Happy Memorial Day! This is the unofficial beginning of summer, at least the summer vacation season. It is a time for all of us to pay our respects to the valiant men and women who have made sacrifices to keep this nation free. It is a time for families to get together for family celebrations.
A lot of things happen this weekend. First and foremost we say thank you to the members of our Armed Forces and great respect to those members who have passed protecting this great nation for the last 232 years. I’m a “tweener,” one too young for one conflict and too old for another. I’ve never served in the military. But my gratitude and respect for the men and women who have made it possible for me to enjoy America is no less. I sincerely thank you for your service to the United States of America. We cannot exist without you.
Summer doesn’t officially begin for another several weeks, but Maine’s summer tourist season begins this weekend. Maine is a year round tourist destination, but it is the time between this weekend and the Labor Day weekend on which many tourist industry members depend for the bulk of their income. Some would argue that the season has been extended through the leaf color changes. All the reports of the filled up campsites indicate that at least the campers will be here in droves.
There was a time when many folk looked forward to this weekend as it is also the time when all the fun stuff at Old Orchard Beach opens full time for the summer. I think many of the fun places along Route One in Saco also begin in earnest. But in my humble opinion, OOB has declined considerably over the last few years. The cost of the activities and the diminished attraction because of construction makes many people, especially Southern Mainers, think twice about heading there.
For many people this weekend is the traditional opening of the summer camps. This long weekend gives many Mainers and many “from away” the chance to clean the winter out from their lakeside cottages, put boats into the water, and generally have a family good time preparing for the summer ahead.
Families that stay near home also take the opportunity this weekend for family gatherings and cookouts. The smell of grilling things will permeate the air throughout the region. Not only do families have the chance to enjoy one another’s company but it’s an opportunity to get caught up on all the family excitement, and a little time for some sadness, too.
It is a time to visit family plots in cemeteries, too. Many of us take this opportunity to do some beautifying around those places which serve as a link between our past and our future. Unfortunately for many of us, it’s one of the too few times we visit our deceased loved ones. And for many of us simply too far away from our deceased, it’s a time of reflection and memory.
Memorial Day. It is a great time to get together, to enjoy good times with family and friends, and to prepare for the fun season ahead. I hope you are having a good one and, since this is a long holiday weekend, we’ll be back again tomorrow.