Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Memories linger from yesterday
of the most anticipated occasion around
Homecoming and Decoration Day
and dinner on the ground
As the old church bells would chime
the people came together at last
it was such a joyous time
to worship and reminise about the past
The graves were decorated in beauty
such a splendid sight to behold
the tables were spread and ready
with more food than they could hold
Preaching and shouting were a plenty
it could be heard for miles around
as a child waiting so patiently
my hunger continued to abound
The chicken-n-dumplings were waiting
especially for grandma each year
if she would've stopped her shouting
I knew they would soon disappear
When the food was finally gone
and the decoration was over and done
they continued to linger on
as if the day had only began
Although some lived faraway
they stayed until the sun went down
after all it was Decoration Day
and dinner on the ground
The month of May holds such special memories for me and Decoration Day stands out so clear. The older generation really believed in decorating the graves and I went with my grandma each year.
It was such a special occasion that my mom bought me a dress or most of the time made it herself on an old pedal sewing machine.I looked so forward to that new dress for decoration day.
We either made the flowers out of crepe paper or we cut fresh roses and placed them in vases. We knew they wouldn't last long but my grandma always said"they'll last as long as they last".
The little home church where we went was built of rock and every rock was placed by hand. The church was built sometime in the 1800"s. Both my grandpas and my dad help build it. The cemetery sit on a little hill across from the front of the church.
Now grandma was a shouting woman and I came to expect the shouting everytime she entered the church or walked into the cemetery. As a child I just went on with my playing and never paid any attention to grandma or the other shouting women, unless it was Decoration Day, then my hunger pains would kick in early.
After all of this we would gather at the home of the preacher(which happened to be my grandma's brother) for dinner on the ground. I never could understand why they called it that, but by that time I was starving so I'd grab my plate and sit on the ground for lack of a better place to sit, since all the chairs were took up by the grown ups. I never heard such talking and reminesing in my life. We surely made the day of it and when we finally did make it home that's all grandma talked about for weeks on end or until the next year.
Today I still make flowers. But I use silk flowers to make tombstone wreaths for my parents and father and mother in law. I make pots of flowers for the other graves. I guess I can say the tradition lives on.
I hope some of you will remember and relate to this, meanwhile I've got to get busy on those flowers. Decoration Day is just around the bend and I can only hope for the dinner on the ground. Blessings, Susie