We celebrated Memorial Day for the first time in our married lives. As I explained to the husband, since marrying someone who works at a hospital, I have accepted the fact that holidays aren't so holy for us, since he has usually been low man on the totem pole or trying to save up time off for an upcoming event (like a birth, for example), so I've basically been alone on most major holidays, and we've celebrated those that really need celebrating (like Christmas or Thanksgiving) at odd times before or after the dates in question and ignored the minor holidays altogether, like Memorial Day or the Fourth of July. It makes us seem very bohemian and unconventional but really, not so much.
However, this year we ended up celebrating Memorial Day, and there was never a better place to do so than Charleston, SC. Memorial Day festivities are significant for many folks in many places, I'm sure, but a town in the South where the median age is over 50 enjoys making a big to-do over remembering the past (while wearing tasteful sun-dresses and palmetto-dotted ties). The husband is a member of the Charleston Men's Chorus, as I'm sure I've mentioned, and every year, as part of the Piccolo Spoleto festival, the chorus does a Memorial Day concert at St. Philip's church on the peninsula for a sell-out crowd. They sing a rousing program of patriotic songs during which enthusiastic concert-attendees often clap in time (or slightly out of time, as the case may be, depending on the age and hearing of the attendee).
Jacob and I went to support the husband, along with the wife of a friend in the choir who joined at the same time as the husband and another of our friends from church. We got ourselves settled into the pews and got Jacob fed so he'd behave for the concert. And he did behave, except we had to hussle ourselves out to the foyer after just a few songs because he wanted to sing along with the choir like he sings along with his daddy at home. So we listened from just beyond the pews, where the baby did very well until the last few songs, during which he fell asleep. He was particularly impressed by the bagpipes that preceded the choir's entrance but quite alarmed by the applause, which I realized he never heard before. It helped when I started clapping along with everyone else so he could see where all this noise was coming from. The choir sand well and the husband enjoyed performing with them.
Later, we joined many choir members at a fete at a beach house on a nearby island. There was barbecue and corn on the cob and potato salad and shrimp and grits and desserts galore, all well-lubricated for everyone else in attendance by free-flowing adult beverages. Jacob was the hit of the party, being stolen away by all and sundry and oohed and ahhed over by the rest. We met some more choir members on a more intimate level (sort of the point in going at all, really) and heard about their great-granddaddy Klan members, the "queens" in the choir we needed to watch out for, and the damn Yankees. Oh, nothing like a little local color to while away an evening. Really, though, everyone was as nice as could be and we enjoyed ourselves.
And we got back just a short time after the baby's bedtime, but he was so exhausted after three days of erratic and virtually nonexistent naps that it took quite some time to get him settled. But then, when we did, he slept 'til 2 am and then until 6 am after I fed him! Hallelujah! It looks like I have yet another reason to memorialize this Memorial Day.