Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Hanging out in the Cemetery

In case you are wondering what a retired quilter is doing in a cemetery, let me explain.  Recently I have developed an interest in genealogy and started looking up old ancestors.  I know this is not for everyone, but I get excited when I find a scrap of information about my long lost relatives.  I attended a meeting to learn more about the subject and the lady in charge introduced me to the website Find A Grave (a free website).  Interesting, I thought.  So we tried a search using my grandfather's name and up popped information about where he is buried in New York state along with a little obituary.  This was like hitting gold for me.  I never knew my grandfather; he had died when my dad was only 14.

On Find A Grave, I sent the person who had added the information a little thank you note; she replied back and was kind enough to send me some old newspaper articles about my grandfather.  She also sent the links to find more articles.   Since I had joined the Find A Grave site, she wanted to know if I would become the caretaker for my grandfather's page.  Of course, I accepted.

This morning I had requests in my email from people who wanted a pictures of certain grave stones in a cemetery that is not far from me.  Right away, it seemed like an adventure, so off I went with names, camera and a bottle of water.  The Charleston Cemetery was out in the country and lovely.  I found three grave stones that were requested and took pictures to post on the website.  It was great exercise and a fun thing to do, at least for me.  You only have to photograph graves if you want to - it's not mandatory when you join the site.  I like walking around old cemeteries, reading tombstones and taking pictures, so why not!

A member requested this grave picture.  It is her great-aunt.
Another thing I have been doing lately is reading poetry by Carl Sandburg.  Anyone remember him?  He was a great American poet and here is a poem from him that I like.  It does go along with the cemetery theme and has great imagery.  Sorry, it's the English teacher in me!

Carl Sandburg

THE JUNK MAN by Carl Sandburg

I AM glad God saw Death
And gave Death a job taking care of all who are tired
     of living:
When all the wheels in a clock are worn and slow and
     the connections loose
And the clock goes on ticking and telling the wrong time
     from hour to hour
And people around the house joke about what a bum
     clock it is,
How glad the clock is when the big Junk Man drives
     his wagon
Up to the house and puts his arms around the clock and
          "You don't belong here,
          You gotta come
          Along with me,"
How glad the clock is then, when it feels the arms of the
     Junk Man close around it and carry it away.

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