Daily Prompt: Minimal in the afterlife

St. Katharinen Friedhof 21.03 (9)

This afternoon I went on one of my famous walks, but with a difference. I got daring and decided to get to the cemetery if I had to crawl there on hands and knees. To reach the cemetery, I have to allow for more walking time, which means a little more than my half an hour. My camera has been kept to a minimum with the eternal photos of ducks, swans, horses and chickens, and I wanted to see something more, and I did it. I walked past the horses (took a few photos) and found that the rest was downhill and just around the next bend were the cemetery gates.

The nice thing about cemeteries is that there are places to sit everywhere, and are very rarely fully occupied. Who wants to lay down on a cemetery bench? No-one really, but golden oldies like me with a cane as accompaniment treasure every opportunity to sit down and contemplate who is new at the cemetery. I have not been there for some time, so had some catching up to do on the grave stones, but there is still plenty of room.

I noticed that in one corner of the graveyard there was work going on, but not for new graves, the gardeners were at work planting new flower beds. They do not do it with a shovel or rake, they had a small bulldozer. So there was I was contemplating the flower bed in the photo, and a gardener walked past. We greeted each other and he said “The flowers are nice, I planted the flowerbed myself this week”. Of course I congratulated him to the excellent choice of flowers, but who were they for – there were no big graves near. It was when I uploaded the photo I realised that the background was a composition of small regular sized square stones with a name and dates of birth and death. They were the graves for the cremated, the cheaper solution, just a simple stone saying “I was here”. On the other side of the cemetery there were the larger stones, with their own flowerbeds, planted by the gardener who had been engaged to tend to the grave regularly and paid for the job by the families concerned.

St. Katharinen Friedhof 21.03 (3)

Even in the after world there seems to be a sort of hirarchy. When you walk through the cemetery you admire the well-kept graves with their special flower arrangements, one better than the other. In Spring the pansies arrive, later a rose tree might be planted, and towards Autumn the heather is planted. You are not even allowed to put flowers on the stones for the cremated, although the name is quite clearly engraved on the stone. It is not wished for by the authorities that are in charge of the cemetery, they have flower beds planted here and there for the cremated. Sometimes you might see a vase with a lone flower in it balancing on a stone, and often there are grave lamps here and there.

Funny how the well known prominent people of the local town, mostly lawyer families, or doctor families, have the biggest and most ornate graves, perhaps with a sculpture commissioned by a local artist. They are the so-called bought graves. The land for the grave has been bought by the family and the grave remains for the descendents in the family. Otherwise it is custom in our Kanton in Switzerland that you only are allowed to remain for 30-40 years (not sure of the exact amount). The family if then informed that the grave will be emptied and whether they would like to have any parts of the memorial to keep for themselves.

I noticed a golden oldie lady examining the names on the cremated section of the cemetery. I  think she was just curious. We greeted each other when our paths crossed. I was really only at the cemetery for some photos. One day my final resting place will also be here, was a passing thought I had. The cherry blossom were flowering and the forsythia.

Cherry Blossom 21.03 (4)

I decided it was time to go home and walked slowly home passed the famous and the prominence who have the best places at the entrance, nicely spaced out to allow room for the trees and flowers in between.

I crossed the main road and arrived at the local station where they have a bench. My benches are all placed at strategic places on the way home to minimalise my walking time. Actually I was feeling good, no stress, just taking it easy.

St. Katharinen Friedhof 21.03 (14)

Daily Prompt: Minimal in the Afterlife

Good Morning

Hyacinth

I have hyacinths in my garden and they are now flowering. I planted them 4-5 years ago, on the way one or two have disappeared, but the remainders are still holding their ground.

This year our house front will be renovated and I hope that my plants in the garden survive. Our appartment block is “only” 18-20 years old, we moved into our appartment as first buyers 18 years ago almost. You would think that after so “few” years it would not be necessary to do anything, but it seems some of the original work was not up to the standard it should have been. I must admit the facade of the building needs a makeover, but my blinds are still good, and also my windows. They say that the roof should be refurbished – I am not an expert.

However, we are annoyed. Decisions are group decisions. discussed at various meetings so it has now been decided. We all have to pay for our new blinds but windows are voluntary and we are definitely not having new windows in our appartment.

The annoying thing is that when the workers arrive in May there will be an inconvenience. We will be without blinds for a while and who knows what the workman will do to ruin our garden with their workboots trampling around everywhere, although we have been told that any necessary gardening work will be paid for. However, you cannot replace what no longer exists.

Mr. Swiss told me today that there was a meeting yesterday about the whole thing. We are so disgusted that we no longer visit the meetings, because there are certain parties that know it all better, and we are the golden oldies that are no longer so golden as far as they are concerned. I did not even realise that yesterday was one of the famous meetings. We are a few parties that no longer visit the meetings, because we realised that we no longer have anything to say. All we know is that we can pay for the most expensive solution, which is really not necessary,  and put up with the inconvenience. We have spoken to  some colleagues who are also in the business and they just found it a joke when they heard what will be done. We really do not have to have our block gold plated.

However life goes on and I will take it as it comes and today is bathroom cleaning morning, so I will be busy for an hour or more with the housework. I will not be going places or seeing things, although I heard our Japanese cherry tree is flowering along the path, so that will be worth a photo. I might take a walk this afternoon, am still thinking about it. I would love to visit the cemetary again, have not been there this year, but it is a 5-10 minute walk further than the usual time and I am not sure if I can do. I have to walk back again, but today looks like a good day for me. Not all days are the same I notice.

Have a nice day everyone, and I will say goodbye with a photo of my white hyacinths. The strange thing is I do not remember planting this hyacinth, I have only one. It appeared for the first time last year. They do not usually plant themselves, so perhaps I did it in a forgetful moment which I have now and again.

Hyacinth