If you’re in a small town and they have a parade, you must always go because you are guaranteed to feel good. Parades exist for the sole purpose of show, smiling and cheering. Memorial Day parades in particular honor our military and all who serve country and community. In East Hampton and small towns everywhere that means we also celebrate our rescue squads, fire departments, and police. I cry at just about any ceremonial display for our servicemen and women. Including the East Hampton Ambulance Association. I am hopeless.
My daddy was a helicopter pilot in the Army and served in Korea and twice in Vietnam. When I was old enough to understand where he was, I fretted every day. My stepfather was a Marine Corps fighter pilot who also served two tours in Vietnam. I fretted about him, too. We still have soldiers in Afghanistan and advisors in Iraq. I believe praying is more productive than fretting, but I can’t help but fret. God bless them and their families, this day and every day.
Another thing you always do is stop at a neighborhood lemonade stand. This is one of the few things in life that has absolutely no down side. And if the lemonade is homemade (it was indeed); AND they have Rice Krispy treats (oh yes); AND they are giving their profits to ARF (the local Animal Rescue Fund); AND the little girls are adorable (seriously); then you’ve practically won the feel-good lottery. Their father and presumed CEO told me that last year this little troop of pip-squeak entrepreneurs marched into ARF headquarters and plopped down $400 and change.
So I rode my bike home feeling all RebeccaofSunnybrookFarms and about to pick a few salad greens from the garden… when I heard a loud splash. I had not recalled inviting Michael Phelps to come swim… I scuttled over for a look and there was a pair of mallards swimming around and entirely too relaxed about it. WTF?
Then they waddled around on the lawn like they were waiting for me to bring them an iced tea. I know what you’re thinking: Awww… Well trust me, no good is going to come of ducks in your tiny back yard. They have friends, and they have digestive tracts, if you follow me.
I explained to them about my more prosperous friends who have much larger pools and gardens, not to mention the various ponds and oceans in the vicinity that are in the public and duck-lic domain. Then I hollered and flapped my arms like a crazy woman. They got the message.
If you are wondering how all this is going to tie together, you are not alone.
On reflection, perhaps I acted hastily. In a patriotic swell of emotion I recall the rousing “Stars and Stripes Forever” by John Philip Sousa which accompanies the enduring classic:
Be kind to your fine feathered friends,
For a duck may be somebody’s mother
They spend all the day in the swamp
Where the weather is always dahmp.
Now you may think that this is the end.
Well it is.