Monday, September 29, 2014

Honolulu, Hawaii

Obelisks as Memorials:  Is an Egyptian pharaoh buried here? No. But if one of the Ramses were to appear graveside today, he would feel right at home. Whoever is buried with an obelisk on top will be remembered as a pharaoh in his own right. The headstones at the base of the obelisk force visitors to bow their heads, and the obelisk pointing skyward forces them to lift their eyes to heaven. It is performance art that communicates humility and awe. Oahu Cemetery. [2011]

Friday, September 26, 2014

Charleston, South Carolina

Symbolizing Hope:  Because they needed more room for burials, the congregants of Charleston's German Evangelical Lutheran Church purchased Bethany Cemetery in 1856. After that, headstone lexicon began to appear in German.  The symbolic language, however, spoke across linguistic divides. Today, Anglophones may not be able to read the inscription, but they are able to read the anchor. Bethany Cemetery. [2012]

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Frederica, Delaware

Symbolizing Hope:  "When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace; In every high and stormy gale, My anchor holds within the veil." On the headstone, there's a ship, and an anchor for each of the partners. What's the symbolism of the lighthouse on the distant shore? How about the bird in the sky? Barratts Chapel Cemetery. 2013.

Monday, September 22, 2014

York, Pennsylvania

Symbolizing Hope:  Finding a place to anchor would bring hope to ancient mariners: hope that they could ride out the storm. Christians appropriated the image to proclaim hope in Jesus as the anchor of the soul: "both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil" (Hebrews 6:19). Prospect Hill Cemetery. [2014]

Friday, September 19, 2014

Plant City, Florida

On Heaven's Menu ~ Smoked Ribs:  Finally, a main course: some meat! Can you imagine Smokey Bert as the center of attention when all the brothers,sisters and cousins bring their appetites to one big family gathering? As they probably did every week during the summer. Garden of Peace Cemetery. [2014]

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Camp Hill, Pennsylvania

On Heaven's Menu ~ Fresh Fruit:  Abraham and Hannah were both born in 1800, a time when putting food on the table was a bigger challenge than it is today. Commemorating each life is a bowl of fruit, the bounty of the land. It's an affirmation that he and she were good providers. It may also be a sign that they were as fertile as the soil in the Cumberland Valley. Camp Hill Cemetery. [2013]

Monday, September 15, 2014

Albuquerque, New Mexico

On Heaven's Menu ~ Blue Bell Ice Cream, etc.: What grows on ivy, the evergreen vine that is often used to symbolize everlasting life? Blue Bell ice cream, candy bars, and hamburger buns. Apparently, these were the foods that were an integral part of the deceased's life. Sunset Memorial Park. [2013]

Friday, September 12, 2014

Batesville, Indiana

On Heaven's Menu ~ . . . Pies:  It looks like a deep-dish apple pie made from scratch. There's the rolling pin used to make the dough. Main ingredient: love! Who can identify the wheeled contraption chosen to symbolize her husband's life? St. Louis Catholic Cemetery. [2013]

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Blumenort, Manitoba

On Heaven's Menu ~ Bread and . . . :  She made a house a home and filled it with the smells of baking bread, the melodies of soulful hymns, and lots of love meant for all. Now, she's at rest in heaven. Evangelical Mennonite Cemetery. [2012]

Monday, September 8, 2014

Blanding, Utah

On Heaven's Menu ~ Hershey's Kiss:  This one is made of granite, so it will never melt.  Like a family's love, here's a dollop of chocolate that will last forever. What favorite food would you bring to heaven's table? How would your family answer that question if they were speaking for you? Blanding City Cemetery. [2013]

Friday, September 5, 2014

Plant City, Florida

Defined by Our Nicknames ~ Jodi / Jammin J:  Here's a 'two-fer': two nicknames. It appears as if she liked to dance: see the shoes? As if she liked  to rap: see the beat? As if she lived in a world of football: see number 52? As if she hadn't quite left childhood behind: see the teddy bear? Memorial Park Cemetery. [2014]

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Nashville, North Carolina

Defined by Our Nicknames ~ Sonny:  Even when headstones are small, there always seems to be enough room for an alias. Forest Hills Cemetery. [2012]

Monday, September 1, 2014

Autaugaville, Alabama

Defined by Our Nicknames ~ Chief and Tootsie:  How much of your personality is wrapped up in your nickname? Do you like it enough to take it to the grave with you? If your nickname sets you apart (which Chief and Tootsie certainly do), the answer may be yes. "Chief Grumbles" must put a smile on every visitor's face, don't you think? Rocky Hill Cemetery. [2013]