Summer Hiking

Summer Hiking
Mt. Constitution

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend





Memorial Day brings lots of memories to me - most of them visiting cemeteries and putting flowers on the graves of loved ones.  I didn't much care for cemetery visiting until I spent time with my Mom decorating graves in the 1990's.  I learned how consoling it can be to remember my ancestors and to hear the stories of great people I never knew.  The land for the Catholic cemetery in Cottonwood was donated by my great grandfather Georg Seubert.  The headstone indicates that he was Geboren (born) Feb 4, 1849 and Gestorben (died) Nov 29, 1898.  It is possible that all Seubert descendants get a cut rate on their cemetery plot - I only paid $25.00 for mine !







This is the Kopczynski row.  First head stone belongs to Jake and Gertie Kopczynski, then Mom and Dad, then Carole.  I think my plot, along with Joan's, is next to Carole's.

I'm so grateful to Sheila Kopczynski for filling the pots with seasonal flowers, changing them out several times a year.  Sheila married Jim, a grandson of Jake and Gertie. 
My Parents 

My Great-grand parents
Grandparents - Lena is Georg Seubert's Daughter

The views sometimes take my breath away.   I wonder if my ancestors noticed all the gorgeous views?  The cemetery was probably plotted long before the first railroad trestle was built.  Now several homes dot the country side.  The original cemetery is quite full - two new sections have been added and several people have found their resting place in the expanded cemetery.  I appreciated John and Karen taking time to help me put the flowers on the graves in the cold, piercing wind.  Today Duane and I enjoyed better weather as we picked up the flowers.  I'd hoped the Wren's, who we saw at the Country Haus on Friday evening,  were not appalled that we were already picking up the flowers.  Marianne just commented how organized we were because "we are just now getting around to it," she said.  

The Greencreek Cemetery is just as beautiful...  so well cared for and getting full!  Today I ran into Mary Schaeffer Lorentz and she told me another acre had been purchased for the next generation.  






               










 John got a kick out of the inscription on Father Ken Arnzen's headstone




Duane agreed to drive through the Greencreek countryside to have another look at the Wessels farm.  Harry and Tillie sold their farm in 1965 to Delmer and Joann Sonnen.  I don't know when this sign was last updated, but the only Wessels name on it now is Elmer Wessels - the maker of the famous Wessels honey.  I marvelled at the number of little farms in this area and how our ancestors supported their large Catholic families with just 320 acres!
This view of the Wessels farm looks pretty much the same as it did in the 1960's - the barn and outbuildings haven't changed much.

I think I've morphed into my mother as I remember this Memorial Day!  I have a curiosity about courageous ancestors I never knew and an empty place in my heart for those that helped form me as a Kopczynski.  I think the oldest ones are proud of the way they are honored in their final resting place.  It's typical now to see the names of the children on the back of the headstone, but I'm wondering if we should consider another kind of legacy to leave - a quote, a scripture verse, or favorite saying that would tell our ancestors a little more about us.  I would need a huge stone because I have so many favorites and would have a difficult time choosing just one.  I've always hoped I've been a friend to many people and made a difference in their lives - maybe I could be something as simple as:
   I'VE HAD A WONDERFUL LIFE!



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