Friday, April 28, 2017

Knapp, Wisconsin

The Holy Estate of Matrimony ~ Two Rings:  Why do people throw rice at wedding? It's nothing more than a fertility ritual. "May your marriage be as fertile as these grains of rice!" The gain could be wheat or corn, but the message would be the same. The triumph of rice as the traditional grain is probably explained by the color of the milled kernels: White matches the wedding dress, and in both circumstances symbolizes purity (which the couple is are about to "throw away"!).  Forrest Hill Cemetery. [2012]


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Boone, North Carolina

The Holy Estate of Matrimony ~ Two Rings:  Genesis 2:24: "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." Mark 10:7-8: "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and the two will become one flesh." 1 + 1 = 1 Not very scientific, but true! Mountlawn Memorial Park. [2012]


Monday, April 24, 2017

Portales, New Mexico

The Holy Estate of Matrimony ~ Two Rings:  How times have changed! When they got married in 1927, he was 20 and she was 14. Contrary to the conventional wisdom that prevails today, their marriage lasted until death: 73 years. Even though she was younger, she passed away just a year and a half after he did. What happened? She died of a broken heart. Portales Cemetery. [2017]

Friday, April 21, 2017

Decatur, Ilinois

The Holy Estate of Matrimony:   It looks like they loved the great outdoors, their horses and pets. It also looks like they loved each other. On her wedding day she got a kiss that lasted a lifetime. And then, she was gone. And now, he remembers. Boiling Springs Cemetery. [2015]

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Valle Crucis, North Carolina

The Holy Estate of Matrimony:  They were married at the Naval Memorial Chapel in Norfolk, Virginia, and are eternally proud of it. Lots of tombstones announce the date of marriage, but few announce the place of marriage. If the pastor here at Holy Cross Episcopal Church ever forgets his Bible, all he has to do is head outside to the graveyard. Eight Bible verses (presumably his and her favorites) are there on this headstone and ready to be quoted from the pulpit.  [2012]


Monday, April 17, 2017

Cynthiana, Kentucky

The Holy Estate of Matrimony:  She was born in the spring. He was born in the summer. They decided to get married in the fall. Nicely balanced holidays! Of all the images that could have been etched into the 'rock of ages,' they chose one from the first hour of their marriage, when they posed together in front of the alter as man and wife. The words that were just spoken from the pulpit:  "and the two shall become one flesh." Battle Grove Cemetery. [2013]

Friday, April 14, 2017

Rincón, Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands

Focus on Rincón Cemetery:  Nase in 1912 and muri in 2000, she just made it into the third millennium. That's Papiamento, but no translation needed. There are two other Papiamento phrases: (1) Aki Ta Drumi, and (2) Sosega Na Pas. The first translates as 'Here Sleeps'; the second as 'Rest in Peace.' Then, there is the three-syllable 'mother': mamama, which sounds so much more mournful than mama. [2017]


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Rincón, Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands

Focus on Rincón Cemetery:  Let's talk about language. Bonaire is a special municipality of the Kingdom on the Netherlands, so you would expect to see a touch of Dutch on the headstones. 'Born' and 'died' are in Dutch, but the final salutation is in Papiamento, the language of the ABC islands. Sosega na pas means 'Rest in Peace' in Papiamento. [2017]


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Rincón, Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands

Focus on Rincón Cemetery:  The phrase Drumi Dushi is found all over Rincón Cemetery. If you were traveling in the ABC Islands, you would see dushi quite a bit. In fact, it is used as a branding agent, to signal that you're in a sweet place like no other. In fact, it means 'sweet.' So what do you think drumi means? Sleep. On Bonaire's tombstones, look for 'sweet sleep.' Now you should be asking yourself this question:  What language is that? [2017]


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Rincón, Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands

Focus on Rincón Cemetery:  Do you see the Dutch influence here in the Dutch Caribbean? The name is easily recognizable as Dutch, and the color of the cladding seems to have been picked to match the name, which translates as 'green mountain.' In fact, the tomb's tiles look very much like something you would find in an Amsterdam cemetery and not very much like Bonaire. What do you make of 'Drumi Dushi'? [2017]


Monday, April 10, 2017

Rincón, Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands

Focus on Rincón Cemetery: The cemetery in Bonaire's second largest town conforms to regional standards: surrounding stuccoed wall, tombs above ground in which caskets are stacked vertically, modest memorial plaques with a personal touch or two, in need of more maintenance than it gets. [2017]