Graveyard Benches

William Jewell Cemetery, Liberty, Missouri

William Jewell Cemetery, Liberty, Missouri

Do you ever accept the invitation to rest and ponder?

Walnut Glen, Booneville, Missouri

Walnut Glen, Booneville, Missouri

 I think you can tell when the loved-ones were serious. Many state the implicit invitation in writing.

“We really mean it! Have a seat.”

Dungeness, Washington

Dungeness, Washington

With others, it’s the careful landscaping or spectacular view that makes me feel welcome.

Hazelwood Cemetery, Springfield, Missouri

Unless the bench is old and frail, or occupied,  I take a seat.

Walnut Glen, Booneville, Missouri

Walnut Glen, Booneville, Missouri

In Missouri, that's all I remember.

In Missouri, that’s all I remember.

 

       

Be respectful. Use common sense and good judgement, but try it sometime. You’ll feel a very visceral connection. More than simply reading the words on a stone or even enjoying the beauty of a sculpture. This is personal.

Lee's Summit, Missouri

Lee’s Summit, Missouri

Let me know what your experience was like.

A Creepy Day

North Lawn Cemetery, Rolla, Missouri

North Lawn Cemetery, Rolla, Missouri

I took a trip through southern Missouri months ago.  

Angel in a box, Rolla, Missouri

I had a lovely day, enjoying the blood-pressure-lowering tranquility I usually experience in cemeteries.

North Lawn Cemetery, rolla, Missouri

North Lawn Cemetery

But as I looked over these shots this morning, a decidedly creepy vibe came through.

If you squint, it kind of looks like it’s floating.

I don’t try for spooky when I aim my camera. I just look for interesting angles, beautiful stones.

It’s the shadow in this one. There’s a weight to it that I don’t remember feeling when I was there.

But look at this ominous shadow! I totally missed it while I was there.

North Lawn Cemetery

Interesting bright blue orb.

Do you see the creep factor in this group of images too, or am I just in a mood?

Dad’s Passing

Peonies from the yard, Memorial Day 2013

My dad died back in March.  Of course I miss him.

The prospect of getting back to my blog about how much I love graveyards gave me the worst case of writers’ block I’ve ever had. I couldn’t decide what to say, how much to say. For a while, I wondered if I could keep the blog going at all. 

But after all these months I’m finally able to walk into a cemetery and feel that quiet, timeless comfort again. 

My grandfather chose this site. He always said we could throw a rock at his grave as we drove by.

 My sisters and I haven’t marked his grave yet. I definitely have a new appreciation for the complexities of choosing tombstones.

The cemetery where he’s buried only allows stamped bronze markers, the kind mounted flush to the ground, but I’m determined to give taphophiles like me a better clue about how my dad lived his life than the typical phrase, “loving father and husband” provides.  But how do you sum up a life in twenty words or less?

Here’s the epitaph I’ve come up with that seems to suit him best so far…

William Frederick Moore

May 9, 1932 – March 28, 2013

He loved his family, the great outdoors, and the two-step.

Dad caught this whopper at Table Rock Lake – a nineteen pounder!

I love you, Dad.

Ghost Bikes

Memorial on Raytown Road in Kansas City, Missouri

Have you ever seen a ghost bike memorial?

I’d heard of them. I’d seen temporary memorials spray painted on the pavement at the site of  bicyclists’ deaths.

Kansas City, Missouri

This is a different kind of memorial than I usually photograph, but when I saw it I had to stop. I pulled onto the wide shoulder where the man and his granddaughter had ridden. It was a long, straight stretch of four-lane, country road. Hard to imagine what must have happened that morning to cause the accident.

Kansas City, Missouri

Despite the obvious age of this memorial, the grief still felt raw here. Like crosses marking  car accidents, I hope that ghost bikes serve to wake people up a bit. I know when I pass them I’ll sit up a little straighter behind the wheel, scan ahead a little farther. Share the road.

Guest blogger

Here are some gorgeous shots by a cemetery girl after my own heart. Enjoy.

Reflections Upon My Reality

My favorite place in all of Cincinnati has to be Spring Grove Cemetery. I would challenge anyone to find a more beautiful place in the tri-state area.

It is overflowing with the most lovely flora and fauna, not to mention the statues and mausoleums…

I trekked across the river two weeks ago to try and capture some “winter bleak” photos with my new camera.
I thought I was well prepared; I had charged the battery the night before, gathered all my equipment that morning and headed out.

I get to Spring Grove just in time to see that there is still some fog floating above one of the ponds, I’m excited!
I sling the camera around my neck, stick the iPhone in my pocket and head over to the pond.
I turn on the camera.

NOTHING.

What?!?!

Annoyed, I head back to the car, switch out the batteries.

NOTHING.

I’m…

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