Member of the Association of Graveyard Rabbits

Monday, March 25, 2013

Rio Vista

Yesterday I got a wild hair to go to a cemetery.  Hubby was willing to go along for an adventure.  He picked the city of Rio Vista, a small rural community in the Sacramento Delta. 

Both the Catholic cemetery and the Odd Fellows cemetery are located just as you enter town.  The entrances to both are very small.  I had to circle around the Catholic cemetery to find out exactly where to enter.  I wasn't even sure at first it was a Catholic cemetery.  I thought perhaps it was a second part of the Odd Fellows cemetery, a "spill over" of sorts.  The narrow entrance at Odd Fellows takes you straight up a small hill.  It was such a slope that I decided to exit through the church parking lot next door.

It was at the Catholic cemetery that I ran for my life from an attacking swarm of bees (be careful if you visit- the bees are on the right side of the fence, under the tree closest to the street).  At the Odd Fellows cemetery next to the parking lot, hubby pointed out a dead jackrabbit.  How very sad!!  That being said, both cemeteries are very well-maintained. 

To top off my bizarre day, my plumber's crack (ha!) got sunburned while I was bent over transcribing a gravestone.  Ouch!!  Normally a long inscription is from a passage of the Bible or a cherished poem.  After coming up empty on a Google search for a source of the inscription, I felt compelled to try my best at deciphering the old stone. 

The inscription is just beautiful!  It provokes images a young girl's spirit being alive and free of the burdens of nature and time:

She passed away at the early dawn of
a bright and intelligent womanhood.
Her form is mouldering here.
But her spirit is beyond the reach
of sin or earthly trouble.
No sorrow in store for her.
Untrammeled by flesh unchained
to earth. Free to roam through
the boundless expanse of this
glorious Universe forever.
The rain will fall the sun will shine. The flowers will bloom and droop again.
As in time past giant trees did ???
Where now is this small grave of ???
Sweet birds of song now fly about
Where in another age the sea
Will ??? and give a route
To sailors seeking ??? free
Thy home will be the spirit land
Untouched by time and in nature's hand.

Oh how I wish I could make out the entire inscription!   If you'd like to give it a try, you can visit Virginia Ewing's tribute at Find-A-Grave:

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Passing Of Time

Time goes by so quickly...personal issues have prevented me from doing any cemetery research for quite some time.  When I was finally able to continue, I forgot to update this blog.  It is not my intention to be so neglectful.  All I can say is that I will try harder in the future.

And so I will begin anew by admitting to a gravestone no-no that I actually did today.  I saw the fragmented pieces of a young child's marker, all but one piece separated by a few inches.  I carefully picked the three smaller pieces up and moved them to fit near the larger two.  Yes, I risked breaking the pieces even further, but I felt in this case it had to be done.  Chunks of the stone had slid down the hill.  Some had shattered; thankfully, the most important parts of the stone were still in tact.  I was careful to not move the pieces from the area where the child's name was found.  The name was next to a relative who I assume was the mother of the child.  As I bunched some grass up below the stones to help prevent them from sliding again, I imagined that the mother would have felt very sad to know that her young daughter's gravestone has almost been lost to time.

Here is the gravestone of young Violet M. Shouse (1910-1923)

Photography will remember what
mother nature will eventually destroy.