Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Cemetery Stroll

Today I bought two new tires for my car. The last time I had gone to BigO tires to get a slow leak fixed, the guy told me I needed new ones, and soon, and he could fix me right up for $149 apiece. I told him I thought tires were around 75 dollars each. He said, Not anymore! At the time I didn't have the money so I told him no thanks. But it's been preying on my mind that those tires were ready to blow so I got the new ones today. However, this time I told the guy that I wasn't going to be keeping the car forever so I didn't need top of the line tires that would last 10 years. So he very reasonably priced some at $85 each. Much better!

While they were assembling the tires, or installing them or whatever jargon you use with tires, I walked over to the drug store and the grocery and even treated myself at Taco Bell. I picked up the car and headed out for my real excursion of the day: The Sacramento Cemetery.

I happen to love old cemeteries. My home town has the most beautiful one I've ever seen. Lots of shade trees, meandering paths and old stone benches. The Victorians thought that a person's final resting place should be like a pleasure garden, and they built them accordingly. New cemeteries are so drab and cold! Flat stones for easy mowing, no shade anywhere in sight, and strict guidelines about what kinds of flower containers you can use for memorials. Not really the kind of place you would want to visit more than once, if you know what I mean.

I'm not really interested in how many famous people or old politicians and founding fathers are buried in these places. I like the lesser folk. The women who died in their early 20's buried next to the baby they died giving birth to. Entire families laid to rest around large stones marked Mother and Father. I love the mausoleums, too. So grandiose to erect a stone house for the dead!

And of course the statues of cherubs holding lambs, giant urns with stone draperies, I love those.

Today I saw an inscription I had never seen before. It said, "William who was knit to the soul of David."

How odd! I assume the stonecarver was referring to 1 Samual 18:1 (the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David.) but there is no one left alive to ask! The person buried there was not named William. I think I'll ask one of the docent's when I go back.

The Sacramento cemetery is rather famous for it's old rose garden. Alas, most of the roses were done for, that I saw. But there were plenty of other very beautiful garden plots full of color to enjoy. This place is maintained almost entirely by volunteers. You can even 'adopt a plot' and plant what you think is beautiful. What a neat idea!

As soon as I parked and started to meander and take photos, I realized I should have changed the batteries in my camera! On a whim I popped into the docent house where they sell tee-shirts and have the pamphlets for the self-guided tours. There were 3 elderly ladies in there, awash in paperwork. They told me they had batteries on hand if they could just find them. They weren't at all sure how much to charge for them, so they decided on one dollar for two of them. What a bargain! Alas, I had only 60 cents in my pocket because I'd locked my purse in the car so I didn't have to bother with it, but they said that was fine and to drop it into the donation box.

As I left with my new batteries, one of the ladies quipped, "We expect great things of you, now!"

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