Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Reunions and Cemeteries




Our first stop on vacation was a family reunion on my side of the family. It was so nice to connect with family I hadn't seen in years--since my grandmother died in 1986! So many have passed on, but those of us who were still here and able to get to the reunion had a wonderful time reconnecting. We spent the 4th of July touring all the old country cemeteries, several which were just family plots on old farms or country churches I had never visited before. I wish I had brought crayons and paper to do rubbings, as many stones were unreadable.












As we strolled through the cemeteries, I couldn't help but look up at the beautiful vistas of the Ozarks.









And check out the plantings in the cemeteries by others long gone themselves.







I loved to watch the hawks as they lazily glide through the air currents and circle the sky.






As we read the tombstones, it became apparent that we take for granted so much today. Many graves were of young mothers who died in childbirth.




And babies who did not survive their first year.

I wandered through these time capsules,



drawn to statuary that spoke louder than words ever could.





I love old trees, and there were many huge specimens that had been planted to remember loved ones.




The textures and patterns have a beauty all their own.

Sadly, some graves had no more than a rock to mark it's place


others, the stones were broken.






Even if those laid to rest cannot see the spot chosen for their burial, I found a peacefulness in visiting these spots so far from civilization.




At every country cemetery, a very necessary Outhouse.










The beauty of the countryside all around.






Amazing textures and colors all around.



Back at my cousin's house, we gathered to picnic, looks at old family pictures, tell stories, and reconnect.






The littlest one, making strawberry pies out of clover blossoms!





The older children playing volleyball.




Birthday's and anniversaries to celebrate, along with fireworks all around the countryside after dark, made this day memorable.























24 comments:

beckie said...

Somehow I missed your post! I am so glad i found it, though. Family reunions are a favorite of mine. I love the gatherings on a happy note, and as you say everyone from old to youg getting a chance to get reaquainted.

We have spent more than a few hours in small old cemeteries down in S. Indiana where a lot of my family lives. They are like time capsules and a lesson in history. Maybe some would think it morbid, but I find it so interesting. I have made a few crayonings of old tombstones too.

Hope you are having a great time!

Nola @ the Alamo said...

I love cemetaries; there is something so peaceful and relaxing about them. I don't know if it's the quietness or the peace coming from all those souls at rest, but I don't find them spooky, just lovely (and at times a bit sad).

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time, enjoying the past and present, both.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Beckie, you didn't miss it--I am just very late publishing it. I am back home now, trying to catch up on everything that piled up while we were gone--kind of makes you wonder why you left in the first place...sigh...

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Monica,

Not only did I enjoy all the fun stuff we did, but the weather too! It was absolutely blissfully cool, which made coming home to 103 degrees that much harder to endure.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Nola,

I do love the old cemeteries. For lack of a better word, they make me feel grounded. I always get a peaceful feeling when I look at them. It's like a physical link to the past.

Annie in Austin said...

Cemeteries do give you a sense of history and the inevitability of time, don't they Morning Glories? A fine complement to the photos of the vibrant, living family.

Most of the cemeteries I've been to were originally built at the edges of cities that late grew and enclosed - nothing as rural as these! If you have plain water with you, pouring it like rain on the engravings can sometimes make them readable.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

ShySongbird said...

Welcome back! I have missed you, but it sounds like you had a good time catching up with your family. Cemeteries can be fascinating places, every grave stone tells a story and it is always so sad to see tiny graves.

A wildlife gardener said...

I could feel the peace coming across...

We have been to two funeral recently, one a 92 year-old, the other a 65 year-old...one seemed natural the other too young.

Gravestones make us face death and that brings everything into focus...how we must sieze the day...the carpe diem thing...


Beautiful cake...lovely children...the past and the present interconnected through the invisible cord of love :)

Marie said...

Welcome back. I enjoyed the walk through old cemeteries. Thanks for the lovely "view" of a part of your vacation.

Roses and Lilacs said...

I love the old cemeteries too. I've been researching my family tree for many years and have spent a lot of time in cemeteries. They may be a little sad but they give us a good perspective on family and history in general.
Marnie

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Annie, thanks for the tip of water on the tombstone. I will certainly try that the next time we do the tour. The rural setting was part of the charm of these cemeteries, and I kept getting this overwhelming feeling like I was stepping back in time while we visited them.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Dear Shy Songbird, I missed you too! It was so nice to reconnect with family I had lost touch with. Family is so important, we need to make more of an effort to stay connected.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Dear Wildlife Gardener, I am so glad the peacefulness I was trying to convey came through.It is most assuredly a Carpe Diem thing. You said it so beautiful about an invisible cord of love connecting the family, past and present. That was certainly what I was feeling that day. I could feel my father, my grandparents, and other relatives that have gone before there with us.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Dear Wildlife Gardener, I am so glad the peacefulness I was trying to convey came through.It is most assuredly a Carpe Diem thing. You said it so beautiful about an invisible cord of love connecting the family, past and present. That was certainly what I was feeling that day. I could feel my father, my grandparents, and other relatives that have gone before there with us.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Marie, I am glad you enjoyed our cemetery tour. It seems there are many others that enjoy cemeteries as much as I do!

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Marnie, I think genealogy is so fascinating. We have traced our family and the stories and history is so very engrossing.

Rose said...

I felt bad about missing this post, but now I see you just published it...welcome home!

I, too, love old cemeteries, especially the rural ones like these where early generations of our family were buried. As you say, when you read some of the dates, you realize how difficult life often was years ago--the higher infant mortality, the lack of medical care that we take for granted today. And when I am in one of these with one of my parents, I often discover some long-lost relative I wasn't aware of.

Your family reunion sounds like the perfect way to have spent the Fourth of July!

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Rose,

I think the best thing about visiting these cemeteries, was my mother. She is the last link with the older generation that we have now. She had so many stories and information to impart. Many were taking notes and pictures to preserve as much history as possible.

Wendy said...

I too missed your post! Welcome back! I'm glad you had such a good time. You sound relaxed and happy. I love old cemeteries too. There is so much history to learn. I could spend hours there. Did not know about crayons and paper to see the writing on old gravestones. Or water either.

The cake looks delicious! The little ones too.
It's nice to get away - and nice to come home. Thanks for taking us on a tour with you.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Dear Wendy,

I lost some plants while away, but in these temps it is to be expected. All in all, things survived very well without us. That was the longest vacation we have ever taken, and I was anxious to get home to my fur-babies. Daughter and grandchildren were very glad to see us, and Charley didn't leave my side for two days!

ozarks farm gal said...

I so enjoyed your blog of our wonderful reunion day! It was a very special day for me and I have thought about so many little individual memories of the day many times over. You took some great pictures that really captured the day! I will treasure it forever. I am looking forward to another one next year, the Good Lord willing! Love to you and the whole family!

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Hi OFG! Glad to see you were able to access the blog again. I have so many wonderful memories of our reunion. One in particuliar was your story of growing up near the family cemetery on the farm. It sparked my imagination, and I wrote a story about it.

Susie said...

It looks like a great time was had by all. I love get togethers like that.