Cemetery Rows


Sometimes I just get caught up in the patterns.

Unknown Soldier in the National Cemetery in Springfield, Missouri

Unknown Soldier, National Cemetery in Springfield, Missouri

Columbarium wall, Port Angeles, Washington

Columbarium wall, Port Angeles, Washington

Woodlawn Cemetery, Independence, Missouri

Woodlawn Cemetery, Independence, Missouri

Crowley Cemetery, Clay County, Missouri

Crowley Cemetery, Clay County, Missouri

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.

A Tombstone Tourist Does Seattle

Lake View Cemetery, Seattle, Washington.

My vacation itinerary always includes a cemetery or two…or three. Sure, I love checking out the art scene in a new city, historical sites, shopping and eating. I’m a foodie too, definitely. But you see an entirely different side of a place when you visit its graves, don’t you think?

Lake View Cemetery, Seattle, Washington

On my recent trip to Seattle, I did my usual vacation prep and Mapquested cemeteries in the area. There are about six, but with the coffee and the chocolate and the glass museums and the history and… did I mention the chocolate? I only had time for Lake View. What a jewel!

I wondered who left the flower, descendant or art lover.

These gnarly, twisted trees were everywhere.

Lake View was established back in 1872 and sits up on Capital Hill northeast of downtown Seattle. One of those cool, old neighborhoods that just oozes character has grown up around it so it’s a bit of a twisty trek to get there. But worth it! The monuments are a great mix of styles, old and new, East and West.

This one says, “The more people I meet, the more I love my cat.”

I love the name and the calligraphy.

A murder of crows  claims the cemetery grounds and every monument in them. The birds are smart and wary and hard to get a decent picture of, but their raucous chatter never stopped.

Keeping watch over her domain.

He knew his grave would end up being a perch for crows anyway.

So, for a short visit to Seattle, I’d put Lake View, the EMP Museum (AWESOME), the Chihuly glass museum and all the European sipping chocolate you can sample on my list of must-do’s. Anybody have any other suggestions for a Seattle trip? I definitely want to go back.  I know that Jimi Hendrix is buried in Greenwood Memorial nearby. Anybody been there?

It’s All About the View

Dungeness, Washington

I’m back. Life and travel kept me from posting for a while. The good news is I brought pictures!

Walnut Glen, Booneville, Missouri

Have you ever noticed how many cemeteries have names like: Fairview, Grandview,  and Lakeview? Or how about the ones that feature their landscaping like: Walnut Glen, Tall Oaks, Floral Hills?

Floral Hills, Kansas City, Missouri

Are there professional cemetary landscape architects? Must be. Their handiwork is obvious sometimes. At the very least, in most cemeteries somebody planned out the roads.

Mount Olivet, Kearney, Missouri

The cemetery above commands the view from the highest hill in town. It probably used to be gorgeous. Though I wouldn’t call it that anymore, it’s still interesting…vital…colorful?

Happy Homestead, South Lake Tahoe, California

As gorgeous as some of the more manicured cemeteries are, I love the good old-fashioned graveyards best. The ones with narrow, winding roads, or paths, or nothing at all.

Fairview, Kearney, Missouri

Mount Vernon, Atchison, Kansas

Those graveyards tend to have a lot of benches. I always make a point to take a seat. It felt uncomfortable at first, but a bench is an invitation, right? It’s kind of rude to ignore it.

Walnut Glen, Booneville, Missouri

Do you think that people take such care to make cemeteries beautiful for the living or the dead?

Virginia City, Nevada