I like feathered creatures!

Donna, my Golden Laced Polish Hen...in the nest!  Love my girls!

Donna, my Golden Laced Polish Hen…in the nest! Love my girls!

I am finding myself drawn to things that fly or things that have feathers.   It started with my chickens.  Wait a minute…back up.  It started with my first parakeet!  When I was ten years old and living at my grandparents house I must have gone through at least three or four birds before I gave up.  I remember my grandfather saying “they must have caught a cold” for each one of them when we found them dead in their cages. Evidently I chose birds with respiratory issues back then.   Anyhow…I really am drawn to being a watcher for things that have feathers.  Obviously chickens, but also ducks and geese, birds of prey and the occasional turkey here and there!  Oh, and I do like bees, butterflies  and ladybugs!  They don’t have feathers…but they fly!  🙂

It was FREE FISHING WEEKEND in Oregon!  My guy likes to fish….a lot!  I am beginning to think he maps out his work week around hitting at least one or two fishing holes on his way here or there!  So, me being the smart woman I am, I asked if he had a spare fishing pole and could we go fishing.  He being the attentive and caring man he is and always trying to make me smile said “fishing, why of course!”.

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I wonder if he realizes yet that I wasn’t really THAT interested in fishing.  It was a ruse!  I mostly wanted to spend time with him!!!  I wanted to be outdoors sharing a nice afternoon in the sun with him.  I do like to fish.  Really I do.  I have been a fishing woman since I was 5 years old and caught my first fish in Horse Creek off the McKenzie River.  Yet, while fishing for him is a MUST do at least somewhat regularly…for me it is simply one other thing I can do while being out in nature.

He took us to Reinhart Volunteer Park http://www.grantspassoregon.gov/Index.aspx?page=158 or otherwise known as the All Sports Park in Grants Pass, OR.  It is a beautiful park.  It hosts a wonderful playground for children, multiple picnic sites, the ponds and park waterways where we fished and of course the lovely Rogue River! I did enjoy being in a new environment where I could capture a few photos of some feathered creatures that were abundant with all that fresh food available.   Either the large influx of fishermen made a haul over the weekend or all the wildlife had eaten up all the fish because we didn’t have a bite except for the poor dead little fella that was attached to some hook and line left from a previous fisherperson.

Thanks honey for taking me fishing with you.  I did throw in a line.  In fact I had two in at once!  Toes have a purpose when one is fishing you know!!!

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Memorial Day Weekend…and May 30th!

This flag was unfurled and hanging today from the 7th street bridge in Grants Pass, OR!  God Bless America!

This flag was unfurled and hanging today from the 7th street bridge in Grants Pass, OR! God Bless America!

Today, millions of American’s celebrated Memorial Day in various ways . Some have enjoyed a three-day weekend. Many activities involving being outdoors have been enjoyed. BBQ’s, camping trips, family gatherings. I myself have done some frolicking on this National “holiday” weekend. This clip is one taken by my boyfriend at the races on Saturday at Boatnik, in Grants Pass, OR. Yes, I do like loud and fast!!!

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Before going to the races we had driven to Eugene for the Track and Field State Championships. It was a quick trip, but enjoyable!

OSAA  Track and Field State Championships 2013

OSAA Track and Field State Championships 2013

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I also have paused numerous times and thought how grateful I am for the thousands of men and women who have died so that I am able to enjoy anything I choose to this Memorial day weekend.

When I was a kid, Memorial day was not the same for me as it was for everyone else. You see…when I was born, Memorial day was not part of an entire weekend “holiday”. Memorial day was my Birthday. May 30th. That was when Memorial Day used to be observed. As a small child I remember visiting the cemetery (that’s one of the things we always did) and thinking how lovely that everyone made it look so pretty for my birthday. 🙂 Hey…I was just a little kid.

The Canadian Geese and their goslings were in abundance.  The space on the Rogue was shared by man and beast this weekend!

The Canadian Geese and their goslings were in abundance. The space on the Rogue was shared by man and beast this weekend!

In 1971 it was changed to being observed on the last Monday in May, allowing American’s yet another three-day weekend. That was the beginning of this day of remembrance getting a bit muddled. I know as a kid I didn’t like it as much, because we didn’t do the same things on my birthday that we had before. The festivities of going and seeing all the pretty flags and flowers was now done on the Monday…and my birthday lost something.

Looking down at the flag from standing on the bridge..next to one of many Vets in attendance.

Looking down at the flag from standing on the bridge..next to one of many Vets in attendance.

At some point in my adult life my Grammy and I began observing Memorial Day on my birthday again. It was part of the day that I enjoyed and looked forward to so much. I would go to her house and if we were fortunate there would be fresh roses to be cut from Bam-Bam’s (my grandfather) rose garden. We would gather them up and collect a few milk jugs full of water and off we went. The last time we were there we placed flowers on my both of my grandfather’s graves and on my son’s. That was the last time I was there on my birthday. Grammy has been gone now for nearly 10 years. I have not placed flowers at any of the family members graves on my birthday, the “real” Memorial Day in 10 years!

The lineup for the last heat of races on Memorial Day.

The lineup for the last heat of races on Memorial Day.

It was just about 10 years ago that Memorial day took on another meaning for me. My middle son was in the Army. He served with friends who lost their lives while on a mission. He performed requested duties in military observances for fallen soldiers. During those years that he served, I became friends with a group of wonderful online friends on a site called Strykernews.com. More than once it was a somber day of sharing our experiences and strengths and hopes to help someone get through the loss of a family member. It was during these years that I really investigated and became aware of what Memorial Day was really about.

 

The reflection caught my eye as we were leaving for home.  It had been a good weekend...a memorable one!

The reflection caught my eye as we were leaving for home. It had been a good weekend…a memorable one!

It is a day to pay our respects to the fallen soldier. To give honor to those that served and made the ultimate sacrifice. It is a time to say a prayer for the families left behind that mourn their beloved family member. We can still enjoy festivities along with showing honor and respect. But the honor and respect and remembering all that are fallen…that must be first. That is what the true Memorial Day is about!

 

The final view of the flag as we left the park.  So proud to be American.  So grateful for those that sacrificed all!!!

The final view of the flag as we left the park. So proud to be American. So grateful for those that sacrificed all!!!