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Posts tagged ‘cemeteries’

Embrace Memorial Day


Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. … Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.

I went to our Madison Valley Cemetery this morning. The grave sites of veterans were marked by American flags. Many of the tombstones were freshly decorated for this important holiday. Come visit with me – and let’s honor the memories of our brave military ancestors.

The music at the end of this blog is so beautiful, you may want to scroll down there, click on it, and listen as you view the rest of this post.

Only in Montana might you find a gravestone decorated with a set of antlers!

The Daems memorial was especially meaningful to me. Doris was a friend of mine here in Ennis who was a faithful volunteer with the Women’s Club as well as the Madison Valley Manor and at the Medical Center. What a wonderful lady! Her 86 year-old brother and 90 year-old sister were there today to honor her memory as well as the many veterans.

Doris Daems served her country, too…
here at home in so many ways!

It was a beautiful blue sky day. A memorial service brought many people from our area out to this beautiful cemetery today… an opportunity to honor those brave men and women whose blood was spilled on the battlefields so we might enjoy the freedoms we have today.

If you were given the opportunity to select the 3 words to go on your tombstone to describe who you are, what words would you choose? Gene Wilkins was known as “Doc” here in Ennis… “Healer” was a perfect word for him!

Two of my words would probably be “Mother” and “Grammy” – A third word would need to be “Wife” since that identifies 60 years of my life. Although I was a teacher, a principal, and a district office administrator for 36 years, I think I’d have to choose “Child of God” or “Friend” before I’d call attention to my professional career. But, I don’t know what I’d do if I had to limit it to just three. How about you?

Here’s a wife, mother, daughter, sister,
grandmother, and friend.
Melissa’s family couldn’t limit it
to just three descriptors!

Would you include “Hero” for a description? How about pets, would they be part of your cemetery memorabilia? I’d like an angel by mine… (my maiden name is DeAngeles – and angels are a big part of my world!)

Some of the tombstones were decorated in very special ways, but a simple stone flush with the ground with letters worn away by time and weather intrigued me a lot. Who was that veteran? Is his/her family still in this area?

Thank you for your service, nameless one!

Rest in peace, dear ones. May your service to our country never be taken for granted!

God bless you, dear friends.
May your life be a long, happy one
and may you leave a legacy
that inspires your grandchildren.

Happy Memorial Day!

See ya tomorrow.
Love, JanBeek

Montana Mountain Trails


Montana Mountain Trails

ATV Travel - Cloudy Sky

I love living in Montana.
I love the opportunities it provides for me
and my husband, Bob, to get out into nature.
I love the mountains, the numerous trails,
and the scenery – everywhere I go…
… everywhere I look,
it’s beautiful in a unique kind of way

 

Come along with me, and Bob, and our Boston Terrier, TazE,
and three other couples and a single guy with his dog.
We headed north-west outta Ennis
to Twin Bridges and then
turned west, took a break,
and went north into the
Big Hole area.


The ride on “Lucille”
(our red-headed Polaris Razor on which we have a BALL),
was much tamer than the ATV ride I took earlier this week!

IMG_7537

We made a rest stop in Twin Bridges
– a little more than 3/4 of the way to our destination.

Rest stop - Twin Bridges

Then on we went – seemingly forever – off the main road –
headed for some unknown destination
(at least it was unknown to me and Bob and our trusty traveler, TazE).

 

You couldn’t hear me over the roar of the engine.
I said, “Wide-open country-side!”

We had no idea our destination was a remote graveyard
in what used to be Rochester, MT
and an old abandoned mine far up the trail
in those mountains out there –
where the sky kept getting darker and darker.

Cemetery sign

There are eleven graves labeled “UNKNOWN” in this cemetery.
How strange!
In a community of only 2,000 at its max,
how was anyone “unknown?”

cemetery4.jpg

Most of the gravestones were well marked. Some even appeared to have had recent visitors. We were way the heck away from civilization… but here were flowers at the grave site of 3 Claridge siblings who died at 3 1/2 months and their sister who died at birth a year before. Doesn’t your heart go out to those parents??


Cemetery6

In these harsh conditions, some did live to full adulthood.
I wish they could tell their stories.

Cemetery2

I loved Margaret’s tombstone
(as much as “love” and “tombstone”
dare go together in the same sentence!).
Look at it… I think she was 90!
Her story was partially told on this stone:
“Do not go gentle into that good night. ..
Rage against the dying of the light.”

Cemetery5

When I die, I am sure I will not “rage against the dying of the light.”
I want to fly toward the Light…
and indeed, that Faith is what keeps me going!
I wanna keep loving extravagantly until I am 90+
Don’t you?

bird in sunset sky

Isn’t this old gate that greeted us
when we entered the cemetery a treasure to behold?

Cemetery gate

The sagebrush in this area inspired the clothing
I have chosen to wear to my granddaughter’s wedding next month.
I love the earth tones of pale green and beige.
Don’t you?

sage brush

We stopped at an old mine and had lunch.
Just finished before it started to rain.
Whew!

Caroline-Gail - mine

Those are two of our ATV buddies, Caroline and Gail,
chatting about whether or not to chance
getting the chairs and lunches out and sitting down to relax.
We all did… and finished just in time.

Here’s Bob – looking down at TazE – asking,
“You wanna get back into Lucille?”

Bob w Lucille

She said, “You bet!”

TazE ATV

I had her on a leash
because she was not friendly with Boone,
the other dog on this trip.
TazE is an “only child,”
and not used to being around other dogs.

We passed some wonderful white-faced cattle
on our way back to the pickups and trailers.

cattle in Big Hole plains

white-faced cattle1

Some of them ran to get out of our way
(our four-wheelers are noisy),
but others ran alongside to try and race us!

The remains of civilization were everywhere along the way.
Hard to believe there were 2,000 people living back in here once upon a time!

Fence remains

ATV-fence-valley-sky

Cattle guards kept the animals from following us out.
We returned to our bluer skies –
getting hooked up and into our pick-ups
just before a huge hailstorm hit.
I thought I’d see dents in the pickup hood when we got home.

But, no… all was well.

It was a fun and an interesting, educational day.
Thanks for taking time to travel vicariously with us!

Someday you need to make a trip to Montana
and come out four-wheeling!!


heart of love
See ya tomorrow.

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