Tuesday, June 26, 2012

hail

Two weeks ago (wow, I can't believe it's been that long!) we had a huge hail storm. Some of the hail was baseball-sized (the picture below is after a bit of time had passed so it's safe to say the hail had melted a bit in the 90 degree weather). It happened while I was in Boston for a work trip, so I didn't get to experience it first-hand (probably a good thing!), but I feel like we are still digging out from the damage.


My car was totaled, our roof was totaled, we had broken windows. My precious plants were all beat to a pulp. Our trees are so thinned out that it looks like late autumn on our street. Crazy stuff.


So we'll be scheduling many, many repairs to our house this summer... and I'm guessing our yard won't look great until about next spring.

That said, however, it could have been lots worse. When my husband called and said "This is bad. Our house is half destroyed," I had visions of fires and tornadoes and all of our possessions lost. This isn't that bad and I feel for everyone who has gone through a disaster like that. Compared to that, this is just a hiccup and one of those inevitable challenges to being a homeowner.

We just have to dust ourselves off and keep moving. :)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Greenwood Cemetery

There is just something about cemeteries that is so intriguing and so inviting. At least for me.

Especially the old ones.

A week or so ago, my husband and I came upon a cemetery right in the middle of downtown Dallas. We had seen it before and planned to visit but the timing was never quite right and the entry to the cemetery is quite secluded, so we really didn't think about it too often. This time when we drove by, we decided to take a few minutes to check it out.

We ended up rambling around the shaded paths for a good couple of hours. Seriously, even though there were many trees, my bare shoulders were sunburned by the time we finally decided to leave.

And I think I've found my new favorite place in Dallas.

Greenwood Cemetery.


Even though with a quick glace above the trees, we could see the skyscrapers and condominiums of the city around it, inside the cemetery was surprisingly calm, peaceful and still. That afternoon, the light dancing through the trees had a magical quality about it.

We were the only visitors.


Greenwood Cemetery is old (at least by Texas standards) - founded in the 1875. There are plots set out for both Confederate and Union veterans of the Civil War. I don't see many Confederate graves up north where I am from, and I was a little surprised to see so many Union graves down here. However, after looking at the dates on the stones, I saw that most of the men had died twenty or so years after the Civil War ended, so I suppose it was okay to bury Union soldiers in a southern cemetery by then.





Some people find cemeteries spooky, uncomfortable or creepy. While I agree that some may turn a bit eerie at certain times of the day (or night), I've never felt uncomfortable in a cemetery. I love to wander through the rows, reading inscriptions and imagining the lives of the people who are buried there.

In middle school and early high school, one of my best friends and I would sit out in a cemetery, imagining and writing stories about the people buried in the graves around us.


I hope you don't find this morbid. I know some people may. But after all, cemeteries are made for visiting. Beautiful stones are made to be seen and creative inscriptions are made to be read. Cemeteries are made for the living. They certainly deserve respect, but I don't think they should ever be off-limits.



Greenwood Cemetery is the burial place of many of the leading citizens and prestigious families of Dallas. The names on our streets and neighborhoods and public buildings. So as you can imagine, there are many, many beautiful sculptures and stones.







It was so beautiful and peaceful. I found myself just breathing it all in.
This is the place I will head when I need to be alone with my thoughts. Typically when I need to clear my mind, I feel like I need to leave the city, and find some wide open countryside. Little did I know there was a place of sanctuary right in the middle of the hustle and bustle. I know I'll be back.

Do you have a place that makes you feel like this? (cemetery or otherwise)