Welcome to another Photo Friday! I know last week I said that the weather was starting to turn here on the Gulf Coast, but apparently that’s going to be really true this weekend. A cold front is scheduled to come blowing through. The prediction is that our lows will dip down into the 50s and our highs will only be in the 70s. I’m picturing bonfires in the backyard and late afternoon naps on the hanging bed (as soon as I finish sewing the cover).
The cooler weather is heralding the coming of Halloween. Are you Halloween people? Are you one of those folks who will be making your contribution to the almost $8.4 billion Americans will spend on Halloween (averaging almost $83/person)? I gotta say, I’m not the biggest of Halloween people. It’s never much been my thing. I don’t like the dressing up, although I do particularly like seeing the littles in their costumes. Unfortunately, we had no trick-or-treaters last year, and I don’t anticipate we will have any this year either (the college three doors down from us – literally, the local community college campus is less than half a block from us – is having a fall carnival next week. It will be complete with a haunted house and trick-or-treating through the buildings).
Things like trunk-or-treat and going to the mall to pick up candies from the businesses have taken over, although there are still a few high dollar neighborhoods around these parts who could probably spend twice the national average on candy and still run out. While I totally understand why the trick-or-treating I did as a kid has gone by the wayside, but I can’t help but think that it’s a symptom of a much larger problem in our country. Namely that we don’t know our neighbors. If we did, perhaps we would be more comfortable allowing our children to accept candy from a “stranger.”
All of that to say that yeah, I’m not much of a Halloween person. What I do like about this time of year is that it reminds me to get out into the cemeteries. I really enjoy cemeteries. As a kid I used to ride my bike to the cemetery a mile or so away from the GrandSner’s to wander among the headstones, looking at names and dates and creating stories.
There is particularly something about old cemeteries. They were designed to be park-like and places where people would linger while remembering their loved ones. Seeing how our traditions change interests me, and I’m always terribly saddened by the states of disrepair. In a place that exists solely to be in service of memory, memory fades and ultimately disappears. These huge, stately monuments ultimately fall victim to the passage of time with their engravings weathering away, their marble and granite crumbling under the weight of Mother Nature’s relentlessness.
This week has been extraordinarily difficult. I know better than to believe that things can never get worse; I long ago learned to never tempt that particular fate. A breather might not be amiss, though. Sometimes I wonder if the Universe isn’t trying to tell me something. Which is not to say that I’m not good at what I’m doing. It’s more like a tap on the shoulder saying, hey – there could be another way.
And then I remember that last year was a really good year. I’ve been doing this long enough to know that this is merely a season. It too shall pass, much like these grand monuments to lives lived to different rhythms. In the meantime, I will keep seeing through a lens that allows me to construct a slightly softer version of reality. No need for a costume or a sack full of candy, although I probably wouldn’t turn that down.
This week I made my way to Live Oak Cemetery in Pass Christian. If I had to guess, I would say that those gravesites that are most damaged were probably damaged during Hurricane Katrina. Pass Christian suffered a great deal of damage, being in the worst quadrant of the storm as she roared ashore. Interesting people are interred here, and I wish I had researched a little before my shoot. For the most part, I just wandered.
(so strange. It almost reminds me of those espalier trees)
So are you a Halloween person? Have you decorated the house and are you gleefully preparing for the coming holiday? Or is it not that big of a deal where you are? Let’s talk in the comments!
Photo Friday Link-Up
Welcome to another edition of the Photo Friday link-up! I’m so glad that you are here with us again this week! Y’all did a great job of visiting each other last week; thank you for that! The best part of a link-up is the community that grows around it.
Last week our most viewed link came from Stephanie at In Her Lens, who shared some fall photos from last year.
Our final link came from Patrick at Adventures in Weseland who shared some street vendors with us. As always, if you didn’t stop back by after you entered your link, go take a look! There are some incredible photos shared later in the week!
I can’t wait to see what you have for us this week! Let’s get to sharing, shall we?!