Yesterday I went to the farmer's market for veggies, and paid a visit to the little Masonic cemetery nearby. It's in a little brick-walled area behind some modern buildings, and it's very old. Many of the headstones are cracked or rubbed smooth by the weather. It's cool and mossy and green inside. Most of the graves date to the early-mid-1800s. Pre-civil war. The local Civil War dead are in some larger cemeteries nearby, including a bunch of the Green Mountain Volunteers, 600 miles from Vermont, who are spinning in their graves as Walmart tries to build yet another store on--or too close to--a Civil War battlefield.
I spied this pair of gravestones: "My Mother's Grave" and "My Father's Grave." I looked around for "My Grave" but didn't see it. I'm sure it wasn't meant to be humorous; probably the person who purchased the stones couldn't afford individual carving. Interesting that you could get a generic gravestone then. I work with someone whose dad has a monument business; now all the carving is done with machines, and it's all set up on a computer screen. Photographs of the departed can be screened onto the stones. I like the old way better; it's hard to imagine a photo of someone wearing their favorite Grateful Dead tee shirt weathering gracefully and looking anything but odd in 200 years. A lot of the headstones in the cemetery had willow imagery and carvings of weeping women that looked a lot like the samplers we do. There are some things computers just don't improve, unless it's just the bottom line. I wonder if you could get a hand-carved stone if you tried.
There was a large magnolia tree in the cemetery. I have no idea if it's a sugar magnolia, but the song just popped into my head while I was looking at it. So comforting to have a dumb soundtrack to accompany everything I do; I suppose it's a function of age.
I finished the "Z" on Alphabetissimo, and now I move on. Most of the remaining letters and motifs are smaller, so it will feel as if I am picking up speed, even if I'm not. I worked some more on Christinia, but not enough to show.
I'm kitting "Betsy" up. My LNS only had a few of the NPI silks I needed, so I sent an email to Jan at Only One Ewe Needlework, she responded immediately, pulled the fibers I needed (psst--on sale!) and popped them in the mail to me the same afternoon, along with a CC skein I was missing to kit up Country Cottage's "She Sells Seashells." Wonderful--thanks so much, Jan! I'd love to start this before 4th of July, although I can only say that I might be done by NEXT Independence day. Jan has also done the conversion to NPI for the Mary Wigham Ackworth Quaker sampler. I remain on the fence about that sampler. I love how it looks, and it would be fun to join the stitch-along, but I've got so many other things going or in the wings...
Here's my sugar magnolia, looking stern. Pink: "You'd better get back to your homework or that "Z" will be the grade you get!"