Memorial Day is a national holiday designated to honor the men and women of the armed forces who lost their lives fighting on behalf of their country.
Originally Published in the Greenwood Daily Journal, May 28, 2011
No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers adoringly caring looks! Well, maybe that is just my take on this popular line from an Alice Cooper song. But, school is out for summer in all of Johnson county and man am I glad. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job. Not many people can say the same thing. I truly love going to work every day and I can’t imagine doing anything else. Well, except writing about food, but that’s a story for another day.
Really though, how many people can honestly say that they have a job where they truly feel happy and fulfilled? I get to see the differences they make in a child’s life every day? Not only am I helping to shape these little lives but they are, in essence, shaping mine. I have met the neatest kids over the years and I remember everyone that I have worked with. You can’t spend that much time with a child during the day and not have a soft spot in your heart for them when they go on to middle school.
Students sort of become like your “at school” children. Education is not just about their academics it is also a potpourri of all of the little things that make up their personality. Did they have breakfast? How are things at home…why is he/she so tired?
So when I went to my oldest son’s choir concert this week at the middle school, it was a teary night for me. Not only was my son performing in his last event for 6th grade, but I had a chance to see so many kids that had passed through my door in the last few years. Seeing them wave and call out a “Hello Mrs. Tallman” was proof that they had not forgotten me after all. It was gratifying to see how well they were doing.
What I can say for sure is my workday is rarely the same from day to day and hardly ever boring. There is always something to do, someone to check in with and new information to absorb.
Like the students, I also need a break from it all. I am fortunate in that my children and I are on the same schedule. Like most parents, my summer calendar is starting to get pretty full. I make sure to maintain balance between what we have to do and what we want to do. Each of my kids makes a list of 10 personal goals they have for the summer. Not material things they want to acquire, but real attainable goals. This year’s results are a little amusing. Their goals range from getting a lower 1 mile run time to making 1000 circles in the cul-de-sac on a bike. Learning to make pancakes made the cut as well as finding a new book series to read, and taking my own fish off of the hook when I fish. We save the goals so we can compare notes at the end of the summer.
I also made a list of personal goals to keep me in line over break. My list ran the gamut. Losing my “winter weight” was top on the list along with only writing in the morning when the boys were still asleep, cleaning out my huge pantry and making sure I sat for 30 minutes each day in my over sized chaise lounge in the living room. I know this last one is strange but I have this wonderful chair that I bought for myself 4 years ago and I never, ever sit in it.
There is so much to do on these school breaks that I feel like I want to squeeze every drop of what they have to offer. There is a fine line between quality time with your children on an outing and just relaxing at home with a good book. In the blink of an eye your children get older and so do I. Will they really remember the pottery painting class you made them take in 5 years? No, but they may remember the night hike you take looking for owls or the time you all made breakfast for dinner together.
So this Memorial Day weekend, take a minute to remember all of the soldiers serving in the armed forces around the world and those that have fallen.
I know we all have someone we can thank for their service. Gather your family and friends for the first cookout of the season. Swap stories over the fire while making smores. Practice your cannonball at the pool. Make your living space beautiful by planting a few flats of flowers. Just do something that makes you happy.
I would like to wish my little Indianapolis 500 baby a happy 12th birthday. He got this moniker by his delivery nurse the day he was born. His arrival was marked by the announcement “Ladies and Gentlemen….start your engines” which was blaring from the nurses station.
In the spirit of healthy eating, I want to give my take on what is one of the most grilled items every Memorial Day; BURGERS.
Greek-inspired turkey burgers are lower in fat and calories than standard all-beef burgers, and the recipe is fast to make. The fresh flavors of the mint and feta really liven up the turkey to make is more than your usual run-of-the mill grilled patty.
They are the perfect, healthier burger recipe to make for a Memorial Day cookout.