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.