Our True Colors…


A patriotic display at the 3 French Hens French Country Market, along the banks of the historic Illinois & Michigan Shipping Canal.

Hi Friends,

We are celebrating Memorial Day weekend across our country… and our colors are showing! Americans always think of this weekend as the unofficial start of summer. Our hot, humid, rainy days in the Midwest suddenly do feel like summertime!

The delicate blossoms of Cranesbill Geranium, Lilies of the Valley, Daisies, Allium, and Spirea add color to the garden in mid to late May.

The delicate blossoms of Cranesbill Geranium, Lily of the Valley, Daisies, Allium, and Spirea add color to the garden in mid to late May.

Our perennial and herb gardens are flourishing with all of our recent rains. This week, our Friendship Garden bed is just beginning to show its lovely Springtime colors as pale, pink Peonies, light purple Iris, and deep purple Siberian Iris bloom in abundance. Clematis vines fill the arbor with fuchsia and purple blossoms. Springtime color is everywhere!


Yesterday I gathered Peony, Daisy,  Anemone, and Ajuga blossoms to fill a festive vase. The small, red, silk poppy was made by veterans in our veterans’ hospitals.

In honor of Memorial Day, our true colors are the most important ones on display everywhere. Our flag on the front porch is blowing in the warm, May breezes. Pots of geraniums are all abloom with tiny flags, too.  Small red, white, and blue bunting hangs across the archway in our dining room. A white, stoneware pitcher is filled with a collection of American flags.


Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, in Elwood, Illinois.

Last week, when I drove into the grocery store parking lot, I noticed an elderly man, sitting quietly near the door. He proudly wore his VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) uniform and held a big bunch of red, silk poppies. As shoppers exited, he greeted them and collected donations for our veterans. Of course, I couldn’t wait. With my donation in hand, I walked right over to thank him for his service, made my donation, and accepted the red, silk poppy with so much gratitude. When I asked where he served, he named several battlefields in Korea. I told him that my dad also served in Korea, and that I recognized some of the same battlefields from my dad’s stories and carefully documented Army scrapbook. He kindly asked me to thank my dad for his service, too… and I promised that I would. Later, as I packed all of the ingredients for our Memorial Day celebration into my car, I knew that the most important thing I brought home that day was the small, red, silk poppy.

The simple tradition of wearing a silk poppy pinned to the lapel dates back to 1918. Inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields,” by Canadian poet John McCree, the red poppy is a symbol of remembrance for all of the men and women who gave their lives in service to our country. We show our true colors when we observe this special ritual over Memorial Day weekend.


During visits to Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, prayers for peace and quiet gratitude, for the sacrifices made by these men and women whose lives were lost in service to our country, always bring tears to my eyes.

One of the most important ways that we can show our true colors is to help our children, grandchildren, and students understand the significance of Memorial Day. Hopefully, during their lifetimes, a day will come when we no longer have to send Americans into harm’s way. When my sweet neighbor, Karla, comes to visit, she always notices the flag that hangs on our front porch from May through November. Sometimes we talk together about why we display our flag and what it means. Now that she is seven years old, Karla is just beginning to understand our true colors.

On Memorial Day, the flag is raised quickly to the top of the staff, then slowly lowered to the half-staff position, to remember the men and women who gave their lives in service to our country.  At noon, the flag is raised to full-staff for the remainder of Memorial Day. This ritual of remembrance helps remind us not to let their sacrifices be in vain and calls upon us all to continue to work for liberty and justice for all.


The Middle East Conflicts Wall Memorial, in Marseilles, Illinois, is the first memorial of its kind, honoring our fallen by name, while the conflict is still going on. Since 1979, every year right after Memorial Day, the names of servicemen and women who have sacrificed their lives over the past year are etched into the granite of the Wall.


… and so many other brave men and women who made the the ultimate sacrifice.

Remembering those who gave their lives in the Middle East.

Remembering those servicemen and women who gave their lives in the Middle East.

We all share the hope that no more names will be etched on The Middle East Conflicts Wall Memorial in the years to come…

Bundles of letters sent home during World War II

A vendor at an antique fair told us recently how she found this collection of letters written during World War II. These bundles of letters document the lives of men and women in service to our country. It would be so interesting to read the stories these letters hold.

In 2000, Congress passed the National Moment of Remembrance Act, asking Americans to stop and remember, at 3:00pm on Memorial Day.  As we pause to remember, it’s so important to remember the families of those who made the ultimate sacrifice. While volunteering to help our military families, I was fortunate to hear the stories of mothers, wives, and sisters whose loved ones are currently serving in the Marines. Today we are fortunate to have email and Skype to keep families close during military deployment. While volunteering with Operation Write Home, I learned just how important it is for families at home to receive a letter or card from their hero, written by hand from the heart. My mom still treasures the letters that she received from my dad while he was serving in Korea. Their cherished bundle of letters, still tied with a ribbon, is such a tangible reminder of the sacrifice that so many families make in service to our country. Military families continue to experience the ultimate sacrifice, as precious lives are lost or changed forever. Our military families show their true colors every day!


How will you celebrate Memorial Day this year?

Do you have any special Memorial Day traditions?

This Memorial Day we are adding an extra-special event to our Memorial Day weekend. My parents are here visiting from Arizona. Today we are having a very special family gathering to celebrate my parents’ 64th wedding anniversary!! ♡ What a blessing to celebrate this special day with both of them!! We will share their memories of their wedding day, planned while my dad was away serving in the Army. Luckily, Dad was granted a very short leave and arrived home on the day before his wedding! He moved his new bride across the country, to live near the military base. Before long, my mom had to carry on bravely at home, as her new husband shipped off to serve our country in war. Such a heartwarming story of true colors and true love! ♡♡

Cherish the day!




For the Love of a Letter…

Letters are like visits… when friends are apart!           {via Tumblr}

Hi Friends!

I’ve been thinking about one of my very favorite pastimes today!  As far back as I can remember {and that’s a long time}, I have always loved writing letters. It just fills my heart with happiness to pick out pretty stationery, find a lovely postage stamp, a nice pen, and let the words just flow… straight from my heart! Often I will tuck in a photo or two that hold special memories. Letter writing is one of the joys that has made such a difference in my life!

It has always been my style…

On our family vacations throughout my childhood, I would bravely strike up a conversation with someone my age at the campground or by the swimming pool. Before parting ways, I would often ask them to be pen pals so that we could continue our friendship all summer long. Throughout grade school and high school, I loved writing letters to my French pen pal. Oh, the excitement to find her letters in our mailbox!

It has expanded my world in wonderful ways…

Some of the friendships that I treasure most in life began by writing letters. After a brief meeting in person, my German friends and I watched our friendship blossom through letter writing. We learned patience, as we waited weeks for our letters to cross the ocean and back, with a long-awaited reply.  The anticipation made it ever so exciting!

It keeps hearts close across the miles…

Writing to friends and family in other states always makes the distance between us seem shorter. It is always so heartwarming to discover a Kindred Spirit who also loves to write letters! Oftentimes, our friendships have grown even deeper, through letter writing, after a friend has moved away, Sharing our hearts in handwritten letters, even when friends live nearby, has helped our friendships grow in the most wonderful ways.  Making time to write a real letter, in this age of electronic communication, is a true expression of affection, friendship, and love! The gift of rereading a letter several times multiplies the joy of receiving it.

It is filled with sentimental creativity…

Pretty paper always makes my heart soar! Just choosing the perfect piece of  stationery is part of the charm of the handwritten letter. Once the paper is filled with carefully worded thoughts, it becomes a heartwarming, little gift for a special someone. I also adore sending notes in handmade cards.  Spending time thinking about the recipient while I create their card always feels like a little visit. Letters are like visits… when friends are apart!

There is love in the tiniest details…

At the post office, I always ask to see all of the stamps, just to find the perfect one for the recipient… one they might enjoy. In my Calligraphy days, I would dip my nib into handmade ink colors as I addressed each envelope, to complement the postage stamps. It’s the little things that make my heart happy!

Writing a letter feels so good…

There is even a scientific reason why making time to write a letter or note, even on the busiest of days, makes me feel so happy. This simple act of connecting and bonding with a friend, without any expectation in return, stimulates Oxytocin (the ‘feel good’ hormone) levels in the bloodstream. When our Oxytocin levels rise, it becomes easier to deal with stress. Writing letters is such a healthy, happy pastime!

Letters become real treasures…

Letters document the small moments of our everyday lives in a real, lasting way.  My mom still treasures the weekly letters that my dad sent her while serving in Korea. They are tied with a ribbon, joining two young hearts so long ago. The stories these letters hold are so important to our family. They are a cherished part of our history.

Letter Writing journals held the daily letters that my young students and I exchanged long ago. They each enjoyed writing me a letter in class, while I enjoyed answering their letters at home, while sitting on the porch swing. They shared the important things ~ their families, their pets, their dreams, and their questions. We grew so close, through our daily letters. Over the years, so many students have let me know that they saved their teddy bear Letter Writing journals because they hold the stories of an entire year of their lives! Their letters document an important part of their childhood.

During a recent summer, a young neighbor and I also shared a Letter Writing journal. I would deliver my letter to his mailbox early each morning and he would carefully tuck the journal holding his reply behind the checkerboard on our front porch. (He wasn’t quite tall enough to reach our mailbox!) We both looked forward to our daily letters! Over the summer, this struggling writer discovered that writing is communicating and can be really exciting! We will always be important friends because of the letters we wrote that summer.

Over the years, as my young students have grown up, many still keep in touch. I will always cherish their letters, filled with their everyday stories, important questions, hopes, and dreams. They often write from college, sharing their lives as they grow up. Oh, how these letters touch my heart!

It’s so nice to brighten someone’s day…

During these uncertain times, it is so lovely to send words that someone special can hold onto for years to come. Although weeks or months (or even years) have passed, perhaps there is someone special who would love hearing from you! When they find your letter in the mail, everything just picks up right where you left off. You could write a long, newsy letter to catch up on one another’s lives, send a handmade card with a little note, or write a special thank you letter for a kindness. It’s never too late. Whenever one person writes a letter ~ it makes two hearts happy!

It’s easy to spread sunshine to friends you’ve never met…

"Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."  ~ Winnie the Pooh

“Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”
~ Winnie the Pooh

There are many wonderful organizations who welcome your handwritten notes. It’s such a small act of kindness that makes a big difference in the world. Postcrossing is a fascinating way to connect with people from all parts of the world by sending postcards. Writing ‘Any Hero’ letters is an important part of the amazing organization, Operation Write Home.  Letters from American citizens are delivered to American military personnel deployed across the globe. It’s our opportunity to thank them for their service and sacrifice. What a small act of kindness for those who give so much for all of us! Just writing letters, notes, or postcards can make a real difference in the life of someone you might never meet!

It’s the perfect time to write…

‘National Send a Handwritten Letter Day’ will be celebrated on the 17th day of every month in 2015. If everyone writes just one letter, it will support the goals of preserving and honoring the art of the handwritten letter, pumping millions of letters into our struggling postal system, and bringing millions of smiles into the hearts of people from coast-to-coast.

The ‘Happy Mail’ movement encourages everyone to send a card, note, or letter, too. Their goals are to make someone’s day, connect people (and hearts) together, and to save a mail carrier’s job! Just the simple act of writing a letter makes a big difference to everyone who touches the letter ~ you, the person sorting the mail, the person delivering the mail, and the recipient. So much happiness flows from one little letter!

It has been such fun to write Valentine notes and letters this week. ♡

It has been such fun to write Valentine notes and letters this week. ♡

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, once said “Letters are among the most significant memorial a person can leave behind them.” Handwritten letters hold our stories and document our lives in the loveliest of ways. They are best savored with a cup of tea!

“Or don’t you like to write letters?  I do because it’s such a swell way to keep from working and yet feel you’ve done something,” wrote Ernest Hemingway.  That’s so true for me! Writing a letter always feels like playing, rather than working!

Just LOVE to write letters! I'm off to brew a cup of tea...

I will always be a letter writer at heart!

I’m looking forward to writing a long letter to a faraway friend this weekend. Emails are great… but a letter to hold, reread, and save is an extra-special gift of love and friendship! Writing letters is just what I do, and have always done. Sometimes the good, old-fashioned traditions are the best ways!

Hope you will make someone’s mailbox happy… and put a smile in their heart today! ♡

Happy writing!


P.S.  Are you a letter writer?  Please share your stories, too!  Who would just LOVE to receive a letter from you this week?

{All stamp images ~ USPS}

Inspiration is Blooming Everywhere!


One last Rudbeckia blossom shines with Chrysanthemum blooms in our Autumn garden.


Hi Friends!

Summer’s last hurrah was a delightful gift for Midwestern gardeners! We had three glorious days of warm sunshine and blue skies to finish putting our gardens to bed earlier this week. Squirrels were scampering around in the yard getting ready for the cold weather, while I scampered about in the garden!  Our trees are almost bare now and the leaves have been raked and mulched. Autumn’s bright colors are fading very quickly now.

                                                                                             {via Pinterest }

Many gardeners enjoy cleaning up their flower beds in Autumn. However, I always leave the stems and seed heads standing through the winter months. The birds can take advantage of the seeds while other food sources are buried under the winter snow. It brings me such pleasure to enjoy my ‘shadow garden’ all winter long, when the tall stems and dried seed heads cast lovely shadows on the snow. As I shovel, I delight in the wonderful garden memories. Although my fingers and toes may be frozen, my heart is always warmed by the sweet shadows reflected on the sparkling snow.

We are expecting a chilling Halloween, in more ways than one!  Brave trick-or-treaters will really have to bundle up this year. Costumes based on the movie ‘Frozen’ will match our Halloween chill. With warnings of a killing frost on Friday evening, it’s time to gather the flowers, filling vases with the last colorful blossoms of the season. I’m looking forward to surprising our neighbors with bright bouquets!


Many years, we still have Chrysanthemums blooming in the garden to create a lovely Thanksgiving centerpiece.


Any time you need a little sunshine, please stop by to visit our garden!

{ via Pinterest }

It’s so easy to  revisit all of this year’s garden memories. It might be lovely to brew a cup of tea. Then just click on the dark stripe on the far left side of the screen. Under ‘Categories,’ click on Petals.  Take a leisurely Springtime walk through the garden. Enjoy the perennials and herbs throughout the summer months, and visit the garden in Autumn. You might enjoy reading the sweet memories of our Friendship Garden and Herb Garden, too.

Inspiration is blooming everywhere!

Over the past few weeks, I have been busily setting up a Studio space for papercrafting. In anticipation of having a special place to be creative (and messy!), I have been finding much inspiration from some of my favorite crafters. I’d love to introduce  you to someone very special ~ Sandy Allnock, founder of Operation Write Home. Sandy’s tireless efforts on behalf of our nation’s heroes really make a difference!   I admire her creativity, talent, hard work, and dedication.

Sandy’s ‘Silverware Theory’ of craft room organization makes so much sense. You might enjoy her video, showing how she organized her new craft room. I found wonderful inspiration at 15:36 in the video. Take a peek!  Sandy keeps an ‘Inspiration Drawer’ near her desk. It is filled with her newest  tools and supplies for cardmaking. What a great idea!

Inspired by Sandy, I started filling an ‘Inspiration Box’ when I began dreaming of a Studio space of my own. The contents of my Inspiration Box are always changing. Whenever I bring home new cardmaking supplies or tools, they go directly into my Inspiration Box. Each time I begin a new project, I take a peek in my Inspiration Box and try to use something new! It’s fun to learn new skills by trying new things!


New cardmaking supplies and tools find a special home in my Inspiration Box until they are used on a project.

After I use the stamps, embellishments, or tools once or twice, then they move to the storage drawers in my Studio. Hopefully, I will remember that I have them because I have already used them! I intentionally chose a small, photo storage box to use as my Inspiration Box. As it fills up, it is a great reminder to use what I already have before buying more supplies.  Inspiration + Motivation = a very happy, contented cardmaker!

If I came home from the craft store and immediately put  the new supplies into the drawers, I would forget that I bought them. Sandy’s idea works like magic! At the moment, my Inspiration Box is filling up. The next time I go downstairs to the Studio to make cards, it will be fun to be creative with the Wplus9 ‘Hand Lettered Hello’ stamps and dies, the lovely sentiments in the Power Poppy ‘Renewal’ stamp set, or the Sizzix ‘Filmstrip’ die.  Oh, the ideas are already flowing!!

I always think of Sandy when I open my Inspiration Box. I’m so grateful for this small idea that makes so much sense!  An Inspiration Box, Drawer, or Basket might help so many different crafters ~ holding fabric and accessories for sewing, beads for jewelry making,…   It’s a lovely reminder to use what you have!

Inspiration is blooming everywhere around us!

Create happiness!

♡ Dawn


P. S.  Can you think of a way to adapt the Inspiration Box idea to help motivate or inspire one of your creative passions?

Let’s Celebrate!


Hi Friends!   Welcome OWH Card Makers!

What a happy day! Today card makers from around the world are joyfully making cards in celebration of  World Card Making Day 2014. This marks the ninth annual worldwide celebration of one of our favorite creative pastimes. What a blessing to have a hobby that spreads happiness to our families and friends… and brings us such joy!  Card makers also love to create cards for people we haven’t met, offering our gratitude and support. It warms my heart to make cards for  two wonderful organizations: Operation Write Home and the Semper Fi Family Platoon. Small acts of kindness ~ for those who sacrifice so much!

Today I’m excited to join the blog hop party at Operation Write Home!  As a new card maker, I am so honored to support OWH, as we help our Heroes stay connected with home. I knew the very moment that I discovered OWH Executive Director, Sandy Allnock (aka ‘The Scrap Wrangler’), that I wanted to help OWH support Americans deployed around the world.

While our needs are changing with the drawdown of troops, there ways that you can help out!  Even if you are not a card maker, there are two important ways that you can help! Writing ‘Any Hero’ Mail lets Americans serving far from home know that we are grateful for their service, keeping us safe and preserving freedom. Financial donations will help with the huge cost of shipping boxes of our handmade cards from OWH headquarters in Washington state, to all of the places where Americans are serving around the globe.

In celebration of World Card Making Day 2014,

OWH is making LOVE cards today!

Here is a peek at my LOVE card ~ neutrals inspired by nature, as I walked along the Prairie this week…

Cardstock: SU Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla,  Patterned Paper: 'Stella Rose' My Mind's Eye,  Embossing Folders: Buttons~Darice, Waves~Lifestyle Crafts,  Stamps: Dragonflies~Art Neko, Sentiment~ Taylored Expressions,  Ink: Memento 'Tuxedo Black', Distress Ink~'Tea Dye,' ,  Punches: SU Circle punch, Fiskars Border punch,  Vintage button, hemp                                                        Inspired by Lisa Curcio

Cardstock: SU Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla, Patterned Paper: ‘Stella Rose’ My Mind’s Eye, Embossing Folders: Buttons~Darice, Waves~Lifestyle Crafts, Stamps: Dragonflies~Art Neko, Sentiment~ Taylored Expressions, Ink: Memento ‘Tuxedo Black’, Distress Ink~’Tea Dye,’ , Punches: SU Circle punch, Fiskars Border punch, Vintage button, hemp.  Inspired by Lisa Curcio

 Cards for OWH are blank inside.

Our Heroes will write a message, straight from their hearts,

for family or friends at home.♡

Cards and letters sent home often become family ‘treasures,’ that tell an important part of a family’s history. Letters that my dad sent home to my mom, while serving in Korea, are tied with a ribbon and tucked safely away. Our stories matter! They document the good times, as well as the very difficult times, in our lives.

It’s heartwarming to think that the cards made by OWH card makers will also become family treasures ~ displayed on mantels, preserved in scrapbooks, and tucked under children’s pillows at night. When one family member is away from home serving our country, the entire family is making a huge sacrifice! We look forward to a time when American’s won’t be sent into harm’s way. Until that time, we can offer our military families our gratitude and support…

It’s time to hop along to visit a few of the wonderful OWH card makers

who create cards for our Heroes!

           Click here to begin!


Thanks for hopping by today!

Autumn blessings!

♡ Dawn

Red, White & Blue ~ Traditions Old & New

Red, white & blue is everywhere!

Red, white & blue are popping up everywhere!

Hi Friends,

Everywhere you look, there are displays of red, white & blue! From sea to shining sea, we are getting ready for Memorial Day weekend. In the midst of celebrations of warm, summer-like days, the end of another school year, cookouts, and baseball games, I hope you can find a peaceful, quiet moment to reflect on the importance of Memorial Day and the great sacrifices made for our freedom.


Last summer, while antiquing our way through the little towns nestled along the Illinois River, we unexpectedly came upon The Middle East Conflicts Wall Memorial, in Marseilles, Illinois. This memorial is the first of its kind, honoring our fallen by name, while the conflict is still going on.  Since 1979, every year right after Memorial Day, the names of servicemen and women who have sacrificed their lives over the past year are etched into the granite of the Wall. We took a long time to walk along the wall, very quietly and with great sadness.

Remembering those who gave their lives in the Middle East.

Remembering those who gave their lives in the Middle East.


Reflecting… and remembering.

Honoring a local hero, Christopher Alcozer.

Honoring a local hero, Christopher Alcozer.

… and so many other brave men and women who made the the ultimate sacrifice.

… and so many other brave men and women who made the the ultimate sacrifice.


We all share the hope that no more names will be etched on The Middle East Conflicts Wall Memorial in the years to come…





Red, White & Blue ~ Traditions Old & New

Old Memorial Day traditions are celebrated all across America.  Our town is looking forward to our 96th annual Memorial Day parade, followed by a special ceremony at the Veterans’ Memorial in the park. Young and old will gather for the red, white, & blue celebration.

My favorite author and artist, Susan Branch, shared her very special Memorial Day traditions on Martha’s Vineyard, in Massachusetts. You will love this wonderful, old, island tradition!  Such a simple act of Remembrance that tugs on our heartstrings, in Susan’s own words…






It’s always nice to add some new traditions to our holiday celebrations, as well. Wouldn’t this be a great time to let our servicemen and women, who are currently deployed, know how much we appreciate their service? It’s such an easy thing to do ~ and it feels really good, too! Writing Any Hero Mail for Operation Write Home (OWH) would be the perfect new tradition…

Who can write Any Hero mail?  You might like to use up some cards or note paper, by writing letters on your own. Family gatherings, community festivals, summer art camp, and classroom or school-wide projects are an easy way to introduce a new tradition to larger groups. The Operation Write Home website has tips for writing letters, coloring pages for children’s letters, and the mailing address for your cards and letters.

How does it work?  Just find a piece of writing paper, a card, or a postcard, and write a short Any Hero letter! Tell them about the town where you live, your pets, a funny story,… just let them know that you are thinking of them and are grateful for their service for our country.

What happens with the cards and letters you write?  Packets of Any Hero Mail are included in each box of handmade cards created by OWH volunteers. The heroes use our handmade cards to write letters home to their family and friends. Your Any Hero Mail will be placed at the top of each box of OWH cards and given to deployed heroes who do not receive mail. (Can you believe that many of our service members never receive mail while they are deployed?) You will make their day and let them know that the hard work they are doing is appreciated. Our troops are still out there, doing their jobs every day. They should know that we are thinking of them!


Over the years, our brave family heroes have served our country: my dad (Korea), my father-in-law (WWII), my uncle (VietNam), and our cousin (Iraq, Afghanistan). We have been so fortunate that all of  the veterans in our family have come home safely. Yet memories of family stories of loved ones serving in harm’s way, old  black and white war photos, and packets of love letters tied with ribbons have left a profound mark on my heart.

As I planned for my retirement, my thoughts turned to finding new ways to “make a difference.”  So I searched for small ways to help those who sacrifice so much every single day ~ our military families.  Over the past year, as a volunteer with the Semper Fi Family Platoon, I have met amazing mothers of young Marines. Their sons and daughters left soon after high school graduation for training. Many are now deployed and are proudly serving our country.  As the moms talk, I learn more and more about the ways  the entire family sacrifices when a loved one is serving in the military. Our group of card makers has been making cards for hospitalized Marines to let them know they are not forgotten.

I am also slowly filling a box with special handmade cards for Operation Write Home.  These cards are blank inside, so that our heroes can use them to keep in touch with their families. OWH cards end up in family scrapbooks, on mantels, and tucked under the pillows of children whose parents are deployed. It takes me a long time to make the best cards possible…  and they deserve our best! Such small things I do, for those who do so much…

Thanks for spending a little time thinking about some old and new holiday traditions today. Hope you’ll stop by again in a day or so!  Our Friendship Garden is just about to burst into bloom…

Happy Memorial Day!

♡ Dawn

P.S.  How will you celebrate Memorial Day weekend?