Friday’s Top Five – Memorial Day Edition

Today’s Top Five are things for which I am grateful.  Perhaps I’ll do a Top Five things about me next time!  We’ll start with our reason for the three-day weekend:

1. American Servicemen and Women

This weekend is Memorial Day – a Federal holiday that honors men and women who lost their lives serving our country.   Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day began after the Civil War (1868) to honor those Veterans.  The observance was then extended after World War I to include all service Veterans.  On Monday, the American flag is flown at half-staff until noon, to mourn those who have lost their lives, and then is raised to full-staff, to honor our Nation’s heroes.  At Arlington Cemetery, small flags are placed on every grave marker.

Arlington Cemetery

 Yesterday, on my way back from the gym, Carly and I saw representatives of Rolling Thunder.  This year is the Rolling Thunder XXIV Ride for Freedom, demonstrating their concern and support for those service members MIA or POWs.  For me, it’s emotionally overwhelming when they roll into town – remembering those who have given so much for our freedoms.

There is a National Moment of Silence on Monday at 3pm local time.  Your challenge this weekend: thank a service member.

2. Family: We’re not crazy.  We’re Quirky.

So, some of you may know, my parents have been out of the country for the past three years.  I’ve only been able to see them once a year, at Christmas.  Earlier this spring, they moved back to the States!  It’s very exciting.  I’m headed to Texas for the long weekend to play golf with my dad and shop with my mom.  It’ll be nice to have some one-on-one time with each of them.  One of my favorite things about going “home” (wherever home may be – Texas or another country) is that I get to be a kid again.  🙂

Me and Mom. "Normal" isn't in my DNA.

Also, my sister (co-blogger Laura) is pretty awesome.  Our sibling rivalry is less “rivalry” and more “push each other to do better”.  We’re each other’s confidants, and I’m grateful that she’s my best friend.  We also have epic amounts inside jokes that leave many people in our lives confused.  (HIGH FIVE TEAM TWO!)  We’ve also been compared to a whirlwind of confusion before.

My extended family is pretty close, considering we’re scattered all across the US – from San Diego to Orlando, and everywhere in between.  Our wedding-weekends are ridiculous when we all get together and catch up.  We celebrate together when something good happens.  And mourn together when it doesn’t.

3. Friends: Old, New, and Those I’ve yet to meet

 I have a pretty great set of friends from so many different times/places in my life –  undergrad, grad school, trapeze, running, kickball, book club, work, friends-of-friends-who-I’ve-kept, high school, overseas friends… the list goes on.  I’m grateful that there are GOOD people in this world, and that I’ve come across so many of them in my life.

4. Health, Wealth and Wisdom

I am a fairly healthy person.  I’ve been running for a year now, and am training for the Marine Corps Marathon.  I fly on the trapeze in my spare time.  I’m lucky that the sickest I’ve gotten in the past few years was a small bout of the Swine Flu.

I’m not rich by any means, but I’m not struggling for money either.  I’m grateful for the family, drive, and education that has allowed me a somewhat ‘priviledged’ life.

I am grateful that I’ve made so many good decisions in my life.  I am also grateful that, when I’ve made bad decisions, I’ve been able to learn from them.

5.  Travel

I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given to travel abroad.  My parents have been ‘international’ many times in their lives, including when both my sister and I were born.  It’s kind of weird having to state another country when responding to “Birthplace?”  But, it’s set me up for many an international trip.  Living internationally in Birmingham, England, by myself really allowed me to grow up.  I spent a year going to school at the University of Central England (now: Birmingham City University).  I made new friends from different walks of life and got to see some amazing things in Europe (Sistine Chapel, anyone?  Piazza San Marco?).

I’ve also spent time in Costa Rica and Peru:

Ruins at the town of Pisaq, Peru

What are you grateful for?

xoxo, Suzy

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