Wednesday, July 8, 2015

... vacationing in one's state...

Tourists don't know where they've been,
travelers don't know where they're going.
~Paul Theroux

The last several days have been a whirlwind of cemeteries and graveyards. Last week I wrote about Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, D.C. Then my fella and I headed out for an Independence Day vacation. In Williamsburg, VA we toured the Bruton Parish Churchyard
While I’m not currently teaching, I do run placement testing for my university so much of my summer is tied to email and the computer. This week I am using some vacation time to unplug and do some cemetery visits throughout Virginia that have been on my “to-visit” list. I am a big believer in being a tourist in one's own town so I'm just applying this to the entire state. As problematic and complicated as our Virginia past (and sometimes present) can be, I am absolutely in love with this place and really try to embrace the better aspects of the Commonwealth. 

For the most part, I have been taking this vacation time to be alone and do what I enjoy most-- getting out in nature whether it be in my own garden or the cemetery gardens around the state. Travel like this offers moments for reflection. Here I am standing in a place where history happened... and I'm not just talking about the history that makes it into the canonized history books. People very much like me lived here!

On Monday I went to Old City Cemetery in Lynchburg, Virginia. Thomas Jefferson, who frequented Lynchburg, noted "I consider [Lynchburg] as the most interesting spot in the state." Established in 1806, this cemetery features African-American history including four museums, a chapel, and a columbarium. Lynchburg is a little over a 2-hour drive from home and I opted to avoid the interstate and take the scenic route. The journey was part of the adventure. I'll write more about the cemetery in the next few days.

Yesterday, Connie joined me for a few cemetery and shopping excursions. We first visited a family cemetery on Route 1 in Glen Allen, Virginia. We’ve both *seen* the cemetery (mostly in the winter when the leaves have fallen) from the road but never quite knew what it was. My fella and I both figured it was best for me to go with Connie because a life of crime is always better if it’s in pairs. We didn’t mean any disrespect but were genuinely curious. And I found a really interesting marker with some secret (unrecognizable sighs to me) society symbols on it… hmmm. More research.

$15 jewelry box/ perfume stand!
a collection of reasonably priced tea cups
After that, we went to Petersburg, Virginia and toured Blandford Cemetery, a historic cemetery with the oldest stone marking a 1702 burial. I bought the self-guided tour map which wasn’t exactly clear where the burial was located (churchyard doesn’t give me too much information). We didn't see it even with the map but we were in the general area... and at that point, it was good enough because we were hot and hungry. I’ll post more about the cemeteries later in the week. This morning I just want to add the fun finds from one of the Petersburg antique stores AND Edgar A. Poe’s honeymoon spot which unfortunately is closed. It appears that the doors just closed last week with everything being in perfect condition but apparently the place has been closed for a year.
This morning I tended to my garden and hung a new teapot wind chime from Emily Dill a local artist out of Lanexa. The first pink hibiscus flower bloomed… and as you can see the pumpkin patch is ready to take over my yard and/or eat me ;D   

Today there aren’t any cemeteries *planned* although I am heading to Busch Gardens for a day in the park alone and there are a few unknown cemeteries along the way. Adventure awaits! 


  1. I want your windchime! Gorgeous

  2. Sounds like you're having a lovely summer! ^_^

  3. The windchime is amazing and I'd love to own a jewelry box like yours... ;)