Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

I'm spending my first Memorial Day in seven years in the US and I have to say, so far, it's been a let down. When I was kid, Memorial Day was a real holiday. We began the day by getting a collection of flags out of the closet and preparing to drive into town for the parade. There would be the inevitable fight over who would get the flag with fifty stars, and who would have to make do with an older 48 star flag. Memorial Day signaled the official first day of swimming in the river behind my house, and usually ended with the first barbeque of the summer, although they were called "cook-outs" back then. Some fifty years later, I live in northern Utah and I woke this morning to heavily falling snow. No one will be swimming anytime soon in Cache Valley.

Thanks to the miracle of the Internet, I can listen to Inforadio Berlin as I shiver in my Logan kitchen eating breakfast. It's 31 °C in Berlin today, sunny and clear. In 1960 as we waved our flags for the veterans and scouts marching by in Wilton Center, Berlin was a grey city, the last outpost before Leningrad: all that stood between us and godless communism. Today, in Berlin, commies and capitalists alike are reclining in Strandkörben and ordering Margaritas, imagining they're in Cancun.

The sun is melting some of the snow here in northern Utah as it climbs toward noon, but the sky is pelting us alternately with hail or a cold rain. Cancun sounds good to me too, but I'd gladly settle for the Kanzlerstrand along the Spree in Berlin or just sitting on the hood of our 1957 Bel Air back in Connecticut. In fact, almost anything would be preferable to the bizarre spring we've experienced here in the Inter-mountain West. I'm planning my annual trip to Germany, but won't leave for two weeks still. I'll be in Berlin for the last week in June and I can only hope that the great weather Europe has been experiencing this spring will hold.

This blog has been pretty moribund for the past nine months but I expect that to change starting now. The truth is, I've been pretty busy since September with university business, but with graduation behind us and the summer ahead, a lot of the pressure is off. For the foreseeable future I expect to be sharing my time again between working in my studio and semi-regular posts to my blog. I missed a lot of interesting stories coming out of Germany this past year, but there will be new ones, and nothing can stop me from writing updates on stories that are no longer in the news. But for now, I'll get out the snow shovel and clear a path to the garage. The only Margaritas I'll be drinking today will be frozen ones.


Tyler Vance said...

Great to see Forschungsjahr back on the air!

Not leaving for 2 weeks? Why so late this year?

Christopher T. Terry said...


I can't remember why I thought it was a good idea... Maybe I thought spring in Cache Valley would be so delightful, I shouldn't miss it every year. What was I thinking?


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