Since the main purpose for the trip was to decorate Mom's stone, I'd be remiss if I forgot to mention that and show a few pics.
I forgot to take a before pic, but I snatched two really ratty hanging pots of flowers and pitched them. Keith saw me do that and thought I was taking flowers off random graves! Silly man! I bought the blue saddle arrangement at the big flea market and the Mom thing at a thrift.
Mom's and Dad's stones. Keep in mind that they weren't married when he died in 2006 (and hadn't been for over two decades), but here they are, side by side. I have an odd family.
We used the veteran's plaque from the VA for Dad's headstone. I know most folks usually use them as footstones. See the odd family remark above. It also just really fit for my dad. Being in the Army was a huge part of his life. he never really got very far away from it after he retired. We (or at least I) plan to get "Mother" and "Father" footstones for them, at some point. Various family members pass through and keep American flags flapping on all the veterans' graves. They'll have to add my grandfather to the list.
Speaking of my grandfather, I always have to visit the generations whenever I go to the cemetery. I was fortunate to have my great-grandparents into my young adulthood, so I have memories of all three generations before me that are buried in that cemetery. I must bore Keith with my stories when we go.
My grandparents--Mom's parents. His side is still fresh from the funeral. I can't help but wonder how his widow felt watching him get buried beside my grandmother. I always do a doubletake whenever I see the dates on her side of the stone. It surely can't be almost twenty years since she died. That's like a lifetime ago! I still miss her so much. We lost her so suddenly. I'm the oldest grandchild on that side of my family. She and I really bonded.
My grandfather's parents. I never really knew them all that well, even though she lived in a backroom at my grandparents' house for years. I used to sit back there and watch TV with her sometimes.
We timed everything just right, because it started raining right as we finished and were leaving the cemetery! Graveside spruced up and mission accomplished!