Earlier in American history, Memorial Day was called “Decoration Day.” This observance began in the aftermath of the Civil War to honor more than 600,000 Confederate and Union soldiers who sacrificed their lives for what is considered today as one of the deadliest wars in American history. After World War I, it was renamed as Memorial Day to pay respect to all Americans who laid down their lives in military service. Later, in 1971 President Richard Nixon proclaimed the last Monday in May as a Federal holiday. Another source has it that the last Monday in May was chosen because that’s when flowers are in bloom all over the country. This year it will be celebrated on the 25th of May, a long weekend of celebrations. Some of us take Memorial Day very seriously, some of us do not. Currently, it is the day for barbecues, shopping mall mania and the cheapest deals in town. It is the unofficial kick-off to summer, and we will be cracking open our summer wardrobe but if there are a few additional bits and pieces to buy, the Memorial Day sales are the time to do it. It is the weekend to go out and celebrate with DJ’s spinning the night away and unforgettable bar crawls. Time and again we are reminded to make a conscious effort to remember the significance of this day while being in a relaxed holiday mood at the same time. Many of us will visit cemeteries and memorials to honor these brave men or volunteer to place an American flag on a grave in a national cemetery. Many of us will take this opportunity to catch up with family and friends or travel to a holiday destination.
Our family gets together every year at my grandfather’s huge home in New Orleans. My grandfather loves this huge family of four siblings, their spouses, children and grandchildren, thirteen to be exact ranging from stages of infancy to adulthood. It will be a gala occasion, a crazy one, truly speaking, with requests for the same traditional Memorial Day lunches cooked year after year, red, white, and blue balloons bobbing all over the lawns by the time the party is over and my grandma’s blue, red and white crockery set out and dazzling. My grandfather seems to look older every time I meet him. The aging process and the health complications that are a part and parcel of it are clearly visible. His endurance levels are slowly going down, and he prefers the quiet of his bedroom.
NEW CELLULAR SHADES.
This Memorial Day, he is going to be a lot happier. He will join us for a beer and lunch ever so briefly and quickly move back into the peaceful haven his room is and meet us all there. He has grown to love the new Cellular Shades that have been fitted onto the windows of his bedroom. In the hot summer months, his room receives the full glare of the afternoon sun, making it very uncomfortable for him even when the AC is on full blast. In the cold winter months, cold drafts of air would make his bones ache. The Blackout Cellular Shades that were purchased online was the wisest choice my aunt made.
Cellular shades are generally made of two or more pleated layers. When joined at the pleats they form honeycomb-shaped cellular compartments that trap air and act as an insulating layer between the window and the shade. This trapped air has a dual purpose. In summer, it checks the warm air outside a room from flowing in through the windows and reduces solar gain. This in turn reduces energy spent on cooling units. In winter, it checks the warm air in the room from flowing out, making the home warm and comfortable. When Cellular Shades are equipped with a unique foil technology to keep the room dark during the day or in the late evening hours when we think the sun has set, but it is still hovering around, we can enjoy the benefits of Blackout Cellular Shades that help in decreasing solar gain. The opaque Blackout Shades used in my grandfather’s room cut out that glaring sun in the afternoons and let him have a peaceful afternoon nap. The fabric used for Blackout Cellular Shades are effective in absorbing UV frequencies that not only cause glare and temperature change but also damage the color of furniture, paintings and other décor elements in a room. They reduce UV light by 99%.
• Even though his house stands quite a distance away from the busy road, and the blaring sound of traffic, that continuous buzz of activity would quite unnerve him. No more. He has to draw those shades down and the air trapped in them makes for an excellent sound reduction. The next door neighbors are an enthusiastic lot, a young couple and their two children who love to have a party by the poolside every other weekend. This weekend will be no exception. A barbecue party, a house full of guests, music blaring. Thankfully my grandfather will sleep through it all. He never was a party-pooper.
• Besides being the best energy efficient blind, Blackout Cellular shades come in a two- shades-in-one option called sun-up-sun-down or day-night shades. They are made up of two types of fabric. The light filtering fabric on the top half and the sun blocking fabric on the bottom half or viz versa. There are also cordless shades that can be raised or lowered either from the middle to the top or from the middle to the bottom. This leaves us with more options for privacy and light control.
• Blackout Cellular Shades are of two types, Single-celled and Double-celled. As the name implies the Single Cell Blackout Shades have a single layer of cells stacked one on top of another. Careful examination from the sides reveals a honeycomb design while the front has a pleated appearance. They can be accented with a valance, cornice or drapes. They are cheaper than Double-celled Blackout Shades. These shade have stacked and intertwined twin cells. More air is trapped in their cells, and this gives them an advantage over the Single-celled Blackout shades. Not only are they useful for insulation but they also decrease the noise levels by several decibels coming in from neighbors, traffic and other disturbances outside the room.
• Energy conscious users call the Double Cell Blackout Shades the most energy efficient of window treatments due to the extra air pocket of insulation. Hot or cold air tries to pass through two groups of cells and becomes trapped, never really entering the room from the outside or leaving the room from the inside. They work efficiently to regulate the temperature in a room regardless of the season.
• Increased deaths by strangulation in children and pets have prompted the innovation of cordless shades that have a cordless or motorized control operated by a switch or remote control. When raised they stack compactly, giving a clear, unobstructed view.
• As the summer advances and the length of the daylight increases the Double Layer Blackout Cellular Shades in my grandfather’s bedroom will allow him to keep to his routine sleep pattern without any interruptions. It is that time of the year for sunglasses, flip-flops, grilling and all kinds of picnics and parties, cycling expeditions, and treks. My grandfather, though, is unique. As he always said, “I’ve lived my life, and I’ve fought the good fight.” He truly feels fulfillment. It’s already 8 A.M, and his rhythmic snores show that he is not in a hurry to wake. Thanks to the Blackout Cellular Shades in his room!