Saturday, September 28, 2013

Find A Grave Adventures

We've been doing volunteer work for Find A Grave and this is the Perris Valley Cemetery. We're on a mission to record all the graves into the database with photos of the gravestones. The weather is getting cooler so its easier to walk around for some time, finding all the gravestones that haven't yet been taken. Its  a nice  hobby and get exercise too!  The grass is rather thick and walking in it is like walking in sand.
 Alan has really been diligent, far more than me in getting pics done..I tend to lag after taking 10 -15 pics but he can go the distance and has already done about 400 memorials already, although we've only been members about 4 months!

A few things I've learned in the last few months..wear comfortable shoes! You'll do alot of walking. I made the mistake of wearing sandals the first time and got bit up with ant bites so always remember to wear tennis shoes and socks with long pants. Those ant bites hurt! Carry water as you will get thirsty and a hat is a good idea. We take scissors with us to trim around the stones, a wisk brush, and a spray bottle of water. Some stones are hard to read, and occasionally getting the stone wet brings out the details.
Another thing, if you go on the weekend, forget asking for help as no one will be in the office. Week days are better, as there is usually someone around to help. The office personnel have always been very nice  after you trudge around for half an hour, several times we've found out there is no stone to photograph. Which is rather sad. I always think everyone should be remembered.
We've also seen stones that are cracked, and/or unreadable. If it was my family member, I think I'd replace the stone but that's just me.
You may also see pennies on veterans stones, this came about some time ago, after the Vietnam War.
According to some, leaving coins on a headstone has very specific meaning for military burials. Leaving a penny indicates that you knew the deceased, a nickel meant you trained in boot camp together, a dime signified serving in the same company, a quarter told the family that you were with them when they died. I like to leave pennies when I can.
Is it creepy being in a cemetery? Not really, I always get a sense of peace, if there are spirits around, they would know we mean them no harm, and just want to remember them.
Anyway, that's what we did this last weekend and again twice this week.

Glad everyone liked the craft project...the sipper tops on the mason jars is a winner!
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