Twilight in Forks, Washington

Forks, Washington

Forks, Washington

Yes, that Forks, Washington. The town that inspired Stephenie Meyer’s brooding location for her Twilight series.  I was in the neighborhood, touring along the wild coastline and couldn’t resist stopping. There were plenty of Twilight fans in town, but I had the cemetery all to myself. 

Rainy weather in Forks

It’s small and plain, kind of like the town, but it had its charm. Thankfully, there wasn’t a werewolf or vampire reference in sight.

Handmade memorial in Forks, Washing ton

I loved the quirky, homemade memorials.

This rose was about 4 feet tall.

Lovely, handmade marker.

Lovely, handmade marker.

La Push, Washington is just down the road from Forks. I wanted to visit the tribal cemetery there, but it was closed to outsiders. I got to go to the beach though, one of the most incredible places I’ve ever been! 

The beach on the reservation in La Push, Washington.

The locals told us that the author had never visited. She really missed out. The landscape was truly inspiring.

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.

Oh, Pioneers!

Antioch Pioneer Cemetery, Overland Park, Kansas

Finding this beautiful little cemetery was one of those brakes screeching, right-turn-without-a-signal moments for me. It was a rainy day.  I hadn’t planned on visiting anyplace that didn’t involve parking close and scurrying into an open door as quickly as possible.

Quaint, little church still standing on the site.

Lucky for me, the Antioch Pioneer Cemetery called to me, and I had my camera in the car.

Exquisite, marble flutist.

I’m a sucker for an elegant marble statue and these girls took my breath away.

I need to go back and take more pictures on a day when I don’t have to worry about keeping my camera dry.

Surprises like these keep me digging graves.

Visit this one sometime.

Rocks of Ages

Rolla, Missouri

Sure, there’s a lot of stone in cemeteries, but there aren’t a lot of rocks. They always grab my attention when I see them. This one in Rolla, Missouri was about the size of a Smart Car.

Ashland Cemetery, St. Joseph, Missouri

They can’t help but be striking, some for the sheer size of them.

How do you choose a boulder for your loved one? Is there a store? Is it a rock from the deceased’s favorite mountainside…a beloved picnic spot? Once you’ve picked one out, how in the world do you transport it?

Genoa, Nevada

Sometimes the natural beauty of the stone makes it pretty obvious why someone chose it.

Dungeness, Washington

And I like the functionality of this boulder in Dungeness. Two people’s remains are encased there. I’ve seen this type of burial from Washington to Florida. Sometimes whole families will be entombed in the same stone. I bet it’s a greener way to go.

City Cemetery, Nashville, Tennessee

Sometimes you just know there has to be a story.

Are natural stone memorials a common sight in your part of the world?

Christmas Eve, Nashville, TN

Twilight at the City Cemetery in Nashville, Tennessee

Is it weird to seek out a quiet hour on Christmas Eve and find myself in a cemetery? I can see some of you nodding. “Yes, Laura, it is kind of odd.”  I’ve got to admit that when I got in the car and left my family – not in a huff, my family’s great – with Google map in hand, to drive to a part of Nashville I’d never seen,(after twenty years of visiting for the holidays), I wondered a little myself.

But when I found the City Cemetery and got out to walk around, that familiar sense of peace settled over me and I knew that at least for an hour, I was in exactly the right place.

It’s a beautiful, old cemetery with some really interesting stones. Like this one. Does anybody know the story here? The plaque reads, Ann Rawlin Sanders. She was 21 when she died. No, wife-of or beloved daughter.  It was 1836. It would have been quite a feat to move a boulder this huge. It crossed my mind that the rock is a natural feature of the spot, the tip of the iceberg so to speak. But then how could they bury someone under it?

There were three great angels.

Erosion had washed away details on this last one, leaving rather more to the imagination than the sculptor probably intended.

The second shot shows the outline of a wing better, giving the sense of the angel carrying off the dearly departed much better than the first shot – in which I got the wrong idea all together.

This was an interesting marker. It reads, Thomas B. Coleman, Mayer of Nashville, 1842. Really? The mayor with a misspelled,  plain, wooden plank? There’s got to be a story here too.

It’s a lovely place. I would have stayed longer if it hadn’t been getting so late. Stop by next time you’re driving through Music City.