thinking, "he's too little for that!" Right?

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I hope your Memorial Day was as relaxing and fun as ours. And that you found some time during the long weekend to remember.

3 thoughts on “Our Memorial Day Weekend: (Mostly) In Pictures

  1. Looks like a wonderful weekend, Sarah!

  2. LOVE the rafting story. Somehow it does not surprise me at all. I’m not much of a float enthusiast, but those rafts look pretty low maintenance. I could do that!

  3. Do you acknowledge that it is high time to receive the loans, which can make your dreams come true.

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