Iím down to four original lemon-colored Windsor Melmac plates now. It was that Marie Callender again. Seventeen minutes on high was just too much. I had forgotten about the last time already. (My memory is good; itís just short.) I heard the fatal cracking noise, but by then itís too late, so I just waited until the turkey pot pie was finished. After waiting the five minutes to let it cool, I carefully removed it from the microwave, removed the partial cardboard box, and saw the damaged 1950s dessert plate turned brown with a model of the San Andreas Fault running down one side. I took it in both hands, gently split it, and buried it in the receptacle at the end of the counter.
A child who remembers the set of eight (with cups and saucers which were lost to gardening projects over the years) said, ďI donít think those are microwave safe.Ē Iím beginning to believe heís right. Iím not going to take all the blame for the demise of the set though. There were bowls too; only two of them have survived, and I was not responsible for their early departure. I will put a note in their place in the cupboard with a message: ďDo not microwave!Ē I donít know why they are so attractive to me to burn up. I have a surplus of small china plates that can easily stand up to 1100 watts of microwave heat, but I automatically reach for the Lemon Windsors.
Tomorrow, May 27, is the official Memorial Day Monday holiday. I remember as a child my parents and grandparents going to cemeteries to decorate grave sites on ďDecoration Day.Ē Iím a traditionalist when it comes to the ceremony. I believe in traditional grave sites and all the trimmings. I know that many people think that we make too much of the burial ceremony, but I guess I just canít change. Death and how it is observed is a very important part of our lives. Different peoples treat human death much differently throughout the world. There are differences in the way folks here go about the burial rites and grave sites. This weekend, you will see many people, including me, visiting cemeteries and decorating and tending to graves of their lost loved ones. There are those on the other hand who feel that these traditions are sort of morbid and donít participate in any of the Memorial Day ceremonies.
The treatment of graves is much like the reaction of people to the loss of a loved one. Each person has to make an individual peace and be satisfied with it. Only someone who has lost a loved one can determine what the best way is to react. We no longer have a standard mourning period in our society, but I believe we each have one in our mind.
No matter what your personal feelings are, please take time on Memorial Day to remember those deceased who served our country, especially those who lost their lives in the service of the United States of America. Fly your flag this week.
You can reach Al at firstname.lastname@example.org by e-mail or Facebook.