Archives for the month of: May, 2012

Donna Louise here deciding which of the ugly pieces about decorating the graves to tell. Oh, what’s the point? I’ll tell them both.

I don’t know how many of you have driven on cemetery roads in the U.S. Hardly wide enough for one car to negotiate, these lanes wind through the different sections with ninety degree angles where two lanes intersect. The design forces most people to drive slowly and carefully.

The police took off like bats out of hell, a curious cliche. One car headed down the hill to the Lake of Reflection, apparently to cut off the escape route. The other sped along the upper road toward the Calvary Hill section where the thieves’ car was parked.

In a scene reminiscent of a Keystone Cops movie, the car speeding down the hill hit a speed bump which launched the vehicle into the air. The arc of the rise and fall was beautiful. The lake swallowed the police in one huge gulp. The swans honked and fluttered about in dismay.

The other car was okay on the straight-away, but when the road intersected another one at the end of the Hill of Golgotha section, which is next to Calvary Hill, the police vehicle missed the turn, took out three headstones and rammed into the giant oak under which Papa had wanted to rest in peace forever. The tree shuddered, made a loud cracking sound, and fell over. Mama would be pleased to know that she was saved from that tree falling on her.

In the meantime the plastic flower thieves had scattered. Their mother drove to the entrance of the cemetery collecting her children at various points along the way out. With everyone safely in the car, she pulled out onto the busy street and vanished.

The police officers crawled out of the lake, soaked, but okay. The officers who’d hit the tree took a little longer to disengage themselves from the airbags which had deployed and from their seatbelts, but they appeared to be fine.

The whole “chase and crash” scenario had disrupted the peacefulness. Soon an ambulance, fire truck, paddy wagon, tow trucks and an assortment of police vehicles arrived. The place filled with the noise of emergencies.

I collected my tools and was just about to leave when the ugliest thing happened, but I’m out of time for today’s post. Sorry.

Donna Louise here planning a flower garden. Next year I’ll have my own flowers to take to the cemetery.

As I trimmed the grass around the markers, car doors slam. I looked up to see a woman and six children walking to a fresh grave covered with flowers. The kids laughed and hollered like ill-bred ruffians. The mother screamed at them, but I couldn’t understand her. I returned to work washing and polishing the markers. Content, and one with the world, I sat back and marveled at the beauty of the scene.

A little boy, one of the six children, walked up. “Whatcha doin’?”

I love children—at a distance—preferably fifty feet or more away. They carry diseases. A friend has had every major childhood illness since she started assisting at a pre-school program.

But, the boy was polite. I acted as though he didn’t bother me. “I’m cleaning the gravestones.”

“Why?”

“Because that’s what I do on Memorial Day.”

“Why?”

Thus began the endless Hell of Why Questions. I wasn’t in the mood. Finally I looked at him and asked, “Why do you come here? To visit the graves of your grandparents?”

He stared at me. “That would be dumb. They’re alive.”

“Then do you decorate graves?”

“There’s no money in that.” He looked around.

 “You can’t make money here.”

 He nodded in agreement. “But we pick up things to sell on the street to people like you.”

Still not comprehending what he meant, I looked for his mother so I could send him back to her.

I saw her headed to their car with armloads of plastic flowers, wreaths, and arrangements followed by the other five kids similarly loaded down.

The little boy tapped my shoulder. “Lady, I gotta go. I don’t work; I don’t eat. It’s Mama’s rule.” He ran to a nearby grave and grabbed a wreath. He stopped a few plots away to pull up a cross. He waved. “Nice to meet you, lady.” He ran to join his family.

They all climbed in the getaway and car cruised over to Calvary Hill where the family scattered among the graves to harvest more plastic flowers.

I called 911. Within minutes the police arrived at the entrance. They spotted the woman and her children. With lights flashing and sirens blaring, they burned rubber. The good guys would catch the bad ones.