This morning dawned bright and early. I promised my little brother we would be in Nephi by 10:00 AM and that was about 1 1/2 hours away. My sweetie was up at 6:30, buying potted mums and stuff to make Belgian waffles. I was awake by 7:00 even though I was up late the night before. There was still so much to do to get ready!
I took a shower while he mixed up the waffles and by 7:45 most of the kids had dragged themselves out of bed. I called Bossy and invited her family over to feast with us. Our plan was to be in the van by 8:30. We almost made it. We just had to stop for gas and ice before we hit the road.
We rolled into Nephi at 10:00 on the dot and were at the cemetery by 10:05 where we joined with my brother and sisters to study a little family history and enjoy each others' company. I loved listening to my dad tell stories of when he was a boy! I was wishing I had thought to bring my video camera.
We left Nephi in our little caravan of three vehicles, Bossy's family in one car, Drama Queen with several siblings in her car, and our big van full of everyone else. We drove through a bunch of small towns, Levan, Gunnison, Centerfield until we reached our destination of the smallest town in that area of Utah, Axtell. My grandma was born there, but not buried there. Her brother and sister and their spouses as well as her parents were laid to rest in that tiny pioneer cemetery. We placed some flowers and shared some memories and then climbed back in the vehicles. We still had lots of cemeteries to visit.
It took only a few minutes to backtrack to the Centerfield cemetery where Grandma and her first husband are buried. Again we placed flowers, shared stories and were back on the road. We stopped at Subway and used the 10 free sub coupons the girls earned for Reflections to get some lunch. We got food for all 17 of us for $23. Then we made our way to a little park with a softball field we had passed earlier. We picnicked on the grass and played a couple of innings before it was time to pack up again. As fun as it was, we were "burning daylight!"
It took us almost 20 minutes to get back to Ephraim. We drove past the old houses, including Grandma's that now has renters in it which is weird. Then we headed for the cemetery. We placed flowers on my mom's grave (has it really been almost 8 years?!) and Grandpa's. I wandered a little. I actually love cemeteries and find them extremely interesting. This one from my hometown is hard because I know more people in the cemetery now than I know who still live there in the city.
Once again it was back on the road with several more stops to make.
We took the back roads into Spring City and pointed out our favorite make-out spot to the kids. They were completely appalled! What's wrong with kids these days?
Then we drove through town and my sweetie told a bunch of stories about his dad who grew up there.We tasted the fresh spring water and then drove to the cemetery. My sweetie's grandparents are buried there. His grandpa died in the flu epidemic of 1918 and his grandma died long before my sweetie was born, but we still honor their memory and tell the stories we know. We believe these oral histories are so important! And don't worry, they are also written down so we can keep sharing them through the generations.
As we drove the last few miles into Mt. Pleasant, I could see that the kids were getting tired and the Drama Queen was starting to talk about heading back to Nephi. We had one last promise to keep and that was a shake at Rodger and Jenni's Dairy Freeze. Jenni is my sweetie's little sister and since we get down there so rarely, we like to support her if we can. So we feasted on ice cream and french fries. By the time we were finished, some of us were beginning to feel the strain of too many sweets and treats so we decided to walk back across town to the cemetery.
My sweetie came along later with the van and we shared our last memories and stories near his dad's grave. What a wonderful man he was! Then we hoofed it across the cemetery with our last pot of mums and placed them at my sweetie's maternal grandma and grandpa's grave.
Our last stop was a nice visit with my sweetie's mom. We didn't stay long since she was tired after a full day entertaining company. It took us about an hour and a half to drive home. Most of the kids dozed off in the car and I even got a minute or two to snooze.
It was a wonderful, happy day, full of memories and family.
My favorite things.
Happy Memorial Day!