Friday, March 2, 2012

Where is Rex?

     Today, the dog and I went on a small road trip to the Evergreen Cemetery in Manchester to take a requested photo for It has been a very dry winter so far, and what is usually a very lush and green cemetery is very brown and overgrown :-(  The local community cleans up the cemetery every June, but to me, that is not often enough.  It is obvious which plots are being taken care of (it is strange to see the plots of relatives of people I know from town.)
     One of the few things that I do not like about cemeteries is the amount of infants and children that are buried there.  Luckily infant mortality is not a common as 100 years ago.  It is heartbreaking to see families who have a lot of children that did not live five years.  (One family here has five infants, none of whom lived longer than a week.)
     I found "Rex's Twin" just across from where I was taking my photo.  I looked throughout the plot, and did not see "Rex."  (If he were still alive he would be near 100 years old).  Often with infant grave markers (that do not have a name listed) it will say Infant LAST NAME  or Beloved Child of NAME OF PARENTS.  I have never seen a grave marker like this one.  No name, simply Rex's Twin.

Thank you for reading

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A representation of life

     I love when grave markers are personalized.  This is one of my favorites.  I have no idea what the symbols mean, (although I do like the elephant with the raised trunk!) this unique headstone represents a unique life.  I have always viewed cemeteries as museums, and that the artwork contained within should be enjoyed!  Someone put a lot of thought into this marker, and I am sure that the Anthropologists of the future will have a lot of fun interpreting this one :-)
     Thank you for reading!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A simple way of saying Thanks

Not one of my best photos, but definitely one of my favorite graves. Decades ago, when I was a teenager, I found this grave in a small Point Arena (California) cemetery. I was fascinated by how young he was when he died in World War 1. Long before the internet and simple research I always wondered what happened to this small town war hero.
He was drafted and sent to New Jersey, where he contracted pneumonia and died, during basic training. Within a month of leaving home, he died. An only son. He is buried alone (the rest of his family is in Anderson (California).
It was big news when he died. The county mourned. It was on the front page of all of the papers. Unfortunately it is a common sacrifice that is being made everyday. So much for the war to end all wars nearly a century ago.
I have adopted this grave. I clear it out and make sure the weeds are cleared. I plant flowers, and cringe whenever I see that one of the bushes (like the one in this photo) has been trimmed to the point of near death. I make sure he has a flag on Memorial and Veterans Day, and do what I can to take care of it.
I have been blessed that no one in my immediate family has been killed in war (although I do come from a military family), so I have adopted this Roy and his grave. A small sacrifice of effort on my part for someone who made the ultimate sacrifice for me.
Thank you for reading :-)

I'm baaaaaaaaaack!

I am back and I have photos to post :-) I will be organizing and publishing within a day!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A long way from Russia

I had to travel from one part of Northern California to another part of Northern California yesterday. I have traveled this area countless times in my lifetime, and had never had the opportunity to stop at the cemetery at the Fort Ross (California State Park) cemetery. I LOVE Fort Ross, and highly recommend it, if you are ever driving between Jenner and the Northern Coast. The last Saturday of every July, the volunteers dress up as 1820's inhabitants of the Fort, and it is a lot of fun.
Fort Ross was a Russian Fort that helped to support the (sea otter) fur trade, and has been bought and sold until the State of California made it into a State Park! I could spend an entire day here and still not get enough!!
As with all Forts, there is also a cemetery. Although the photo below makes it appear as though the cemetery is right next to the Fort, it is actually a bit of a (curvy) drive away. I did pull over at a turnout and walk through the wooden fence. This is the beautiful view!

All of the crosses are wooden, and unmarked. They are beautiful in the traditional Russian Orthodox style. There is beautiful ocean view, and I was very lucky that the sun was out while I was there.
I have always been fascinated by immigration. I can not imagine leaving my "home country" and "most of my family" behind to go to the "new world" (either by choice, force or job). Taking into consideration that a simple letter could take a year, living and dying in a new country must have been a scary task. Even if you have an ancestor that died here, finding their specific grave would be impossible.
Thank you for reading!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Facing my cemetery fears...

Very few things about cemeteries "scare" me. I am not afraid of ghosts or demons or orbs or anything "of a spiritual nature." I am afraid of: snakes, spiders, anything creepy and crawly. I was at the cemetery in Manchester, California yesterday when I spotted the grave in the above picture. (The quality is not that great--sorry). I would never had noticed it, for the entire plot of overgrown, and the photo is taken through a "hole" in an overgrown mass of plants and ivy.
I was looking for a specific marker (for and knew that I had to crawl in there to see if it was the grave I was looking for (it was not). Keep in mind that the ivy was at least two feet deep, and heaven knows what was living in it. (Shiver).
Once inside, it was like being in a BEAUTIFUL forest. Although the entire space was only 10X10, it was the most peaceful plot I have ever been in. Then I took this photo:

I know that it is crooked, but I was waiting to be attacked by whatever was making the ivy its home. The names of their children is inscribed on the back, but it had a HUGE yellow slug crawling on it, and since I believe in leaving things as I find them, I left it!
I did make it out alive. I am sure that in a few years, the "jungle" will overtake this grave. I will try and keep the "opening" open, and will brave the space again.
Thankfully I was able to find the marker I was looking for...on the other side of the cemetery!
Thank you for reading!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Small towns and big sacrifices

I spent some time in Point Arena yesterday, and I stopped by the Odd Fellows Cemetery. This small sea side cemetery is one of my favorites. Cemeteries tell the story of most small towns. You can tell which families married into each other, and which families struggled with so many of their children not surviving infancy.
You can also see how many families have a lot of military members, and which seem to have none. There seems to be a lot of "army" people here! It just goes to show that war is supported by every community...even those with less than 500 people.
I always bring my dog with me to the smaller cemeteries. She is a wonderful "snake alert system" and I do not have to worry about what is lurking in the bushes!