Thursday, May 22, 2008

Flag of the Farm

If our farm were a nation or a state, maybe this could be the design of its flag!

Dirt and dandelions........hey, why not. Now, we'll also need to come up with the farm's anthem, and the farm's bird, and tree, and.....let's see.......(thinking).......the farm flower (looks like DANDELION will win), and a motto!! Any ideas? Let me know!

Oh, and this reminds me........did you ever have to create a country for a high school government class assignment? We did. I named my country "Atlantia" and it was a large island nation east of Argentina (whose climate and natural resources lists I used for references). I'm trying to remember what type of government I gave it........I think it was a representative democracy, but had no president.



Instead of traipsing around in cemeteries yesterday with my mom, I should have been home mowing the lawn. It needs it badly. However, look at the photo below........would you have the heart to mow off all those bright, cheery dandelion blooms??!! I don't, so the mowing will have to wait a couple days until this GORGEOUS yellow carpet turns to unsightly white fluff. (Surely, you're of the opinion that dandelions are gorgeous!)


Mom and I searched for her grandparents' graves in a large municipal cemetery in Waterloo. Quite a contrast to our small local church cemeteries! We thought we knew the vicinity of the graves, but after walking around for awhile with no luck, we drove down to the maintenance shed and asked an employee holding a weed trimmer if he had a moment to spare. He said he'd look up ONE name for us; we gave him thus and he rummaged in a file box, and then consulted old, yellowed plat maps of the cemetery, informing us then of the section and lot number. Our faces must have projected blank perplexity, for he then took us outdoors and pointed to a tree-shaded hill and said "up there, in the middle".

So we went to the middle of "up there" and walked back and forth between the tall trees and closely-spaced rows of gravestones, searching for the name we wanted, with no success. Pretty soon the maintenance guy appeared still carrying his trimmer and asked us if we'd found our grave. We said "No" and he glanced around and quickly pointed to the stone we were looking for! We appreciated his helpful concern. He probably thought we were blind as bats!

As we stood gazing down at her grandparents' gravestone, Mom reminisced a bit. She said that on Memorial Day each year her parents would pick flowers and then the family would have an outing to the cemetery. She said, "My sister and I would wander around amongst the stones. I remember there was a tall one nearby that had a woman's photograph on it." So I started looking around to see if we could find it. Sure enough, several rows away was the tall, narrow stone of a woman who died in 1936, and an oval photograph of her was encased on the side. Sadly, her face in the photo was missing, appearing to have been smashed by vandals. Cemetery vandalism is confounding........I cannot comprehend how anyone could enjoy doing such a thing.

All in all, Mom and I had a pleasant day together. She seemed to appreciate having a chance to visit these family gravesites for the first time in several years. She kept commenting on how few flowers there were on the graves in the section of the cemetery we were in. Well, the plots there were from the 1930's and '40's, and there's probably very few relatives of those people around anymore.

We living humans were greatly outnumbered by tombstones there in the cemetery yesterday. It was just Mom and me, a handful of other visitors, and several employees steering roaring lawnmowers and wielding buzzing trimmers around hundreds of tombstones. In these surroundings, I kept thinking of the title of a book I read long ago, We The Living, by Ayn Rand. Little do I remember about the story, except that I think it took place in Russia during or right after the Bolshevik Revolution. If my vague memory of it is correct, it was a depressing book.

There were some interesting old statues in the cemetery, here and there, on top of the larger tombstones......... mainly large angels that were crumbly and mottled, but adding a sense of comfort and serenity.


The best to you on this day!!


nannykim said...

beautiful pics--hey, thank for your praying when visiting my blog the other day; come see what God has done.

rhymeswithplague said...

I love your farm flag! Dandelions and dirt! It could be my back yard!

My mother and father are buried in Texas (since 1957 and 1967, respectively), so I don't get to put flowers on their graves very often. They are buried 30 miles apart, because my father married again after my mother died and he is buried in my stepmother's family plot. This is a little weird for me, but I cope.

My father said many things to me when I was growing up, but the thing I remember most, the thing that makes me stand tallest, is this profound sentence: "After I'm gone, you will be my monument, not some headstone in a cemetery." The pain of not being able to visit the cemeteries more often is lessened a bit by remembering that.

Anonymous said...

I have always been surprised at how cemetery employees respond to visitors. It's hard for me to remember that it's just business as usual for them when, frankly, I'm a bit unnerved being there in the first place. I really like what rhymeswithplague's father said. I am going to remember that next time I see one of those big roadside memorials. They are all over the place here and have actually caused more accidents.

Egghead said...

I can not fathom why vandals find cemeteries a place to destroy. I work near a pioneer cemetery with very old stones and college students and other vandals have drunkenly and stupidly tipped head stones and ruined many old beautiful plants. The cemetery is kept up but is not open for further is that old.

I just don't see the fun it this.

Anonymous said...

I love the dandilions! Hehe, well it is a good excuse for not mowing. We don't mow, mostly because there is so much in the way of downed branches, rocks and other nefarious things that find their way into the meadow that we tear up any mower blades in short order. Parker weed eats around the house and gives me a bit of "lawn". I love our local cemetary, mostly because I recognize so many of the names. I love old small ones and ones. I once found one out in the middle of the woods with only three markers. No names, and I have no idea when they were "planted." Might have been back in pioneer days for all I know.

Jeannelle said...

Hello, everyone!


Many get well wishes and prayers for your father-in-law!



That's rather sad your parents aren't buried together. I guess it truly doesn't matter, but the thought of it almost brought tears to my eyes. But, what good words to remember from your father!



I agree with you about the roadside memorials.....I must confess I've craned my neck a time or two trying to read the names on them.....yes, they are a hazard.

You know, that cemetery employee seemed gruff and impatient at first, but then when he checked on us later, my opinion of him changed. He was busy, though, and I can understand why he might consider our request a bother.



Yes, it makes me so sad to hear of cemeteries vandalized. You just hope there are good records somewhere of who is buried where when the stones get destroyed or lost.



That's very interesting about the gravestones you found in the woods! They probably are from pioneer days.....and would have an emotional story attached to them if we only knew.

That's cool you don't mow much area.....I could go for that!

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Your dandelions are so cheerful.

I don't understand the cemetery vandalism--or any type of vandalism--either.