Monday, April 5, 2010

Old City Cemetery, La Grange Texas

 

If you love cemeteries as much as I do, I'd love for you to take a walk with me.

It's early morning, the dew has set. The sun is rising brightly, it's crisp outside and it is very very peaceful...

Ssssshhhh!

DSC_0095

We'll walk through the bluebonnets and pay homage to the greatest antiques of all in this little Texas town called LaGrange, near the Warrenton/Round Top area.

DSC_0086

Confederate soldiers and townspeople were the first to be buried here, some as early as 1840.

Some of the head stones cannot be read but these souls are certainly not forgotten when a person like me comes to visit.

DSC_0117

Naturally, I have no idea who these people were, but I do know they once had a story. Everyone who walks this earth has a story, just some are published, and some are not.

For those of whom remain unnoted, it is my job to stop and pause, read their namesake and create a story of them in my mind...

Something that I hope will be deserving of their nature so they will never be forgotten...

at least not by one more visitor ~ such as me.

DSC_0093 (2)

I can walk for hours and hours in a cemetery, losing track of time and reading the details of each headstone.

Sometimes, you may even find me on my hands and knees, brushing away the weeds and leaves that cover their identity. 

I shall not let them be forgotten, not at this moment in time.

DSC_0112 (2)

I know that "they" are not here, nor are "they" below my feet, nor somewhere below the ground.

Instead, I'd like to think that "they" are with God and "they" are creating a space for me to join them in Heaven one day.

But until then, it is their memory here on earth that I appreciate and love so much...

DSC_0113

The memory of  family members and loved ones who felt enough for them to create these remarkable tokens of love and remembrance for future generations to appreciate.

DSC_0118

The memory that is a symbol of perhaps their time, their money, or a symbol of their own craftsmanship.

Whatever it was at the time, they are still not forgotten.

Not even 150 years later.

And certainly not forgotten by me.

DSC_0097

Since I am writing this story in my mind, I'll call these beautiful ornate headstones and iron gates the symbols of life and love.

Symbols of a soul that was greatly loved, yet greatly missed, whether being here for a lifetime...

DSC_0092 (3)

  or...only for a short time. 

I mean like after all, how does one measure time really?

Would you take one second to have the chance to hold the one you love or live a lifetime of never having been touched? 

DSC_0108 (2)

...what a story.

The church bells are ringing, we better start heading back.

The sun is high now and much time has passed.

 DSC_0105 (2)

I've had a beautiful visit here.

We'll walk away quietly with our heads down.

I'll be thinking of my loved ones that I miss too, knowing they are...saving a place for me.

DSC_0123

  I glance back with a smile...for "they" are not alone...

Not here.

Not today.

Not at this moment in time.

DSC_0133

Have a great week my friends...I have much catching up to do here at home...I've been gone for way too long!

I think I need a vacation...from my vacation!

:)

49 comments:

Theresa said...

Girl, I love old cemeteries too! There is a GORGEOUS one in Savannah, perhaps we can see that one together:) Hugs to you dear Jodie and thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures. I need to get my hiney busy too, I am SO FAR behind in my spring cleaning and it already feels like summer here in Georgia! Have a productive and precious day!!!!! Hugs, Theresa!

vintage girl at heart said...

What a beautiful walk through the past..the craftsmanship that went into everything so long ago is just so amazing to me...they had so much less technology than we do today but were able to create these stunning pieces.
Your photographs and story are just lovely as always...your grandbebe's will benefit from that one day!
Have a wonderful week and get some rest from your world travels!!

trash talk said...

Good morning, my beautiful, crazy Cajun. This is a lovely post and the photos...perfection. I love this part of La Grange and I'm so happy to see you highlight it. Thank you for loving Texas as much as I do!
Debbie

Lee said...

Hello Jodie,
What beautiful photography and sentiments...you're one of a kind.

I hope you know the 'empty chair' at your families Easter celebration...was not empty at all...He who is risen filled that seat...holidays can make us melancholy but you have such a quite strength...I bet I know where you get it!
Easter Hugs...a day late.
Lee

Lemondrop Marie said...

How gorgeous and inspiring! I love old cemeteries too, but have never seen such beautiful statues. I have never been to La Grange but you've inspired me to visit. Happy belated Easter to you-

Marie @ Lemondrop ViNtAge

A Cottage Muse said...

Jodie thank you for such a beautiful, thoughtful post. It will be 6 years this Wednesday since I lost my Mom. All the beautiful statues and flowers made me smile, so thank you!

Lisa said...

Such a beautiful post Jodie! What monuments of love to those who have gone on ahead. Gorgeous pics.

Lou Cinda said...

Beautiful post Jodie. I love cemeteries too and always wonder what they did in their life and what happened to them....

My mother also LOVED cemeteries and in fact, found my name (Lou Cinda) on a tombstone in a cemetery when she was a little girl. She named all of her dolls "Lou Cinda" and they when she grew up and had me, I got the name.

Have a great week!

Lou Cinda :)

Paula said...

Dear Jodie,

I hope you and your dear ones had a very Happy Easter! I enjoyed seeing your wonderful trip to Round Top and La Grange!!! Texas is such a wonderful state! Lots of antiques to be found there and sweet people, with hearts as big as Texas! Though I love Louisiana, my home state, Texas has a special place in my heart! My daddy was from Texas!

That is the most beautiful cemetery I have ever seen! The statues are absolutely gorgeous and the craftsmanship is amazing!!! I would love to walk there and look at each one as you did. I loved seeing your beautiful photos and reading your lovely thoughts so beautifully expressed! It is a comfort to know our loved ones are with the Lord. I loved celebrating His resurrection on Easter Sunday, of course I love to celebrate it everyday! :) Thank you for sharing such beauty. I hope you get rested from your fun travels!

Much love,
Paula

P.S. Those bluebonnets are gorgeous!!!

Gypsy Mermaid said...

Jodie what a beautiful post. Theres nothing like the graveyards the tombstombs tell so much about that person but so little. I went to the one in St. Francisville not to long ago and took a ton of pics I need to do a post on it and share what I saw. I hope you have a wonderful week sweets! Love ya!
toodles-
sarah

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

another big fan of old cemeteries here ... and the one you've shown us is especially lovely. All the figural memorials are marvelous. So beautiful and melancholy and wistful ... very evocative.

I first discovered the intrigue of old cemeteries in high school when our art class went to make gravestone rubbings. I've spent many hours in them since then!

Karen said...

OMG. We are two peas in a pod. I cannot WAIT to get to an old, old cemetery in Savannah! Can you imagine?
sigh. Just a few more weeks.
HUGZ!

Karen Valentine said...

Jodie this is a wonderful post. What a beautiful place to visit. What is it about old cemeteries that is so special??? Some of the things I like about them is the history and the incredible craftsmanship of the gorgeous statues and monuments. There is nothing that old here so every time we visit back East I like to explore the old buildings and architecture. Thanks for this great glimpse into the history of LaGrange!

Claudia said...

Beautifully expressed, Jodie.I love old cemetaries, too. I get caught up in the dates I see on the headstones. Sometimes the date of birth and date of death are too close together and I feel such sadness.

I love what you wrote.

xo
Claudia

T's Daily Treasures said...

Hi dear Jodie! What a wonderful post. Your photos are absolutely beautiful. There is something about old cemeteries. They are amazing and truly hold so much history. When we would go to my Mammaw's in Mississippi, all us cousins would walk to the cemetery down the road and read the headstones, always figuring out how old someone was, wondering how they died. Serious contemplation. I had a friend in Elementary School named Connie LaGrange. I wonder if that was in Texas or Louisiana, can't remember. Anwyays, I need to hit the hay. And I need to find time to sit down and enjoy your post before the previous one. I tried to look at it while at work today but then realized I really needed to sit back and enjoy it. That might not happen for a couple of days. Hope you are able to catch up soon. Have a great week. Wishing you all the best, Tammy

T's Daily Treasures said...

PS -- You did change your background to match your new header and it is still you and looks fabulous. :)

Cindy Geilmann said...

Sweet Jodie, I'm so glad I got to go on your walk with you today. I've never enjoyed a walk so much.

Your awesome and I'm glad I know you.

Hugs
cindy@stitches
come visit

Nancy's Notes said...

Oh my heavens, I love old cemeteries too! Your post today is just so moving and just perfect. The photographs you took are extraordinary! Thanks for sharing your trip with us.

Nancy

( I hear from Laura at White Spray Paint that you all met at the blogging party! That is awesome, Laura and I go way, way back, she's the reason I started blogging!) Hope you come see me sometime!

Lovey said...

Jodie I appreciate so kindly the way you presented the past this way. Wow, the love, the status, the memories...the ability to provide such symbols of faith and their love for their dearly departed. Amazing. So wonderful that you would capture these images and bring forth that honor this way. Well done my friend...well done indeed!

Cami @ Creating Myself said...

I LOVE old cemeteries too & thoroughly enjoyed my tour of Round Top w/ you...thank you for taking us along. LOL

I see that you will be @ Paper Cowgirl...see ya there!

CarLe Etc. said...

Oh WoW! You are terrific! Did you ever think of going into photography??? Well maybe you should,so wonderful...you managed to capture all the memories and then,you let them,the beautiful statues,express them with their beauty...I have been to the LaGrange cemetery and I took pictures,but nothing like yours...I took mine at dusk and there are some mighty-fine orbs...no equal of yours,but I'll send some over to you...Well I missed meeting you and I'm sorry about that...I really wanted too,maybe next show???
I love your new background and header...
Blessings
Carolyn

Robin Sanchez said...

WOW what awesome photos of this old cemetery!! I just love them. Where I live the area is new so there are no statues and the like to wander through and photograph. Are we all kinda odd since we love this kinda stuff....or is it an artsy thing???

Have a great week....

Robin

Debby said...

What a beautiful post you have created today. I too, love old cemeteries!!! You are so awesome, thanks for sharing.
debby

Secondhandrose said...

Your photos are oh so lovely. Those of some of the most beautiful statues I have ever seen. Thanks for the tour. Come for a visit.

karen

Carol said...

Jodie,

Thanks so much for sharing the LaGrange Cemetery with me today. I wanted to stop both weekends as we drove by, but ran out of time. Your pictures were lovely. We don't seem to make time for the past like we should.
Smiles,

Carol

B Adams said...

Beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing them.

Linda said...

Lovely old cemetery...beautiful statuary! I am from Minnesota, but as a girl in the early 60's, I lived in Savannah. I have vivid memories of Oglethorpe Cemetery- the beautiful azaleas, the Spanish moss, the statuary- graves from the 1700's. We used to bring all of our visiting relatives to this special place.

Becca said...

Beautiful post and beautiful photos!
Becca

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Jodie,

I love looking around old cemeteries too ~
I enjoyed coming along with you, seeing your photos and the pretty bluebonnets.
Happy week, dear friend.
Hugs
Carolyn

Bonjade said...

Such nice pictures you made on this special place.....
I was also glad that you found me, because now I found you too...;))

Thank you so much for your really nice comment.......makes me smile.
Nice day

tarnishedandtattered.blogsot.com said...

I love you sister, ya know why don't you? Your deep girl! Love the post, love I just felt like I was walking past those markers & statues with you. Beautiful.
Walked through one of the cemetaries on Canal Blvd. last week. Love those NOLA graveyards!! Lisa
PS Love the new look on the blog!

Susie from Bienvenue said...

Hey girlie! You got to meet Heather and Jo...sweet! I missed them both..sigh~ My sister and I made it there on Wednesday and I think we were just a day late. I followed Heather on her twitter and hoped we could "bump" into her but no luck. Your pictures are just beautiful!!! Makes me feel like I am visiting all over again. Will you be going back in the Fall? This was our 2nd trip and I loved every second. Good chatting with ya~ Susie

red.neck chic said...

SOOOOO many reasons I adore you to pieces - this is another one! LOL Lafayette, LA holds my favorite cemetery.

I enjoyed walking with you!!! We're gonna have to do that together some time!!!

;-) robelyn

Miss Sandy said...

Jodie,

The bluebonnets are amazing! I love this post. When we travel we always visit old cemeteries. My daughter and I have made rubbings of some wonderful carvings on stones and taken amazing photos of the artistry of the statuary. I really love the old epitaphs on some stones and I like you wonder about their stories.

Jane said...

I loved all of your cemetery photos. The statues are so beautiful! I have done a lot of family genealogy research and have spent a lot of time in cemeteries. There is something peaceful about finding the resting places of family that lived before us.
Thanks for sharing your pictures.
Jane

BellaRosa said...

Hi Jodie! Thank you for visiting my lil blog and becoming a follower :) Lisa speaks so wonderfully about you, can't wait to get to know you myself :) I love LA and hope to make it one day to your beautiful State :) Looking forward to visiting and reading more of your posts :) Besos, Rose

ps...in So Cal...we love us some Saints too :)

BellaRosa said...

Jodie, I also forgot to tell you, I LOVE visiting beautiful old cemeteries and I have to tell you...I have never seen one that I didn't want to stop at and take a small walk through it...thank you for sharing this trip! besos, Rose

Julie said...

Wow, Jodie--LOVED this post! I love old cemeteries, too--and have spent lots of time in them.

My favorites are those back in Massachusetts where so many of my family lived--back to the 1600's. I love going there and walking through and trying to find my family so long gone. I love to clear away the weeds, brush off the dirt and just sit and think of them...

You just reminded me of a story my sister told me the other day--she has the funniest 5-year-old boy. They were driving by a cemetery, and he shouted to her, "Hey, Mom! Look! There's a garden for old people!" Made me giggle!

Thanks for your beautiful thoughts & photos--I so enjoyed strolling through that lovely "garden" with you this morning...

Hope your day is perfect in every way! (Oh, and thanks so much for your very kind visit! Glad to be home!)

Carol-The French Curl said...

I'm so disappointed I didn't know you in time to meet you at Round Top! It was my first time and I was wandering around in circles trying to take it all in. Looks like you found some great stuff. I didn't end up buying much because I was so overwhelmed. What was the "blog party" you spoke of? Sounds fun! See you at PC!

LiLi M. said...

I love to visit old cemetaries too, though I always start crying reading the stones. I cannot help that, it is stronger than myself. You made some wonderful photos, those statues and stones are so beautiful. Nowadays cemetaries have more and more of the same stones, which is a pity, if you ask me. We are all different alive, why should we all be the same after we died?
Love this post!

Lori said...

Jodie girl, i LOVES your new look...very vintage looking and pretty...the cemetery looks beautiful, i love what you said about visiting there...and your pictures are stunning...i am consolidating my blog reads since i am so backlogged in my reader...so i have to comment on your texas shows pics too...holy cow girl, who didn't you get to meet and hang out with...that is so awesome...it looks like you had a wonderful time...and found some wonderful goodies to boot...i heard you were showing off your puff to Lisa, that makes me happy...thank you!!!

Teacup Mosaics said...

Jodie,
What beautiful words, one of my favorite posts of all time. You did all souls proud.
Have a happy week.
Kelley

My Grama's Soul said...

Beautiful post......dear friend. When my husband and I travel across the country; we often visit old cemeteries and read each headstone as we walk by.

A lovely thing for you to have done!

Blessings,

Jo

FILIGREE MOON said...

Jodie, how fun it's gonna be to see you in person at Paper Cowgirl! I have just spent some time here on your blog, getting to know you, and soooo enjoyed your adventures. Imagine my surprise to see La Grange as the first post...my and my husband's families have lived there for generations, mine having settled there in the 1850s. Your photos and prose are divine. I look forward to sharing a few days with you at Paper Cowgirl...your enthusiasm is most welcome! ~ Angela

Nancy's Notes said...

Jodie, loved your dear and sweet comment today! Thanks for stopping by my blog! Oh Laura, is great, isn't she? Next year, I'll make it to Roundtop!

Hugs,

Nancy

Laura said...

Miss Jodie-
All I can say is that you know what is important in life.
Amen. The end.
That blew my mind about Civil War soldiers.
We really do stand on hallowed ground, don't we?

Lauracherls

The Victorian Parlor said...

Oh Jodie this is beautiful! Your words are so wonderful and the pictures are stunning. I love walking through cemeteries and thinking about the people buried there and what their lives were like. The old tombstones have so much information on them that you almost feel as if you know all about a person you have never heard of before. This post is so great!!!


Blessings,

Kim

The Victorian Parlor said...

BTW, I love your new banner!

Blessings,

Kim

Linda said...

Oh my - I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this!!!!!! You know how I love cemetaries - since I walk in one daily. You share such similar thoughts to my way of thinking, I was reading and wish I had wrote it, lol.

Thank you for sharing this beautiful, creative piece. You are a blessing.

Linda