Friday, March 10, 2017

All I Ever Loved was Apple Pie and Ada

I've always had an affinity for, rather than fear of, graveyards. Tombstones often tell stories. In the Tidewater area of VA and northern North Carolina, one finds small or even single family cemeteries out in the country. Many of them are all but forgotten.

Each time I visit, I find a new story, even if I have been there many times previously. When I learn a story, I consider not only the family's grief, but the context of the times which they lived in.

Last night Bruce and Deb accompanied me.

We were looking rather ghostly ourselves against the brick walls of Portlock Cemetery.

Here's a story from my new friend Lewis Read, Jr.
I just love this guy at peace next to his beloved Ada. His inscription reads, "All I ever loved was apple pie and Ada." If it weren't so weird, I would leave an apple pie at his grave to remember his two loves.
Here's the sad story of tiny Mary Powers Walters who lived for less than one day.  I know she is safe in Jesus' arms, but her family must have mourned her deeply.  

In a few weeks after her passing, Archduke Franz Ferdinand would be shot, beginning the sad chain of events causing World War I. Soon many mothers would be terribly sad for sons who lived much longer than Mary, but fell in war.  As I read about the departed, I honor each Mary's case, nearly 103 years after her death. 

These gravestones below illustrate the cemetery's age. Many who succumbed to the terrible 19th century Yellow Fever epidemic which wiped away 10% of the local population are buried here.This epidemic is referred to as "the pestilence" in many inscriptions. Yellow Fever Epidemic.  Other graves denote those who served as troops of the Confederate States of America.
Moss and lichen obscure many of inscribed messages  They lean toward each other or the ground, as if exhausted.  Rain, snow, and wind battered them until they now can only be read by tracing the inscription.

The three of us walked and talked, while Lulu explored off leash and the sun slipped toward the horizon.  We are not disrespectful. We clean up after her (not needed usually) and often pick up trash from the grounds. 

On the way out, I saw this tree and figured out a longstanding mystery - the location of Ernie Keebler and all the hard-working elves who bake Keebler's cookies.
This is the basement entrance. Another knot-hole at the top probably leads to Keebler Company headquarters.

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