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Flowers for Mom and Dad


My grandmother took on many jobs during her lifetime. She repaired sewing machines during the Depression, operated a canning machine for local garden produce during World War II, and mowed/maintained cemeteries in the following decades.

She would drive down to the farm and pick the three oldest up to help her mow the cemetery on Shanghai ridge. I usually had the job of trimming with the hand clippers—no weed eaters in those days.

Flowers then were the perishable variety; a few folks planted flowers in pots or urns. The cemetery was always nicely mowed for Memorial Day and the Fourth with flags placed on the veterans’ grave-sites.

Some of my friends from Louisiana have the custom of a cemetery day in which family members clean, weed, refurbish the family graves.

My dear friend Jo decorates her parents’ graves and offered to help me do the same for mine. She had a nice cache of plastic flowers from the days when cemetery workers removed the previous year’s decorations and put them in a huge pile on a back corner.

We found two nice small sprays—lilac and pink for my mother and blue/white for my dad.

The gravestone had two receptacles for flowers—-I waded through some thistles and tall weeds into the nearby corn field to pick up some corn cobs to wedge them into place.

As Dad was a farmer—that didn’t seem too out of place—a simple solution.

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