Monday, December 22, 2008

I thought I'd seen damn near everything...

...but something I laid peepers on today really threw me for a loop.

PARENTHETICAL YOU-CAN'T-HAVE-EVERYTHING NOTE: Nope, didn't get a photo. There was no place to stop to get one. If I can con someone into driving me past the scene tomorrow, I will, and will of course put up any shots I get.

I happened to be driving past the local marble orchard. I don't usually spare it a second glance. But I had to stare this time.

PARENTHETICAL IT'S-DIFFERENT-IN-CALIFORNIA NOTE: This is not the traditional kind of dirt-nappery those of you who live in more civilized places would expect. Rather than monuments and other signs of individuality, every resident gets a simple, identical, flat, the-lawn-mower-passes-right-over-it plaque. It's not even a "cemetery;" rather, it's a memorial park. If I hadn't already willed my body to the local dog-food cannery, I would definitely not want to be in one of these places, where lawn sprinklers stand out as much as the Dear Departeds do....

Okay, so this place is on a long hill, and you can see quite a bit of it from the street. And what I saw was: Christmas decorations.

Whaaaaaa...?

That's right. Little forests of candy canes surrounding some of the markers, tiny trees with Christmas ornaments on 'em, even -- I think -- a few Christmas stockings.

I dig weirdness, but that's a little too bizarre even for me, Jim.

I'm pretty certain that place is one Santa will not have on his itinerary on the 25th. And I doubt that anyone there is eagerly awaiting presents.

Flowers on appropriate days, yes. That's cool. I've even left a few posies at appropriate grave-sites myself in the past. Maybe, in places where the local beliefs tend that way, an offering or two to speed the Loved One to the Hereafter. Maybe -- and I know nothing about this -- some kind of Voodoo trinket to take the heat off the soul making its Final Journey.

But Christmas decorations? Presents? Stockings? Nuh-uh.

That really wigs me out.

California. Sheesh.

Hubert Eaton, the man who created Forest Lawn, would be freaked out by it, too....

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

We (my bro and I) put flowers on our parents grave site for special holidays. That's pretty cool actually. I'm with you on the candy canes and mini-trees and such though.

S

Doug said...

Um, that's the left coast for ya, I guess...

becomingkate said...

We have cemetaries with the plaques too. As for Christmas decorations...nothing surprises me anymore. The grieving do whatever they can to bring comfort.

Birdie said...

I find the plagues quite impersonal. And I agree, there is a time and place for everything, but that place was NOT the place for colored lights and Christmas deco! geeeeez

picaboblu said...

I'm the flowers on major holidays type, but not Christmas decorations!

We have one nearby which is continually lighted, has a mailbox for letters to the deceased, a bench and a swing for you to hang around in. . .not my type.

Anonymous said...

Sorta like the candles and teddy bears that litter the neighborhood where idiot teenagers drive their cars into trees at high speed.