Autumn

Autumn

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Day in Pictures

The day trip went well. Sweet Wife is happy. Last evening, when we arrived home and as we walked inside she turned to me and said, "Wasn't it a nice day." She's easy like that.

The true purpose of our trip, as it is every year, was flowers. 

The cemetery is old, and many acres in size. This cemetery holds the spirits of Spanish explorers of which my wife is a descendant, and as such, her family has the honor of a large plot set aside for their eternal rest by the local Village government. Sweet Wife has lovingly informed me I shall rest here, too, when my time has expired. I think not but that's another story. 

Now, allow me please, to explain this picture.



Her name is Elizabeth. She became an angel in her twenty-first year of life.

Many years ago, after my father-in-law's death, we made monthly visits to his grave. My wife, as you might expect, was in deep shock; her father after all. Each visit required fresh or artificial arraignments. With each removal of the last token of her love and remembrance the flowers were placed in the trash. I thought this a waste, yet never hesitated in my wife's wishes. It was, after all, a sad period in her life.

Then, Elizabeth came into my life. Her grave was located upon a rise just north of my father-in-laws stone. One cold sunny afternoon as I waited with Sweet Wife, discarded flowers in hand, I noticed Elizabeth's marker. Her grave is within a granite fenced plot. Her parents watch eternity alongside her. The lack of care and visitation was very obvious. For some reason this bothered me and so I walked over and without thought placed the flowers at her marker, flowers destined for the dump had new purpose.

I wish I knew Elizabeth's story. 

I like to imagine her beautiful, perhaps with ringlets of brown hair and dark eyes with a constant smile of deeply red lips. I imagine her tall and well read, intelligent. Until those last few days of her life (Influenza, I'm sure) I like to imagine her happy with life.

I've placed flowers at her grave for the last twelve years.  In all this time I've never witnessed evidence of other visits. It's possible her descendants have joined her. In any case, she'll not be forgotten as she's now my Elizabeth.


In the above photo Sweet Wife prepares a Christmas arrangement for her father's grave. She'd kick my butt if she knew I'd taken and posted this picture.

The cemetery, like I've said, his huge. Its filled with ancient trees and as its close to both river and ocean there is a constant breeze and the Spanish moss is thick and ever in movement. During summer's intense heat the sites deep shade is a relief and of course it chills under winter's winds. When we visit I always go walkabout.

Once, on one of my walkabout's I discovered a plot of graves all with the same appearance. Each marker engraved with the same date of death. A garden of nuns, sweet wives of God. All died of influenza. Ten all together. I always walk over and say hello. Ten plain little stone markers of simple sisterly names and dates gone now these many years and I'm sure each died while giving help to another sick soul.

Yesterday I walked down hill and paid my respects to the 1st Florida Infantry Battalion. These good men lost their lives in service to our country in the Spanish-American War.


The above picture: the graves of the 1st Florida. I never taken a count of the markers. There are many grouped in the shade of old palm trees.

I snapped this photo of Alvin's stone as it had recently been cleaned. I believe the war was fought in 1889. Correct me if I'm mistaken.


We left the cemetery and made our way into the local village for seafood. It was a chilly day and Sweet Wife was ready to eat. I went along for the ride....

I love the way she waits...her hands almost always crossed in front, delicate like...

The evidence of our meal is printed on the place mat. We were, after all, in a fishing town famous for its shrimp and seafood festivals. I ordered shrimp with a side of oysters. First things first which means iced sweet tea.

Then, my meal. When the cold winds blow the oysters turn sweet and tangy and firm fleshed and when fried they require Tabasco...


I have a silly habit, as I wait for my meal, of paper flower construction. I use the papers from the straws. I always make them as a gift to my wife. I know, silly but still she smiles. Once upon a time I'd make two.

She has such delicate and tiny hands.

After lunch we parked the car and walked the village. Our day was made for a stroll. The church in the above picture is St. Peter's Episcopal. The church dates from 1855. I like it...


We ducked into an antique market. I believe it was my friend, Sandy, that left a comment on my post of yesterday in which she mentioned I'd probably not find any camping gear (Coleman) in the local antique market. Sandy, this is for you. It's a World War Two pressure gas stove used by our men to cook their meals while on the battle front. Its dated 1944 and held a price of seventy-five dollars. I passed. But still...

I know, the picture is awful hard to read. I really do need a new camera. I only use my Blackberry and it just isn't suitable for the task. I really wanted this little stove but upon close inspection I felt it needed far more work than the price justified. They offered me twenty percent off but I passed.

I also like this fifties vintage Westinghouse radio but it was pink and the price was fifty-five dollars. The price and color wasn't worth losing my dude membership admission card.

See this structure..its the local post office...kinda neat.

My favorite bookstore. Prior to the Internet and the subsequent crash in the first edition's market I'd never fail to visit. Yesterday I didn't even crack the door. How times change...

Now, some random shots. Please be warned...I'm not a good or even close to fair photographer...so deal with it.





As my wife shopped I perched outside on the many benches placed just for men like me. I sat and read or watched the pretty ladies stroll along the sidewalks. These views were taken from the many benches.







Enough.

We drove home along the coast line as the sun slowly set and offered us views of the marshes and river and many boats tied to the homeside docks. I must have counted twenty hawks, ospreys and one eagle. We crossed the long bridge as daylight passed into darkness. It had been a good day.


She fell into sleep with a smile on her face.

Stephen


  









   

16 comments:

  1. Sounds like such a wonderful day. And I'd probably have adopted a nearby unattended gravesite, as well.

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    1. Truthfully, Rev., it makes me feel kinda weird, in a good way. Thanks, my friend.

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  2. Glad you and Sweet Wife had a good day. That town is beautiful!
    Many years ago we had a home that backed up to a very old cemetery. There was no fence between the properties. Soldiers from Washington's army were at rest with marker's that were barely readable. Whole families were arranged in sections. Some inscriptions told how long that person lived: 56 years, 2 weeks, 3 days old. Some had poetry on them or bible verses. One woman must have been very, very bad. Her headstone had a warning for the living not to be like her or they would wind up the way she did. The children were the saddest, though. Just little blocks of granite with initials. Makes you
    wonder if people in the future will ponder our lives .....

    Phyllis (N/W Jersey)

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    1. The history of the past, and its shadows are awful interesting, aren't they my dear...thanks, dear Phyllis.

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  3. Sounds like a great way to spend the day. Love the pictures.
    And, now I'm hungry for some oysters. They look really good. Maybe, just a bit more Tabasco. YUM!

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    1. Thanks, Bubba. I always had a touch more Tabasco before each bite...

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  4. Awesome, thank you for sharing.

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  5. Sounds like a great day. It is also one of my favorite villages.

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    1. It is a nice place, isn't it...I prefer it during the cold months when the crowds are thin and it isn't necessary to sweat while we stroll. Thanks, dear lady.

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  6. Thank you for the pictures of a day in your life spent with your best friend.

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  7. I love those awesome days. I am so glad for you. What a beautiful place and lovely memories. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. You're welcome, Rose. Thanks for reading...

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  8. After the dark turn of this election . . . during this dark dip toward the solstice . . .

    . . to encounter the story that you share about your twelve year vigil at the untended grave of a forgotten girl . .

    To hear this account of one decent man . . holding a forgotten soul in his heart . . simply 'because' . .

    Thank you. I needed this.

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    1. You are more than welcome, Cathy. Please, don't be a stranger...like your photography by the way...you write a nice blog. God bless.

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