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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Winter's Arrival

Winter has arrived with a vengeance! It brought snow and bitterly cold temperatures with it. I thought I'd share just a few photos with you today.

There is a cemetery across the road from our house. During the years that we've lived here, we've observed some of the different ways people grieve the loss of loved ones. Some have annual gatherings at the grave site on the birthday or date of death of the deceased, often with balloons and flowers and other tokens of remembrance and affection. 

The first photo in today's post shows one such group that had gathered during a snowstorm on December 23, to raise their beer cans in a toast to their departed friend or family member. 

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On one occasion, in the first year of their grief, this group stacked their empty beer cans around the tombstone of their friend or family member at the closing of their meeting. We haven't been over to the cemetery since the 23rd, to see if any of the cans are still there from this session.

On Christmas Day, Doug and I drove the two hours to see Doug's brother, Dennis, and take him out for a Christmas meal. Very few restaurants are open on Christmas, and we have a long-standing tradition of taking Dennis to a truck stop which never closes and is just about halfway between his home and ours. This year was a bit more challenging because the weather was terrible between Dennis' apartment and the truck stop. There were frequent snow squalls and near-white-out conditions.

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I shot this through the windshield from the back seat during one such snow squall.

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This is another shot, with a little better visibility.
As we returned to Dennis' home after our meal, I snapped this shot of a house that I'd noticed earlier. It looked so pretty in the snowy setting.

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I hope you've all had a blessed Christmas and will have a safe and happy New Year's celebration.


14 comments:

  1. That house looks ready to be featured on a greeting card.Those ceremonies at the graveside seem a little strange, but each to their own,I guess. Happy New Year to you.

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    1. Thanks for the comment about the photo of the house. It was a drive-by, with Doug and Dennis complaining about the cold air coming in through the lowered car window. But I just thought the house was so pretty and wanted to try for a picture. I agree about the goings on at the cemetery. Sad, really.

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  2. Having a gray and moody winter day is not fun, but you made the most out of it. The cemetery shots look really good and it's a nice place for reflection, especially with the year coming to an end. I agree with Ruth, the house looks beautiful in the white snow. I wish you a Happy New Year and many more outings and photos.

    Mersad
    Mersad Donko Photography

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  3. Linda, I'm glad you and Doug were able to have dinner with your brother-in-law in spite of the snow. It's no fun being along on a day that you know others are gathered with family and friends. We're having a little dose of winter ourselves, but I won't complain because it really doesn't compare to your weather.

    Beer cans in the cemetery, wow. It grieves my heart to know people actually do things like that. Love the cozy, snowy house photo.
    Have a great weekend!

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    1. You're right, Toni. If it hadn't been Christmas and knowing that Dennis would be alone if we didn't go, we'd probably have postponed our visit because of the weather. But it all turned out well, and we were glad we followed through with our plans.

      We often pray for those folks we see who continue to grieve for their lost loved ones at the little cemetery across from us. It's not just this group of beer-drinking buddies. There are others, too, who continue to meet to grieve at the grave site of those who have died.

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  4. Hi, That house in the last picture looks a little like the house I grew up in... Ours wasn't brick though --but the overall look is similar...

    WOW--you really got some snow!!!! We haven't had a drop here.. There was some on the top of the mountains in the Smokies on Christmas (since the road was closed for 2 days) --but not down in the Gatlinburg area. It was COLDER than COLD though....

    Happy New Year.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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    1. I love the look of that house, Betsy...so homey and inviting. There was more snow at Dennis' than in our area. There must have been about five inches there, and the wind was whipping it around like crazy. Our forecast is for bitterly cold temperatures for the foreseeable future.

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  5. Your pictures of the snow are really good. I especially like the one of the house...it looks so clean, clear and crisp, a beautiful setting.
    It is sad to hear/see beer cans lined up in the cemetery. Periodically during the year we put flowers at the gravesite of Gerri's mom and dad, but each time we go there, we know they are not there in the grave. Praise God for His sacrifice of love for our salvation.

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    1. Thanks for your kind comment. I'm glad you liked the shot of the house. It did turn out surprisingly well for the circumstances under which it was shot. I agree with you about the sadness of those who grieve without hope.

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  6. You had very hard conditions when taking Dennis out for the Christmas meal, the visibility was so bad! Good to hear all turned out well.
    That house looks very Christmassy although there is no Christmas decoration, it would be a nice card. Easy to understand you wanted to capture that.
    On the afternoon of the Christmas Eve, many people here come to a cemetery to light a candle on the grave of their family in remembrance of the deceased. This year we also managed to visit my father's grave to light a candle and say hello, I'm happy we did.

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    1. The driving conditions on Christmas WERE pretty nasty, Petra; but, as you said, all turned out well. It's interesting to hear about the tradition of visiting graves on Christmas Eve. I'm glad you were able to visit your father's grave that day.

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  7. Wow how interesting to see how different people observe graves. Such a kind thoughtful tradition to take Doug out. Sad when people don’t have family

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    1. I know the names can get confusing, Kim; but it was Doug's brother, Dennis, that Doug and I took out for Christmas. Much of Dennis' being alone has been his own choice over the years. But we've always tried to spend at least some time with him on Christmas. Now he's lost a leg to diabetes and isn't able to get out and go on his own, so we visit him once a month and take him out for a drive and a restaurant meal. It's for us as much as for him. ;)

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