When something works, we like to keep the tradition alive. It is that way with high school graduation. Maybe it is because when a student graduates from high school around here, there is little choice, but to leave home. There is no community college nearby and few starter jobs. Perhaps that is why it is such a big deal.
Just as it did fifty years ago, the high school band plays, minus the graduating seniors. It is a final test, of sorts for the band members. Are they able to carry the load without those who are leaving?
Today most of the area high schools held commencement exercises. At our local school, each graduating senior is given a laundry basket with his or her name on it by the Superintendent. This is used to hold cards and gifts that are brought to the ceremony for each graduate by teachers, friends and community well wishers. It efficiently transports diploma, cap, gown and gifts to the graduate's reception.
It seems like only yesterday that Farmer Fred received his high school diploma and congratulations from all in attendance.
But this year there are graduations to celebrate for children younger than his own.
The location of the party is clearly marked and the farm building is cleaned and comfortable. We have had rain, but the day cleared and was very pleasant.
Mandy's favorite toy was on display
As was her Daddy's.
It is traditional to erect what we lovingly refer to as a shrine to the graduate. This consists of nearly every photo ever taken of the honored guest plus ribbons and accomplishments through the years. Sometimes, but not today, there are jerseys and prom dresses included. People gather and visit remembering the wonderful times this child has provided. It is a great day to be Mom.
Aunties and friends help with the food. There will be a couple of hundred people that attend the open house over the late afternoon and early evening. Not bad, when you consider our sparse population and long distances. People come from miles around to support the graduate and family with their good wishes and a card or gift. In exchange, they will be well fed.
Congratulations Mandy! We're all cheering for you!
Even the sky above seemed to be turning out cakes in your honor today.