Memorial Day of 2019

In spite of the rain this morning, I was determined to pay a visit to a few cemeteries.  Those low hanging and fast-moving clouds were a bit scary looking, and when hearing later today that Charles City got hit with a tornado, it came as no surprise, because our weather was acting very weird the entire time I was driving.

Whenever I stop to visit one of my old relatives graves and standing there paying my respects, the fondest of memories come rushing back to where I not only see them in my mind, but also hear them.  When looking at the years of death on their stones, I couldn’t help wondering where all those years have gone.

I spent a little more time in Elmwood Cemetery visiting not only my parents and grandparents, but also aunts, uncles and cousins.  I’d nearly forgotten how many of them were buried there.  I’m beginning to wonder about this growing popularity of being cremated instead of a burial. It seems everyone is trying to save money on funeral expenses and opting for the cheapest, which is cremation.

One can’t help but stop and consider what sort of lasting memory there’ll be for those having been cremated, yet no cemetery plot with at least a headstone.  What do people do during Memorial Day for those who were cremated and no headstone?  I know of many whose ashes have been spread at some special place their survivors considered worthy, but that’s just one tribute and it’s over for good.  It makes me a bit sad when thinking about it.

It’s not just during Memorial Day that people visit the graves of their deceased families because I know of many who take short trips to gravesides to spend some quiet time with those they love.  I really think it helps with our sometimes difficult jobs of living, when being able to go out and have a spiritual conversation with someone that was always there for you while they were living.

By the time I arrived home after making my rounds, I discovered I’d been gone for well over three hours.  I did take my camera with me so I could snap a few photos in spite of the gray clouds and non-stop rain.  Tonight’s photo is one I took which I considered the most moving.  I was also impressed by how many headstones had flowers on them which meant there still are people out there paying tribute to the memories of their dearly departed.

I did get back to work on my little/big project for about three hours this afternoon, and found that I didn’t get as much accomplished as I would’ve liked.  Oh well, there’ll be another day to continue working at it.  Another little job I had, was to remove from a fence-line, very long strings of a dead ivy vine which must’ve finally called it quits.  While plugging away at it, I was once again reminded how much I despise vines.

Every time I see them on fences, houses, buildings or churches, I think to myself, “How crazy can people be to have those nasty things growing like that?”  For sure, they do far more damage to structures than any sort of aesthetic beauty they provide.

About five years ago, I had a home listed for far too long just because the owners would not remove the ivy vines from their home’s exterior walls which covered about a third of it.  They insisted they were beautiful, but nearly all the buyers thought they’d be troublesome, and rightly so.  Alas I did get it sold and glad of it because I hated looking at those nasty things every time I was there showing it.

A young couple I’ve been working with these past weeks asked if I would show them a home later this afternoon, which I subsequently agreed since it was vacant.  We spent well over an hour there, and personally made sure I pointed out every visible problem point.  One of the parents pulled me aside as we were leaving and said, “Ok Joe.  Give me your thumbs up or thumbs down on this one.”  I told him it was a solid home, but it’s going to need some work done more sooner than later, but since I knew he’d help his son and daughter-in-law, I wasn’t too concerned about them getting it up to speed.  I have a feeling they’ll want to see it one more time before they make their decision.

I’m hoping you all had a delightful Memorial Day of 2019, and as for me, I’d say today was a memorable one with all the stops I made at the graveyards, and for sure I’ll be making some random stops in the future when time permits.

Tonight’s one-liner is:  They say it’s better to bury your sadness in a graveyard or garden which for the Spring to awaken from its sleep and burst into green.

Joe Chodur

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