Memorial Day

Memorial Day

When I was 8, Memorial Day at our house began as it always had-- in controlled chaos. As if by a call of revelry, our downstairs and upstairs doors swung open. Exiting from above was Grandma Rose, a little dumpling shaped woman, carting our picnic supplies down to our shared hallway. Like giant tin soldiers, Guardian-Ware cooking pots were lined up at the wall in size order. The tallest was a soup pot that reached my knees. It’s thick silvery bottom sat on a mat made of ice cubes wrapped in saran wrap and folded into a towel. Inside was potato salad made the night before for today’s picnic. The heaviest was the stew pot; squat, bumpy and chilled the same as its neighbor pots, but with its lid tied down by cotton cord. It made me giggle to see this metal man with his hat-lid and ear-handles wrapped like he had a toothache. Inside were dozens of chicken parts; drumsticks and thighs, breasts and wings all soaking up my Dad’s secret barbeque sauce*.

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