I took my granddaughter out to Cave Hill Cemetery yesterday. The weather was beautiful and Cave Hill is beautifully historic. It has five lakes and the tombstones date back before the Civil War. The only other place I have been that awakens the senses like Cave Hill are the cemeteries in New Orleans.
Because it has been so well-tended and unmolested, it seems to command the respect of a senior statesman. The geese, ducks, swans, birds, peacocks, turkeys, and many other waterfowl have a home at Cave Hill. Soon they will all be nesting.
It gives me a chance to talk to my grandchildren in peace and quiet and teach them the things grandmothers have historically taught grandchildren. They are never to step on a grave, and are to show respect at all times. All of the flowers and flowering plants are not to be picked, and the trees are not for climbing.
There really is an old cave there. It is, as caves go, dark and musty. I have heard that it continues for a long way underground, but I have never explored it. My grandchildren always have to go look in the cave, though, with mysterious thoughts in their heads of what must be inside.
The old spooky mausoleums are looked into with wander. Many have elaborate stained glass windows to look in and see. Alison and I were having a conversation about soldiers and she asked to go see the soldiers' graves, even though she has been there many times before. I know what I think when I look at the hundreds of uniform crosses of our soldiers, and wondered what she thought, so I asked her. "They all died for us," came her reply. I wondered if it was the echo of what I have told her in the past.
We talked about the great gift of freedom, and how lucky she is to be an American. She is only six years old, but has a solid grasp of the differences of people in books we read, and programs we watch. She watched the Trade Center fall. We walked and talked and I thought to myself how lucky I am to be alive, and in the lives of these little ones. They talk so openly and freely.
Nothing is hurried at Cave Hill. It occurred to me that I have taken each one of the children here alone, and together and it is here that we have most of our serious insightful talks. Perhaps we all need a special place to go to let our little ones talk to us. All they need is some time and a few questions. Pretty soon you hear them speaking your words back to you, and you understand how important you are in each little life. It is the reward of being a grandparent.
Right now, they are learning the thrill of caring for puppies. They have grown so in love with them, I know it will be hard for them to let them be adopted. I hugged each puppy yesterday and thought to myself what a beautiful beginning they have had. Care from the hearts of loving people. They will soon be ready to adopt. They are much like their mother, who is, as you know, a Boxer. I have had two people contact me to inquire about adoption. Justin wants to hold on to the all black one, but his mother may have other ideas. Puppies, like children need a lot of care. I am sending you a picture of Alison riding on Buddy's back. Buddy is a good mother, and her babies will all soon have good homes. And Buddy can take a breather! Love to all my Waynedale friends. I will send a picture of Buddy's puppies in the next column.
Love you all,