I looked out the window yesterday morning, watching the fog roll in. No kidding, we haven't seen this kind of fog in 20 years. It's an indication of a lot of rain. This is agriculture country, and in the old dinosaur days, all the crops were flood irrigated. I won't get into the hours upon hours we had to spend fixing irrigation boxes that washed out due to the crawdad population.
As the rain decreased, most all the farmers went to drip irrigation. The less water there was, the less tulle fog. The rains we had the last few weeks have taken us back to driving basically blindfolded. Us old timers have no problem ... we get it ... but the kids who haven't driven in this before are a pain in the patoo.
Anyway, I donned my famous waterproof after-ski boots that I get teased about. I mean really, it's not like it's 20 degrees out. HOWEVER, it doesn't get any wetter than walking on very thick grass covered in frost. My feet were dry and toasty the entire day.
My second order of business was getting the hitch out of my truck to make room for the boxes. Yes it's heavy, but a cowgirl has to be self sufficient.
So off I went to town where we all met up to get our assignments. Wreaths are taken to all Elks Members gravesites, no matter where they are in the County. Worcester Wreath Company has the current contract for Wreaths Across America, who ship them to sites across the U.S. 1.7 Million wreaths were laid last year. They charge $15 a wreath and all the proceeds go to veterans charities, along with miscellaneous non-profits. Kind of like Bingo.
My Bingo buddies Mark, Wil and I got our sheets along with a map of the National Cemetery in Santa Nella. About one third of this group will go to the same place, with the rest covering about 8 other cemeteries.
We used to have to drive all the way out there and wait in a very long line to pick up the wreaths. Thanks to the Sheriff's Department we now have them delivered to a trailer parked next to our building. These are the two guys responsible for this whole project and Bingo pays the bill.
As it turns out, Mark's next RV trip got cancelled, so he cleaned out the back of his truck. It's much newer, and therefore a much nicer ride, so we took it instead of mine. It's pretty impressive as you drive in, although this picture was taken last year. I did just learn that each pine tree planted here represents one submarine lost in World War II. It's shocking to see just how many there are.
So just who made this National Cemetery possible? A cowboy of course. This was Mr. Wolfsens range land for his herd until like us, the price of cattle went too far downhill. He donated all the land.
Unlike others, this cemetery does not have big headstones. It only has flat markers just below ground level to allow for mowing. So here we are with our list of names, dates and numbers, walking through the frosty wet grass. We find their marker and call out their name, thanking them for their service before laying the wreath.
I'm guessing we walked about three miles before placing our final wreath. It's not all that easy since the grass is about 4 inches thick. It might have been less had there not been a mistake. I might add that I TOLD our head honcho about the mistake last year, but he never fixed it. We knew the marker number was wrong, but we couldn't remember just where it was.
In desperation, we finally went to the kiosk (think ATM machine) to find the REAL site. Neither Mark nor I could get the darn thing to work. Just then a nice young kind in a uniform came over and said it was working a few minutes ago. He touched the keypad and it sprang to life. I'm not kidding, he just typed in the name and POOF ... it worked. I don't know why OUR fingers didn't work!!
It was rather fascinating to see the sun come out and light up the cemetery. Funny thing, everywhere around the cemetery was socked in solid with fog. As we drove out, it got worse and worse. We cruised along at about 30 mph for the entire trip back. It's a 50 mile trip home, so as you can imagine, we talked up a storm.
There was one quick stop on the way back, but I'll relate that tomorrow.
Dinner was quick and cheap. Another pasta bowl with lots of Costco chicken mixed in. I think this one came to about 50 cents a bowl and I get FIVE meals. Not bad!!
Weirdly, the fog let up a bit for about two hours, but by 3:00 I couldn't even see my patio out the window. It's supposed to continue for about four days, so I guess I'll just try to stay snug and warm in the house.
Mr. Cooper appears to be fine again, but I did have a big mess to clean up. I've no idea where that came from. Luckily I have no carpet and we both survived the day!!
Thank you for doing that. I know it means a lot to the families of the military members. Barb's dad receives a wreath every year and it warms her heart knowing he has one.ReplyDelete
You are so welcome. Our Elks Lodge is all about Veterans. It is our pleasure to do everything we can for them, whether living or not ... and this little ceremony we do at all the grave sites is very special to us.Delete
Nancy, it just dawned on me this year (you blog about this event before but it did not click) that one of my Uncles, mom's brother, is buried there. His name is Kenneth Leroy Cline, Birth: 22 Mar 1925 Death: 14 Dec 1999 (aged 74). His fourth wife, Rosie, is buried with him (Rosemarie Linda Burgus Cline) So a VERY SPECIAL THANKS from my family to you and your club. --DaveReplyDelete
You are very welcome Dave. Next year I will look up his name and be sure to place a wreath on his marker.Delete
Gibbs has had an upset tummy too, although he doesn't act like it. Just in his poop, which is unusually soft. Glad Cooper seems better.ReplyDelete
Great job on the laying of the wreaths. 💕
I swear they call each other and set up being sick! LOLDelete
Thank you to you and the Elks.ReplyDelete
It's become a wonderful tradition with our group ... and the number of volunteers this year reached 40. I think that's a record.Delete
WWII was a tough one. Thank you and your club for your nice gesture to our veterans. Glad Gibbs is better.ReplyDelete
That it was Doug, and we are glad to honor them all.Delete
Such a nice gesture to remember very special people.ReplyDelete
There are actually four other groups around here who do the same. It's nice to honor those who fought for our freedom.Delete
That looked like a plastic pet carrier you set the hitch on, I hope it’s tough and the hitch doesn’t collapse it. It would be tougher to pick up again wrapped in that. LolReplyDelete
Good eye Deb ... and yes it is but it's a very large heavy duty pet carrier. My generator lives on the one just out of view. I'll put it back into the truck today!Delete