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Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017

Decorate and Enjoy

Posted Wednesday, April 11, 2012, at 8:20 PM

I spent a bit of time during our recent jaunt to the Panhandle doing some work on my hubby's genealogy to add to the family tree information.

We stopped at Rosehill Cemetery near Broadwater, Nebraska to take photos of some of the family gravestones. Wasn't certain when the opportunity would arise again for awhile, so I suggested we stop before reaching our destination. The time or two I was at Rosehill before were fairly windy. The wind last week was gusty and had a bit of a chill. The sun was shining very brightly and helped keep the chill away. Had to wear a coat but didn't need earmuffs or gloves. The ground was the brownish hue of the prairie still sleepy from the winter with the only green being those hardy dandelions peaking to see if it was spring yet.

Went to the Bayard cemetery the next day and took a good many photos as well. It was a blustery day and quite a bit cooler than the previous day. However for being the first part of April, I could not complain about the wind too much.

One of the extended family thought it was creepy to be taking pictures of the gravestones. And honestly, at that age, I would have agreed with him. However, I do it now for a couple of reasons. One, seeing dates on a permanent stone marker can help to confirm family information. Two, this may also help others doing family research. Most of us are a miniscule piece of our family trees, so if I add info the family and extended family can use, that is okay by me.

The other thing is those gravestones are works of art. It has to take special skill to make them and do so to honor the wishes of the deceased and/or their family.

However, the best story I heard in doing the "cemeterying", was the following. On a trip by the cemetery, they noticed a grave stone of a family friend was decorated. Nothing terribly unusual, except the friend was still very much alive. When they called him to inquire why it was decorated, he replied he just wanted to see how it would look like decorated.

I laughed and laughed when I heard that. While I didn't know the family friend all that well, it didn't surprise me he would do that. Reflecting on the situation, it might just be the way to look at life. Best to decorate it how we would like to and enjoy the view while we can.

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Betsy Coolidge
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