For as long as I can remember I find myself in a variety of Ashtabula County cemeteries around Memorial Day. In the old days I went with my mother and my Aunt Alice. We planted geraniums to remember. As the years rolled by, the three Willis girls went with me. They referred to the geraniums as death flowers. My job was an easy one this year since my brother lives in Ashtabula Country. Beautiful geraniums already adorned the cemeteries when I arrived. I took pictures and tried to remember the stories from yesteryear.
The Stewart stone remains in great condition. I never remember it not being there. My father died at age 48. I wish he would not have missed out on so much of my life.
My grandfather Stewart was born in 1853. He was almost old enough to fight in the Civil War. He died before my mother went to school, so she did not get to know her father very well either.
When Henry Walton died in 1942, his sister Lillian warned my mother not to go to the funeral. Something bad would happen if she did. My very pregnant mother knew that her Mama had ESP, and stayed home that day.
Close to the entrance of the cemetery lies the stone of Walton B. Hunt. Evidently no one warned his mother to stay home that day. I can't explain it, but I do believe my grandma's ESP saved my life back in 1942.
The 1800's gravestone of my great-great grandfather peaks out from under a tree in the Lenox Cemetery. His stories remain with him.
The Rays Corners Cemetery is a short drive from the Lenox Cemetery. My Stewart great-grandparents ended up here. No one knows why they picked a different cemetery from everyone else. Aunt Alice always said they had the best spot - under a tree at the top of a hill.
It is hard to read the names on this one, but it includes John Stewart, Adeline Ritter Stewart and their son Birch Stewart.
My children will probably remember the day I rang this bell. I guess I wanted to see if it worked. Fortunately, the volunteer fire department did not show up, because it really made a big noise. I will never do that again.
I visited the Edgewood Cemetery in Ashtabula last of all. Thomas and Ida Johnson Watson were the only grandparents I knew. Every Sunday after church we went to their house for dinner for all the years we lived in Jefferson.