Cave Dwellings: You Asked About My Childhood in a Cemetery……
Cave Dwellings

Buckhorn Creek, Lake O' The Pines, Jefferson, TX

Saturday, July 31, 2010

You Asked About My Childhood in a Cemetery……

   Many of you commented about my spending my teenage years growing up in a cemetery…I’m sure some of you figure this accounts for some of my strangeness…It probably was the reverse…My strangeness allowed me to find some humor and lots of fun living amongst the tombstones….(pretend there is some scary music playing now…like the theme from the Movie, “Halloween”.…would you believe I have that as a ringtone on my cell phone?? Of course you would!!)

   We moved to Sandwich In 1960, when I was 12.  My Dad was a milkman for Modern Dairy in Elgin, IL. (Yes, I AM the proverbial “milkman’s daughter”…) Dad got a chance to manage a skating rink in Sandwich.  You must be told here that my Dad was a huge roller skater…we all grew up on skates and frequently went to the local skating rink in South Elgin, where my Dad was a floor guard.   My older sister, Darlene, had her wedding reception there……I know I have probably lost most of you …Sometime I will give you some more history of our roller skating family…


   At any rate, the skating rink thing went belly-up in 1962, and we lost all our money.  Dad needed another job…FAST…He tried factory work, but didn’t like it…So when someone told him the local cemetery needed a “live in” caretaker, he looked it over …and took the job.(Does the movie “The Shining” come to mind…caretaker…haunted…??)  We (myself, my little brother, and Mom and Dad) moved into the caretaker’s house at Oak Ridge Cemetery on the edge of Sandwich..I was 14 years old…At first I was not really fond of the idea, but I got the room with the balcony, so I was pacified. I also thought living in a cemetery would give me some cool, chilly and daring status as a High School Freshman. High School Freshman need all the help they can get!!!


I lived there until Den and I married in 1969.  Let me just tell you it is a major problem to get a boyfriend to come pick you up at the cemetery….What I really found neat was that in the spring, the workers who mowed the grass and trimmed the place were mostly teenage boys who needed a summer job. I kept a watch from my balcony to see the new crop of boys every spring…I also tried to screen the ones who were not “hot” looking ..but my Dad put the kibosh on that .  He knew my ulterior motives..

   I had an awesome Jr. Class Halloween party out there….Oh my God it was fun!!!! My parents helped me decorate the garage all creepy inside. Cobwebs hanging everywhere..  I was good friends with the girl whose Dad owned the monument business (you know, tombstones).  Between her dad , my dad and the local undertaker, we managed to scrounge up a casket…Patsy, that was her name, put on the ghoul /zombie make up and we laid her out in the casket down in the crypt…My Dad gave ghost walks to the crypt, and when he took the unsuspecting kids inside, Patsy would pop up out of the casket and scare the  _____ out of them!!!

I am in the process of organizing some old AND new photos so I can put them on my blog…It is taking longer than I thought, but I am digging through our archives in the basement…Rest assured I WILL post them soon! In case you are wondering, the photos of today’s post were taken in Gilham ,Arkansas at an Army Corps campground…We had NO cell phone service, but lots of great wildlife!!!!

I figured if I was talking about a cemetery, I had better lighten it up with some LIVING photos!!

I am sorry I haven’t commented on anyone’s blog in a while…lots going on..more bad news on my sister and it seems there are not enough hours in the day to do what I!! Hang in there..I’m trying to find my way back to “bloggersville”…..Thanks for hangin’ in and hangin’ on!!!!


  1. Excellent lighting on those Blue Heron photos & good lighting on that Pink Flamingo pic at the bottom of the blog. Some 'birds' just stand out more than others. I think the biggest thing I would enjoy about living by a cemetery would be the ever present peace & quiet. Lots of folks to talk to while out for a walk and you wouldn't have to worry about them talking back....unless you spoke for them yourself which of course I'm sure some of us would do....:))

  2. Bet you were that cool but weird hippy chick that everybody at school talked about and wanted to hang with..

    I know what you mean about not having time to blog.

    So here I sit hiding out in the basement from the grandkids having a few. And nothing to write about.

  3. Sure hope the bad news you mentioned on your sister isn't too bad.

    I can only imagine what that Halloween Party must have been like in High School. I'm still trying to get my head around living in a cemetery though, especially on stormy nights!

    Nice photos of the blue herons and the eagles.

    Don't worry too much about blog comments, we all know you're still around.

  4. How many dead bodies in your cemetery?..all of them!!..(sorry couldn't resist..I know you have probably heard them all)...thanks for the great post today..nice to hear about how you grew up..
    sorry to hear that there is more news about your sister..hang in there..
    we will still be here in blogville when you come back to us!!

  5. I'm sorry your sister still isn't doing well. I bet you two were real close growing up....except for all the fighting :) I have two sisters and I don't know how I would deal with either of them being sick.

    You just take care of yourself and your family, and come back to us when you can. Don't think you won't be missed though!

    Luv ya blog mom!

  6. First and most importantly please know we are thinking about your sister and keeping her in our thoughts. Hope its not too serious. Keep us updated.
    The Blue Herons are beautiful...great pics!!
    Don't worry about the blog...I'm behind myself. It just happens. We'll all still be here. :-)

    Take care!
    Mike & Gerri (happytrails)

  7. Sorry there is bad news about your sister. Hope things improve.

    Great pics on this post. Living in a cemetery....why not?

    Always look forward to your blog posts, and will wait patiently for them as you are busy right now.