A Memorial Day to remember

My son was home, a civilian, for Memorial Day for the first time in years. His hair is now long enough to stand up when he gets out of bed—or rather, out of sleeping bag—and he no longer has to struggle to keep from modifying every noun with “fuckin’.”

The annual Corralitos Padres Pancake Breakfast (and, don’t forget, the craft and bake sale at the Women’s Club Country Store) was, alas, postponed for a week because of the number of fire trucks and evacuees in the town square (or rather, triangle) so instead of meeting up under the redwoods and buying the ticket to be traded for a paper plate and rolled-up plastic fork and knife, we met here. My sister and her family (those on the Left coast), my brother and his, my mother’s uncle and three of his six plus more grandchildren than I managed to say hi to. I cooked pancakes. And my son was here to eat them.

Happy Memorial Day, everyone.

And although we’re still smoky here and the flames still lick the ridges, they’re beating them back. One lone news van remained in town last night, Eureka Canyon Road is open again, and the Boy Scouts were wandering around looking for business. A sure sign of approaching normality was that the Corralitos Market and Sausage Company closed at their usual Sunday time, 5:00, instead of staying open to serve firefighters and evacuees until 11 or midnight.

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  1. Natasha H. on May 26, 2008 at 11:03 am

    Please tell your son thank you for his service. It’s difficult to express how much his sacrifices (and yours) mean to people he hasn’t and probably never will meet.

    Happy Memorial Day.

  2. Strawberry Curls on May 26, 2008 at 11:49 am

    “…and he no longer has to struggle to keep from modifying every noun with “fuckin’.”

    Happy Memorial Day to you and yours, Ms. King, but most especially to your son. The above statement brought back quite a few memories for me. I met my husband just weeks after he left the jungles of Vietnam. I met him at my place of business where he came in as an outside accountant, all profession and wearing a three piece suit. When we started dating, months later, I was introduced to the man, not the professional, and was shocked at his use of language such as you have described above. I came from a family that didn’t use profanity and image how shocking it was to hear that particular word used, as you say, to modify not only nouns, but almost every word, and sometimes inserted into the middle of words, as in abso*****lutely.

    Fortunately he got over it, both the war and the need to use shocking language, but it took time. As a 62 yo man he never uses such language, but laughs when I point out he once did. According to him it was the verbal manifestation of all the stress, anger, fear and frustration that he brought back from the war, and all those things dissipated with time, and the love of family. He also admitted it was a habit, as that was how they all talked in the jungle. Young men from the ages of 18-25 showing how tough they were, how mature and strong they were, by cussing a blue streak. It would seem not much has changed, different war, but the same reaction by our young men.

    Happy Memorial Day to all, and if you are married to a vet (of any war or police action) give them an extra hug today, they deserve it.

  3. corgimom on May 27, 2008 at 8:28 am

    So glad he is home, safe and sound. Please thank him from our little family.
    Happy the fires are under control and will remain for you and yours a good story that caused you no harm!

  4. Laraine on May 28, 2008 at 12:27 am

    I’m so grateful that any of our boys/men (and girls/women) survive the wars . . . may the blessings of peace settle on them and their families and friends. Hope it was a great weekend. On a different note: has anyone besides me found it impossible to access SJ Rozan’s site today? No matter how I try, I can’t get to any part of it. Hmmm.

  5. Roxanne on May 28, 2008 at 8:11 am

    [Find twenty year-old rotary dial phone and wrestle the electric phone off the wall, replace it. Dial tone: triumph of woman over twenty-first century.]

    You are my hero. Honestly. You keep such a cool head.

    Why does a rotary dial phone work when the (newer) phone goes down? And how in the world did you know that it would?

    I am so glad that you and your family are safe and that your homestead is intact. You have done so much work on your home.


  6. 2maple on May 29, 2008 at 8:12 am

    Some random thoughts…

    If interseting and unique experiences add depth to a writer…it seems like you have collected an amazing amount of potential material over the past few days to draw on in the future…

    Yeah, I bet Memorial Day has taken on a whole new meaning in your household. I hope re-entry is smooth; or at least without too many dark corners…As opposed to the Vietnam era…I have a number of co-workers from that era and their homecoming stories are so sad…disrespectful). At least I think most now appreciate the people that serve …amazing what 20-20 hindsight can accomplish.

    I laugh over your rotary phone…we live in a blackout prone rural area…24 hrs is nothing and I can think of several that were 3 days or more…we always keep one old phone with an umbilical cord to the wall…because when you really need it, its the only one that works…

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