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Country cemeteries shine this week

05/27/2011 @ 4:18pm

Driving the back roads this time of year, I can’t help but note the decorated country cemeteries. It’s often a colorful scene--against the back drop of young crops you see the fresh-mown grass, newly placed plants and flowers, and the flags flying. Maybe it’s a testament to my age; perhaps in youth these scenes escape one.

I remember my grandmother tending our family’s plot at the Sodtown cemetery in Buffalo County, Nebraska. She’d trim the grass around the stones and arrange fresh flowers in a vase. To a kid, it just seemed she was skulking about a deserted patch of grass and forbidding tombstones.

A couple years ago, upon discovering the grave of my great-great grandfather in an old church cemetery near Sodtown (photo), I was struck by how many of the original grave stones had basically just vanished. But, it was moving to see that a local group was still taking care of the plot and the few remaining graves, despite the fact that the church had been moved to another site many years ago.