Kicking Off Summer in Style

In our small town here in New Jersey, Memorial Day weekend is done up with style.  From the decorations around town to the Memorial Day parade (which starts late and then lasts about 20 minutes) to the opening of the town lake, the last weekend in May is always festive.

After the parade, my family decided to go to the local beach.  The town ships in sand for this "lake", a small pond that is flanked by a playground, cooking pavilion and automobile parking.  The recreation commission opens the lake every Memorial Day weekend for anyone and everyone to visit.  Best of all, it's free.

Not only is the lake free for touring during Memorial Day but they provide free hot dogs and drinks.  As we were there for a couple of hours and I switched between wading in the murky lake (need to work on the algae- note to self) and the ever-popular tire swing, I counted about 200 people enjoying the sand and sun.  You do the math- 200 people and free hot dogs.  That doesn't even take into account the other folks who went to the lake before we got there.

On my way home, I thought about this some more.  Maybe it was because my son ate three hot dogs all by himself or maybe it was because it was such a great day.  On the other hand, I realized that a conscious choice had been made by the recreation commission to provide for such a day.  They didn't have to give families a free day in the sun.  They didn't have to provide free food for hundreds of folks.  All of this during a recession, mind you.


I'd say that the Memorial Day festivities and the decisions of the recreation commission were entirely spiritual.  They considered something besides the bottom line so that families could spend time together.  They saw the value in recreation and fun.  Thanks to all who serve behind the scenes to make our town's lake a place for families to enjoy.

*Photo by IAMCharlie