Jul 20, 2011

Grave Hoppin'

I grew up going to cemetaries.  When I was little, my grandmother would cut peonies, stack them with layers of wet newpapers in the trunk of the car, and away we would go to decorate graves.  There was rarely ever anyone else there and as we distributed flowers, my grandmother would tell stories about the people whose gravestones we knew.  In a small town this can be quite a lesson, and geneology as well as  history were absorbed as naturally as bedtime stories for me.  Get more than two people of a certain age together at a cemetary, and you will be amazed and delighted at the stories you will hear.

I loved the different stones, calculated how long the surviving spouse spent without their mate, witnessed the babies born who did not survive, and marveled at what their lives would have been like.

I still do.

 It was always a favorite way to spend an afternoon with my mother's family.  Many is the time I have picked up the phone only to have a relative say "Want to go grave-hoppin'?".  It's a little joke, as opposed to "bar-hoppin".  The answer was always yes.  It still is, and I love to go by myself too.  If I'm alone and I pass a cemetary I most usually stop. 

Here are just some pictures I took when I got the new camera, but I have always loved this angel.  She presides at the Catholic Cemetary here in town.  Angels and crosses dominate this cemetary.
Across the road is the city cemetary. Parts of it are very old.  Of course, they are my favorite.  This cemetary also has some angels, crosses, and also little bell shaped tops on the stones.  I do not know what the bell shaped tops mean.  My favorite stones of all are the Woodmen of the World stones, and we have many in the city cemetary.  Here are some from this batch.  I have many more of these taken at many cemetaries, and am saving those for a post just about them.  It is a wonderful story and you should look it up.  If you have never noticed these before you must have not been paying attention, they are immediately recognizable but also have unique features. 

This one I took just for the old tree.  It's in the oldest part of the cemetary and one of my favorite scenes there.