Edit: apparently my template designer had a flaw in the code which was being exploited. Some readers have commented on problems with my site. Hopefully all is fixed as of a few re-installs today!
A couple weeks ago my kids found a trail that even I didn’t know about despite years of climbing about on trails in Hoquiam; this particular path wound from the north area of our burg up to a rather forgotten corner of the cemetery. Nels and I ventured out the other day when I couldn’t get out of my head and needed time with my son. The heat was oppressive – for me at least, but The Boy didn’t seem to mind.
(The bag Nels packed carries compass, water, and a magnifying glass. He picked up some “seeds” along the way, items he found at the base of a few trees.)
A grave of an eighteen year old and an eight year old, different dates of death. Siblings, cousins? I don’t know. Spooky memorial ducks, though.
Some of the graves were very old…
And several were rather illegible, although a rubbing would probably reveal their text.
Many graves are sliding down the hillside. In the upper-left corner of the photo you see a dark tab-like shape, just one of the many graves hidden in the flora.
A baby’s grave (“Infant dau. of: W.H. & Rose Dubray”), also ill-tended and I suppose forgotten although at some point in a few lives this event must have eclipsed an entire state of being.
“Gordon’s dead,” Nels is informing me flatly in this photo. I supressed laughter and explained the name was likely a surname, the stone marking a plot for a family.
Nels caught a beetle and really wanted me to take a picture. He was quite tender with the creature; he can catch insects without harming them, even very quick ones.
The whole family has been working hard for an event tonight: a friend’s birthday party. The “theme” is 60s Karaoke and the food is Mexican/American potluck. It’s going to be a fabulous time. The guest list keeps growing but hey, that’s okay.
thx for the template error note. Your blog did auto-forward me to some sketchy site the other day and my computer locked up as if it was downloading and installing a vicious virus, but ctr+alt+delete worked when all other measures failed and the computer is fine. Since it only happened once I choose to keep it to myself 😛
I experienced some auto-forwarding, too, but no worries – just annoyance. What a nice walk – I like to look at old cemeteries, though sometimes it’s hard to look at the babies’ graves.
“A babyâ€™s grave (â€œInfant dau. of: W.H. & Rose Dubrayâ€), also ill-tended and I suppose forgotten although at some point in a few lives this event must have eclipsed an entire state of being.”
This made me just stop for a minute. What a perfect way of describing it. When our first son was stillborn, the grief did just about eclipse me completely. Thankfully I was already on anti-depressants and was sort of able to go through the motions of living. I used to go to his grave all the time – I planted tulips there, had a little lantern and lit candles for him, etc. There is no stone but it’s marked with white marble rocks. And of course he’s buried in Germany, so I can’t visit it anymore and keep the weeds off of it and that bothers me. I haven’t forgotten him but he’s been forgotten by most of the world, much in the way that the grave in the photo has. I don’t know how people deal with the loss of a child in the States, because I never experienced it here. In Germany people bring teddy bears and little toys to the graves, even of babies who never took a breath outside the womb. I often wonder about that, since the trend in American cemeteries seems to gravitate towards these vast swaths of grass with small bronze markers that lie flush in the ground, rather than the old-fashioned kind with marble stones and monuments. Would American cemeteries allow people to leave teddy bears and other things or would they be removed or – worse yet – stolen? I had a beanie baby bear with angel wings that I put in a case and left on my son’s grave in Germany. It got stolen about 2 months later, the case smashed.
Wow – ok, time to be happy. It’s Maeve’s birthday and I still have frosting to make. Which reminds me, thanks for the link to the butterbeer cupcakes a while back. That’s what she chose for her birthday “cake”.
This looks like the trail from behind my old back yard up to the cemetary? My dad built a bench about halfway up for people to rest on their walks, it’s probably gone now. The photos look like they are from the little older section that Missy and I used to be fascinated by. It has a lot of older grave stones, some falling down the hill into the park. Some of my oldest memories are walking up that trail and wandering around the cemetary.
The best I can come up with for the illegible one are the second and third lines:
Co. H (Company H)
108 ILL. INF. (108th Illinois Infantry)
I studied and studied that first line, but that third character is giving me trouble. It’s not quite a “W”, nor an “N”, nor a “M”.
To me, it looks like DAW LT OTTEN. The funny part is that I looked up DAW and it stands for “Division for the Advancement of Women”. Very unlikely, but I thought it was sorta ironic. 🙂
I’ve noticed that sometimes a post will count more comments than I find listed. For example, before posting this comment, it counts 7 but I only see 3. Are these extra posts hidden somehow, or maybe deleted? Just curious.
Anyone noticing anything weird on the blog, always feel free to email kelly AT hogaboom DOT org. I’d say one incident in about ten years of blogging isn’t too bad!
Thanks for sharing your story. You ask,
“Would American cemeteries allow people to leave teddy bears and other things or would they be removed or â€“ worse yet â€“ stolen?”
I’ve seen teddy bears and that kind of thing, some of them looking quite old. I think the ducks in that picture above were old, and the cracking might have been weather, not vandalism.
Oh, and I’m glad the “cake” recipe worked out well.
I think there is more than one section of down-the-hill graves, and this trail doesn’t originate from behind your house but I’ll bet it hooks up with it.
Well-deciphered! Maybe I should do a rubbing. Hey, in answer to your question, the “extra” comments are those that haven’t gone thru approval yet. 80% of the time they’re spam (when I haven’t done an update lately), sometimes they’re new commentors who haven’t been given the OK yet.