Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.

Now I Get It!


A Christmas market in Clifton Mill, Ohio, Unit...

Image via Wikipedia

I might have mentioned that I’m a walker. A few years ago when we lived in Pryor Creek, I walked  just to have a little time without someone wanting me to hurry up and get something done. 

I loved working with G-Man at our pharmacy, and having three little boys was the best thing this side of heaven, but I craved a little time on my own.

Now I walk  because the doctor told me I have to, and because I found out how good it makes me feel. Plus it burns off a few of the calories that find their way into my bod. *sigh* (I’ll have tell you about Aunt Betty one of these days.)

Walking is good for the heart, spirit, muscles, attitude and just about everything else. I can only think of two times when it might not be good.

  1. If you have a worn out joint and are ambulating bone-on-bone.
  2. If the only place you have to walk makes it necessary to play dodge car. 🙂

So we layered up and walked yesterday. It was about 25 degrees, and with wind chill (it was blowing!) it was c-o-l-d! But I look good in blue, so I enjoyed it anyway. LOL

We walk in the Woodland Cemetery on top of cemetery hill (doesn’t every town have a hill named that?) and this time of year, it’s just beautiful.

For a few weeks, we admired the colors of the leaves in the surrounding woods. Now we’re enjoying the beautiful decorations showing up on the graves.

To be honest, I always wondered about seasonal decorating at cemeteries. The permanent residents are past enjoying the decorations on their graves. (Grandma isn’t there. She’s in Heaven!) Why is it done?

My family decorates on Memorial Day, but some people make their loved ones’ graves pretty all year round. Grave blankets are showing up (a flat evergreen covering that usually has big red bows) as are artificial poinsettias, garlands, angels, Merry Christmases and a not little bit of bling. 

We even found mistletoe on the road under our feet! 

Then I saw something that cleared that question up for me–a friend, decorating her father’s grave with red and green garland on a shepherd’s crook (plant hanger) and the banner, JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON.

These people aren’t decorating to keep the departed happy. They’re doing it to make the place a little more pleasant for other people who visit, to let others know their family hasn’t been forgotten, and (as in my friend case) to share her witness in a gentle way.

Do you decorate your family’s graves for Christmas? If so, thanks! Us walkers love having something new to look at (and talk about) once in a while. <G>


Author: Susan Shay

For as long as I can remember, I've loved two things--reading and people--and that led me to become a writer. Many of my stories are set in Small Town Worlds. I'm a wife, mother, sibling and an aunt. I have a deep faith in God, and an exciting life in Christ. Maybe I shouldn't be (after all, he's God!) but I'm constantly amazed at the things He's up to. :)

2 thoughts on “Now I Get It!

  1. Susan,

    My family is a “bury ’em and never go back” kind of family. I couldn’t even tell you what cemeteries most of my loved ones have ended up in! We not only don’t decorate, we don’t darken the doors!

    Do you ever see stones on the gravestones? I saw that all the time in the cemeteries on the east coast and would watch as visitors to the gravesides placed a small stone on the headstone. Finally, I asked someone. Turns out it was a throwback to when graves were cairns of stone. The weather would wear down the stack of rocks protecting the burials from predators, so every time you visited the gravesite you placed another rock there. I find it fascinating. Not fascinating enough to hang out in cemeteries like you, but still interesting. spw

  2. I’ve never seen rocks on headstones, Sandee. If I did, I’d think my dad had been there. He’s a geologist and a rock hound.
    I’ve only time I’ve seen it is at the end of Shindler’s List.
    Interesting, though. And a rock wouldn’t decompose like a flower. 😉

    Hey, how’s the weather in Africa?

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