Friday, September 9, 2005

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THE SOUTH

The Lexington Cemetery

Quite honestly, there is little I do not love about the South right at this moment. Yet, out of all the wonderful things I miss....the weekly church festivals with gambling and beer booths (Catholic), the Art shows, the hot air balloons floating on the horizon, white fences surrounding horse farms, yellow fields of  ripened tobacco,  the mockingbird and whippoorwill, the flowering weeds, stone fences, peach orchards, farmers markets, drive in movie theaters, magnolia trees, smoky mountains, UK basketball, horse racing, the sing song southern lilt, the farm boys of my youth, my family. So many yet I am going to settle on the cemeteries one finds in the South, I miss them so.

The cemeteries are not just resting places for our loved ones, but beautifully kept gardens full of moss covered stones, exotic flowers,twisty narrow roads over hung with weeping willows, rare trees and bushes, statues and monuments. Very few arboretums can compare to the beauty of a cemetery that is over 200 years old. Entering one during any season can make you catch your breath.

This past winter I kept my camera in the car so if perchance it began to snow I could get to the Lexington Cemetery and get a photograph of the "Wiggins" statue, an aging bronze statue of a fairy with her arms uplifted towards heaven, her head thrown back with a large smile, skipping on her pedestal about eight feet off the ground. I wanted to capture her catching snow flakes!

It never happened last winter.

The best BBQ is slow cooked over a wood fire for hours and hours, and then smeared with molasses, vinegar and lemon juice. It will bring you to your knees.

Preview

28 comments:

xzasporated1 said...

They have gambling and beer at their church festivals?????!!!!!

I think I like the South too.

;o)

~~ jennifer

ksquester said...

BINGO, those are some of my favorite things about the south too. You have taken a picture of MY final resting place; the Lexinton Cemetary. I still tear up when I hear MY OLD KENTUCKY HOME!   Thanks Mary for a great post and picture. Anne

mavarin said...

I must admit, a cemetery like that beats the heck out of one like the one my mom is in, where only the occasional roadside tree breaks up the relentless, mower-friendly flatness.  I don't think I could have found one in town that still allows upright stones, short of my spending thousands of dollars to put her in a millionaires' section.

Thanks also for the litany of things you miss!  Some of them are unfamiliar to me, but I love the way you love and miss it all.  I hope you find a way to feel more settled and less homesick in the year ahead, whether or not you end up moving closer to home.

Karen

deveil said...

these are wonderful.  I love those art shows with these kinds of pictures.

Derek

nellemclaughlin said...

Damn these Yankee Catholics don't have beer and weekly gambling festivals! The only wonderful thing our church does is have a killer St. Patrick's Day party. We have a group that the leader is from Ireland, the Willie Lynch band. It's a grand time and the Irish widows of our church dance all night long! These pictures are magnificent!

gardenmantis said...

I love to wander through old cemeteries too!
Mary

ryanagi said...

Beautiful photos...wow

jmorancoyle said...

    I never thought of cemeteries as being something on my list of favorite things. But then again I am a sucker for riding through ours up here and looking at the dates or appreciating the scuptures. Some of the most unusual pieces of art are cemetery art. There was even a book published about the cemetery art in Chicago. Some of the peices are incredible.
Jude
http://journals.aol.com/JMoranCoyle/MyWay

garyvp said...

This made me think of the beautiful old cemetaries in NOLA, which has been on my mind a lot lately. There were a couple I used to visit between classes when I went to school there. Always a a sense of peace and reverence and being a little closer to eternity.

GVP
http://centerginc.com/gvps-way/

oceanmrc said...

What a wonderful gravestone!  In the arboretum cemetery where I walk, I've always found that I like the ones with the uplifted faces and bodies far more than those drooping in sorrow.

emmapeeldallas said...

What a beautiful picture, and a beautiful entry.

Judi

dcmeyer420 said...

Beautiful photography, Mary.  Yes, it would be so neat to see a pic of that fairy catching snowflakes!

indigosunmoon said...

I just love cemetaries.  I find myself looking at the
gravestones, and wondering about the person who
lies there.  Cemetaries have such stories to tell!
This photo you've shown is beautiful!!!
Connie

insanedazy said...

Beautiful photos! I live in the South...and love it...but I could do without the humidity!

my78novata said...

wow here I Live here and never been there.

wfhbear said...

Can a cemetery be beautiful? If it can you have sure depicted that beauty in these photos. What great warmth for a soul. Thank you Bill.

lisaram1955 said...

Love that fairy.  It would have been awesome to get a pic of her catching snowflakes!  Lisa  :-]  

justaname4me2 said...

I can't believe the beauty of that cemetery. In Idaho, I haven't come across one that appears so beautiful. With interesting statues like that, amazing.
Rebecca

theresarrt7 said...

I fled the South back in 1987 for reasons of my own, and I would never argue with a lover of the South about whether or not it's a good place to live.  I will say that Southern food is unequalled, especially Carolina Barbecue.

lightyears2venus said...

I am fascinated by cemetaries, too.  The life evoked by a sparse inscription, the serene atmosphere, the history brought to life by a colonial headstone or the culture captured by a Zuni grave, the devotion evidenced by memorials laid so lovingly, and of course the otherworldly sculpture which lift spirits (in more ways than one!), so well represented by your photo.  Your entry is a fitting tribute to these special places.  Thank you.  *debbi*

cneinhorn said...

the photos are breathtaking, something about the lighting adds such an air of mystery and beauty to them both.

~  www.jerseygirljournal.com  

tc01hm said...

Catching up on visiting! Thanks for the interlude, sure made me smile!
Yesterday I was wondering what will be left of our New Orleans cemeteries, our Cities of the Dead.
Tess :)

gaboatman said...

These are some great shots.  I agree about the beauty of southern cemeteries.  We have one here in Savannah that is one of the best I've ever seen.  Now, pass me some of that BBQ, will Ya?
Sam

txsguinan said...

Oh, I love these old cemeteries too ~ Lexington looks like a beauty.  

What a wonderful fairy!  These tombstone sculptures are art, and I like the representation of joy in such a place.  They are, after all, sanctuaries for the living as well as for the dead.  In fact, I think all who so desire should be entitled to the statue of his/her own choosing upon demise ~ a cemetery becomes a garden of personality, art and whimsy.  Like the incredible old graveyards of Europe and England.  Hey ~ think I'll go design mine now...  :)  

judithheartsong said...

the statuary is incredible... great post. judi

blondepennierae said...

We have a very old cemetary here that is probably as close as So Cal will ever get to the beauty that you have just described.  One afternoon my grandchildren and I spent hours walking and visting the many headstones and statues.  It was Spring and the greenery was in its height of beauty.  I will always remember that afternoon as one of the most interesting and beautiful that I have ever had.  Pennie

ccancu said...

What a magical statue.  I love it.  
                                          Cyndy

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