First holiday of summer

This week has been fairly quiet for me. Tuesday it started raining and acted as if it didn’t know how to stop! I had gone to town to our church for a bible study class in the evening, and it wasn’t raining when I left home, however…if I never have to drive in the rain I drove in to get home, it will be too soon. By the time the rain stopped, we had almost six inches, and then about 3:30 a.m. on Saturday it started again and rained most of the day to give us another couple of inches. It’s quiet right now, not raining, no sky fireworks, for which I am thankful. Saturday morning, I started out to go to Cuero to return books to the library there and see what was on sale at the Market Days, again it was barely sprinkling when I left home, by the time I had driven about four or five miles, I took a side road and came back home as the rain was coming down in sheets. My wipers couldn’t keep up with it so it was back home for me, and I did a little sewing and read a magazine, made lunch and just puttered around in general, I like this kind of day.
Memorial Day is usually the first long weekend we have for the summer season; our next one will be July 4!
Monday is Memorial Day. What does it mean to you? Do you celebrate it, or is it just a neat day to have off work for a long weekend? Do you fly the flag? It is mainly a day of remembrance, of all the veterans of all the wars and is one of the holidays that are celebrated on the last Monday of the month that it is in. This year, Memorial Day will be celebrated on May 30 and 31, with many businesses being closed and some schools also having the day off. We will have a program at the Fire Station, with a part of the high school band playing for us, and also a really nice program. There are usually speakers, and wreaths are placed as memorials from many organizations.
Memorial Day was formerly called Decoration Day and was celebrated on May 30th. (In 2008, we actually got to celebrate on May 30!). General John A. Logan, commander of the Grand Army of the Republic originated this day to honor the war dead.
It is a legal holiday in almost all the fifty states. In some places, the observance consists of civic parades and the placing of flowers on veteran’s graves. In San Antonio, there is usually a special service at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery. This very impressive ceremony, with taps and a 21-gun salute, always reduces even the strongest to tears as they realize that these men who are buried here gave there all for their country.
There are services in foreign cemeteries honoring the graves of American servicemen who are buried on foreign soil. There are water services for those who died at sea, and there are ceremonies at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. It has been the custom to fly the flag at half-mast until noon in the United States.
The verse that follows is one of the best known and is written about the Buddy Poppy. Everyone is familiar with this little red flower that is offered for a donation either at Memorial Day or in time for Veteran’s Day in November. John McCrae (1872-1918) is the author of this famous poem. He is remembered for what is probably the single best-known and popular poem from WWI. He was a Canadian physician and fought on the Western Front in 1914, but was then transferred to the medical corps and assigned to a hospital in France. He died of pneumonia while on active duty in 1918. His volume of poetry, “In Flanders Fields and Other Poems, was published in 1919. It is said that John McCrae was standing in the cemetery and saw the beautiful red poppies growing over the area, that he was so impressed and moved that he wrote the poem.
In Flanders Fields
By John McCrae (1872-1918)
In Flanders fields the
Poppies blow
Between the cross, row on row
That mark our place;
And in the sky
The larks, still bravely
Singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the
Guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw
Sunset glow
Loved and were loved,
And now we lie
In Flanders fields. Take
Up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing
Hands we throw
The torch’ be yours to
Hold it high.
If ye break faith with us
Who die
We shall not sleep,
Though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
If you are having guests in and a get-together of some type at your home, here is a delicious recipe, using chicken legs or turkey legs that are marinated and then placed in the oven and baked. I’ve made them several times and even though the recipe makes way too much for just me, they freeze well and can be eaten either hot or cold.
Marinated Chicken Legs
(4 to 5 lbs) (12 to 15 legs +) (My package had 13 or 14 in it and weighed just over 4½ pounds)*
2/3 cup Louisiana-style hot sauce
(I used Frank’s Wing Sauce)
1/3 cup cooking oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground mustard
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon celery salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper
½ teaspoon pepper sauce (optional)
Place drumsticks in a large zip-closure bag. In a bowl, whisk remaining ingredients until blended, reserve ½ cup of marinade and set aside. Pour remaining marinade over drumsticks and turn to coat, refrigerate several hours or overnight. (The chicken I have marinating as I’m writing this, was just under 4 pounds).
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a 15x10x1-inch pan with foil, spray lightly and place drumsticks on pan. (Discard marinade in bag). Bake covered 35 to 45 minutes, uncover and bake 30 to 45 minutes longer or until temperature of legs reaches 165ºF., basting occasionally with reserved marinade.
*(This can also be done using 4 turkey legs, weighing 1½ pounds each, follow all directions, but bake covered 45 minutes, uncover and bake 45 to 60 minutes longer)