Getting Corny

I don’t think recipes get much simpler than this one for Mexicorn Salad. This recipe comes from The Mother by way of her friend the Fabulous French Floridian, it was good.
mexican corn salad

It is simple and easy, you can use what you like and skip what you don’t. Here’s the basis:

1 can Mexican style corn, drained
1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
Avocado, diced or sliced
Fresh tomatoes, diced or sliced
Black olives
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish, if desired
Oil & vinegar dressing OR oil & balsamic OR Italian dressing

As you can see, The Mother arranged her ingredients sliced on a bed of corn and served her dressing on the side. If you prefer to dice your ingredients, I would toss all of them together and top with the eggs.

When I try this recipe myself, I’m going to skip the black olives (if The Husband is eating it) and might try adding black beans to the corn. This is a perfect picnic recipe that is easy to personalize, what would you do?

Honoring All Veterans

I knew nothing about The Honoring All Veterans Memorial in Richfield, Minnesota until The Mother said she had added my dad’s name to it. Their Memorial Day Ceremony was my first visit and it won’t be my last. We have always put flowers on graves for Memorial Day but this was my first official event celebrating veterans and honoring their memory and service. It was a powerful experience.
minnesota veteran

The Honoring All Veterans Memorial was originally envisioned by Richfield artist Travis Gorshe in 2005 but it wasn’t until 2008 that the centerpiece featuring Charles W. “Chuck” Lindberg was placed. Chuck, a former United States Marine, was part of the combat patrol that climbed Mount Suribachi and raised the first of two U.S. flags on the summit during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II.
Honoring All Veterans Memorial

Originally from North Dakota, Chuck spent most of his life living in Richfield. The last surviving member of the Iwo Jima flag-raising events in 1945, he insisted that the memorial be focused on honoring all veterans and the planning committee has done that well. Surrounding the bronze of Chuck Lindbergh are giant granite slabs etched with the names of veterans from all over the country who have served in war or served in other parts of the world. According to Len Gudmunson, president of the Memorial Board, it is a way to honor ALL veterans. A new slab was revealed on Monday to bring the total number of names inscribed over the past 5 years to 799:
veterans wall

The City of Richfield considers this to be a living monument because it will continue to grow as new names are added. Giant pillars surround the granite slabs representing each branch of service: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Merchant Marines and Navy.
marine song

As they say so eloquently on their site, “Just as our military branches continue to live, so will this Veterans Memorial.” If you are interested in learning more, visit the City of Richfield Honoring All Veterans Memorial page or call 612-861-9388 to request a brochure.
honoring all veterans memorial

Power in Numbers

I distinctly remember standing at my dad’s grave site for the first time knowing that I would never forget it. The moment is burned on my brain as though it was only yesterday, full of raw emotion and vivid detail. You can imagine my confusion then when I went to visit the site and couldn’t find it. I drove straight to where I remembered it being and then wandered around the graves, unable to find the one I was looking for. After what felt like ages (but was less than 10 minutes), I gave up and went to get a map.

The map sent me back to the exact place I had initially gone. Walking the rows again, I was chuckling to myself because I just didn’t understand why I couldn’t find my dad’s marker. I walked and walked and walked, intently looking at ID numbers while passing rows of headstones and it was only then that it began to dawn on me. When I finally found his marker and stood looking back the way I had come, I realized that this point in time had stopped for me but not for the rest of the world. For me, that day was almost a year ago but for many, it was far more recent. The number of graves that had appeared since last summer was staggering.

You can’t ask for a more literal reminder about loss and grief; we are not alone in the experience and there is far more of it than we can ever imagine. Standing there looking at all those white headstones, I couldn’t help but think of all the people that must be missed. There is a strange and sobering comfort that can be found when we look beyond our own loss and acknowledge it is just one among many.fort snelling cemetery