A normal Memorial Day would have meant cookouts, travels, time spent with family and friends, and memories of the sacrifices of others. But this year the much-revered holiday was tempered by the challenge of the Corona virus. .
Looking Out for Each Other
The highlight of my day came when Robin called and asked if I’d like to go for a ride. “YES!” I responded enthusiastically. I put on my makeup and fresh clothing lickity-split, even though I didn’t plan to see anyone.
As I got into the car, a wave of nostalgia swept over me. When I was a kid, each Sunday afternoon, when church and lunch were over and the dishes put away, we’d go for a joyride in our Oldsmobile.
As I joined my daughter for the outing, I thought of my grandmother’s preparation for those drives during the 1940s. She’d put on her corset, white gloves, hat with a veil, and enough Evening in Paris perfume to put us all in a trance. By contrast, today I wore a mask.
The Park in the Merry, Merry Month of May
Robin and I drove through Forest Park, where hundreds of people were picnicking, cycling, and roaming about. What’s more, they were playing by the rules! Everyone I saw was staying a respectful distance from each other and many were wearing masks as well.
Finding a Place to Lunch
We headed into the Cortex area, where there’s lots of construction underway, but I saw no open restaurants on this holiday Monday. In The Grove a few places were offering curbside service. You could tell which were open by the small cluster of cars or people standing at a distance from each other.
On The Hill, I saw a open grocery, but parking, which is usually a problem, was plentiful. By the time we headed toward The Loop it was mid-afternoon and we were feeling a bit peckish.
The Knack of Curbside Ordering
Robin called Al-Tarboush Deli on Westgate and ordered a Chicken Shawarma and Beef Kafta for our lunch. We gave a credit card number over the phone along with the order. When we arrived, the owner’s daughter, wearing mask and gloves, set our lunch bag in the back seat. We exchanged a few pleasantries. She was most grateful for the business and warmly expressed her feelings.
So there you have it. Memorial Day 2020, a most unusual day. But most importantly, a time of gratitude and remembrance of those who fought the tough battles of yesteryear. Now it’s our turn to join hearts, (if not hands), in making our land whole again. I’m already looking forward to enjoying that American flag pie next year.