Yesterday I arrived at a local cemetery, internet-printed maps in hand, bent on finding two particular graves.
An hour and a half, one sunburn, a moving of my car, three blisters, one footwashing, very squeaky shoes, and a few shivers later, I emerged from the cemetery gates defeated.
Apparently, my directional abilities are hindered in part by my inability to read cemetery maps.
At first, I drove my car into the gates, looking for a nice shady spot to park while I explored. I got about a quarter of a mile from my car when mild panic set in.
“What if I can’t find my car later? What if someone vandalizes it? (in broad daylight!) What if night falls and I’m still here and I can’t find my car in the dark? Sure, I can go out the pedestrian gate but then what? How do I get home? What if my cell phone battery dies?”
To quell the quasi-panic, I retreated back through the Hebrew portion of the cemetery and to my car.
I decided to park it right outside the gates because, should I get so lost that I needed to summon the authorities, it’d be easier to say “Well, my vehicle is right outside the 15th Street entrance, across from the cemetery office.” than “I think I’m parked by a grave for a guy named Ronald.”
It’s a big cemetery, folks.
From the maps I had, I was somewhere in the vicinity of at least one of the graves I sought about 90% of my time there. I located the yellow fever burial area and the area for surname Lechtig (both marked on the map) but I could not, for the life of me [no pun intended] find the exact graves I sought.
And I wore shorts for this?!?!
My feet were dirty and a bit sore by this point [yeah, the Crocs ballerina slippers aren’t the foot-soothers you might think] so I found a spigot and hosed those suckers off.
I seriously think the maps are WRONG. They are WRONG! The flagpole at the entrance should’ve had WAY less graves near it, if the map is to be believed.
David Brinkley (former newscaster) and Nancie Martin (girl who died at sea and is buried seated in a cask of rum), I will find you. Very soon.