Today I was driving Miss Lola home from her swimming lesson (thankfully she'd just finished her lesson and showered off before some less happily potty-trained little minx took a crap in the pool, resulting in the rapid forced evacuation of the pool and the immediate deployment of the staff, who clearly have well-defined individual roles in such "brown-out" emergencies. This occurs several times a year, and I've never been on the premises before when it happened; I've only been the recipient of the rapidfire, curt courtesy calls informing me NOT to bring my child in as the pool is being drained and disinfected. The industry and energy of the staff was truly something to behold, and I had to force myself not to stand about gawking) and I was contemplating the Memorial Day weekend. I have no plans to go out of town. I had earlier in the year contemplated driving a few hours north for a large annual camping party organized by friends and acquaintances, but when it came time to reserve spaces, I was feeling too blackly depressed to have the energy for the party (and God knows driving anywhere with my children can test one's will to live). "So what shall I do all weekend," I wondered, and then it came to me. I should do something in the true spirit of Memorial Day, something to honor those who have given their lives in military service.
There has been a war going on in the background for several years now, and every day there are more and more casualties. I am personally deeply, deeply opposed to the war in Iraq (but in favor of the war in Afghanistan, about which we rarely hear), and I am sobered and saddened by the loss of each life. More and more American military personnel are deployed, possibly never to return again.
How should we honor those almost incomprehensible sacrifices? Suggestions? Can I encourage you, my darlings, to join with me in this? I realize that it's easier for me to draft you along on my whimsies when they are actually whimsical, e.g., y'all will send me pictures of cleavage but aren't about to rush out and read "The Lucifer Effect" with me, despite my ringing endorsement that reading about the Stanford Prison Experiment is engrossing enough to keep a suicidal person alive. Nonetheless, let's mull this over and generate some ideas.
yeah reading a depressing book, as much as i adore you, was a little much for me.
i suggest something much more celebatory! (as i'll be spending the weekend here alone). a picnic in the park with the lola and the IUA waving american flags! complete with American food!
a grand mural of american history!! painted by the cherubs!
a conglomerance with the Grand Soccer Moms (the cool ones) of some patriotic fete!
finally, pancakes with creme freche, strawberrys and blueberries to commerate the red white and blue.
For the record I just want to state that I'm pumped to read the prison book - I reserved it at the library and everything.
Have the girls make get-well cards for the soldiers recovering at Walter Reed in DC.
If you see a vet, just say thank you. They appreciate that.
Contact your local chapter of Blue Star Moms. See if they are collecting anything to send to the troops.
I know these ideas focus on the living troops, but one never knows when one might pass from being one of the living to being one of the dead.
I have been reading the Lucifer Effect, and enjoying it. It has done a lot to illuminate my own experiences of the past few years (and showed me how smart I am to get away from the stupid people who play prison games nonconsensually).
Ideas for the soldiers: bake 'em cookies! Lots of cookies! I know how good you are at cooking, and treats are always appreciated.
I don't know if it's been done, or if it's even doable, but what about a used porn drive? Collect magazines and DVD's that your friends are no longer "using" and send them off to the sex-starved troops! (I know, not very feminist of me, but it's about what they need or want, not necessarily what we think is right.)
And cards made by the kids is always a good way to go.
I'm sorry I won't be seeing you this weekend. We'll be back out in SF again for a wedding in October.
How about adopting a soldier? There's a great website that sets it up for you and then you can personalize a gift/care package to send to him/her!
I like the challenge to do more!
Thanks for the adoptasoldier link! That is awesome and something that I think would really help me feel I have expressed my appreciation to a soldier.
These are great ideas. I went over to the Adopt A US Soldier site and registered, so hopefully I'll be assigned someone soon. I like that idea a lot.
Epiphany, in the "Jarhead" Desert Storm memoir, the soldiers asked a reporter for porn, among other things. (Incidentally while we're on that subject, I got the nonfiction book about porn you recommended but haven't started it yet. I'm sure I'll have stuff to say about it when I'm done).
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