Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


Happy Memorial Day!

How’s your MD weekend going? Mine’s been fantastic! Way more fun than a Memorial Day I spend at Old Mannford Ramp. 🙂

What’s made my weekend so great? Well, for one thing I got to go to worship for the first time this month. (Terminally Curious breaking in here–Does anybody else really miss worshiping with others when you’ve missed several in a row, even though you worship by yourself? Is Susan just weird? Both? Shutting up now.)


Back to this Memorial Day. We have silk flower arrangements for our immediate family and keep them at the office between MDs. This year Sister Debbie, her adorable granddaughters and I decorated the graves of our glorious dead in C-Town’s cemetery on Thursday. Those little girls, ages 4 and 6, are full of energy! And they’re so much fun. I had no idea going to a graveyard could be that exciting.

They helped do everything. Carry flowers, put them in vases and tie down the ones on the headstones. If they could drive, they wouldn’t need Deb and me at all. LOL!

I’ve told you before about the one little headstone that touches my heart.


Remember?  I ran past their grave Sunday after church. Here’s what I found this year–

bennie-and-sussie  I think that’s poison ivy all around it.


I know how busy the cemetery caretakers are just before MD. Hopefully, they’ll get to Sussie and Bennie’s corner and clean it up some more.

Or I could take them home with me. 🙂

♥ ♥ ♥

Hominy does a wonderful job putting Old Glory in their cemetery for Memorial Day. Hominy-flags




Starting last year, C-Town’s Mayberry Foundation took on the gargantuan task of putting flags on our veterans’ graves.   BTW: If you click on the link and see the picture of a pretty blonde talking to a little boy, that’s my sister-in-law, Julie, and my nephew. The Spess Gang has some good looking genetics going for them, don’t they?

Even though C-Town has always done a fantastic job of lining our main street with flags for special occasions, flagging the cemetery for Memorial Day kind of fell through the cracks . . . until Mayberry sunk her teeth into the project.

Now Junior Ambassadors guided by Mayberry Foundation take care of it. I’m extremely grateful to them for doing it!!!

I just need to get my Granddad Reeves added to their flagging list.

This is from Mayberry’s facebook page.

1 mayberry foundation

The Mayberry Foundation and C-Town on Facebook, too.

Question: Do you decorate to honor your loved ones for MD?

If you don’t, do you think it’s a bad idea or just not important?

Care to share why?

Oh, you can read a little about Decoration Day history here– Association for the Beautification of the Graves of the Glorious Dead

See y’all later!


Still playing make believe after all these years.



Tombstone Tuesday

Decorating the family’s graves has kind of fallen to Omega (aka Sister Amy) over the years.  Two of her daughters’ graves are being decorated, so she’s great at remembering and taking care of things. I help out when I can.

Not that I mind. Actually, I enjoy going to cemeteries. Well, I enjoy old ones. New ones that are flat and monotonous, not so much.

As usual, this year when I went to pick up some of the decorations (if you wait too long, roving bands of senior citizen gangs get them!) I took my camera along. This is the view from my mother and father-in-law’s graves.

Not a real exciting view, is it? But there’s a part of this cemetery that’s absolutely fascinating.

See? It’s a whole flock of angels. Don’t you just love angels? 🙂

So I pulled over and took a few shots. Then I happened on this one, and couldn’t tear myself away because my heart got involved.

Come a little closer. I’ll show you why.

Can you read it? It says Elizabeth Pitts, wife of Alfred Oberly. (She had to really love him to marry a guy named Alfred!) Born May 12, 1907; Died Sept. 21, 1924.

This girl was only seventeen years old and she was married and had a baby. I know she had a baby because of this. (Still makes me want to cry.)

George J. Son of Alfred and Elizabeth Oberly. Born Aug. 4, 1924; Died Oct. 26, 1924. “A little bud of love to bloom with God above.”

So poor Liz had little George in August of 1924 (I’ll bet it was one hot summer with no air conditioning!) Then she died less than two months later. And then Baby George passed just over a month after that.

Why did they die? Was it child-birth fever? An illness that couldn’t be cured? Was George ill from birth? Did Elizabeth grieve herself to death over his future? His health?

And poor Alfred. Imagine the joy of having your first son with your beautiful wife, and losing them both in the first sixty days.

You can’t see her very well, but I know she was beautiful. And I’m positive she had a beautiful heart.

This is the angel on Baby George’s headstone.

Elizabeth doesn’t have an angel. She has a grieving mother, looking down on everyone who comes past.

Or maybe she’s not grieving. She might be thinking about her husband, who she had to leave behind.

I feel really bad because I don’t know what happened to Alfred. To be honest, I was so struck by the death of this beautiful young woman and her son that I forgot to look for Alfred’s grave.

Or maybe Alfred is still alive. I hope so. I’d like to say hi.