Saturday, June 01, 2013

Walking Amongst the Dead

I recently purchased a FitBit at the behest of my sister-in-law who was in love with hers.  I didn't quite get it but I took the plunge and discovered the FitBit addiction.  I LOVE that thing! 

The FitBit is kind of a super-pedometer.  It measures your steps, how many stair cases you climb, how many calories you burn (though I'm not convinced that part is accurate), and how well you sleep. 

One of the things I realized quickly was that I am a slug.  I don't move very much even though it seems like I'm always busy.  Unfortunately, my "busy" takes place mostly behind a desk.  That's not a good thing.  On my first full day of monitoring, I registered 2893 steps and I woke up 19 times that night.  The goal here is 10,000 steps a day and FB recommends "building up" your step numbers to reach that goal rather than trying to do it all at once - especially if you've been pretty sedentary before this. 

My best day so far has been 8691 (May 14th), and 1 time waking (May 7th).  I'm still working on it.  I can tell you though, that I have not lost any weight!  I've toned up a bit because I've dropped a couple of jeans sizes, but my skin seems flappier.  Still, I know this is good for me, so I keep on and hope things snap back into place soon (and that those number start falling).

With this goal in mind, I try to find interesting places to walk and so far, my favorite place is a cemetery.  I grew up here and as a kid played in this particular one a lot.  It's run by the city now which may or may not be a good thing - I don't know.  When you come in, you're confronted by "No Trespassing" signs, "Park Hours" (sunrise to sunset), and reminders to pick up after your dog poops.  It's rather confusing, actually.  As it turns out though, this is a popular walking spot and there are regulars in varying sizes, shapes and degrees of fitness.

I was talking to a friend about my cemetery and she said she just couldn't imagine what I as talking about...  so here you are, Ari - a tour of my favorite walking place.

Lots of trees for dappled sunlit walking
I have a brother buried here, but from so long ago that I can't find him.
I also have friends here.  That closer stone is one of them.

This was my Godmother.  I had no idea she was still alive until 2009.
This was my first landlady.

This one has stained glass in it!
This was a musician taken early.
Some are pretty fancy.
I like the road through the trees on this one.
Deer seem to be a popular theme... can you see this one?

Here are two more - there are LOTS of these here!
There's a wide variety of headstones here.  Some are very old (I don't know which is the oldest).  While this cemetery is generally maintained by the city, each grave seems to received either tender, loving care or benign neglect.
Some of these are fascinating.  Once upon a time, someone visited this grave regularly enough to install a bench, but if someone were to visit now, they'd be taking their lives in their hands if they used it.  The whole cemetery is peppered with these leaning benches. 
I also speculate on the double graves.  Some are obviously long-lived marriages and they follow each other into the ground in short order, laying next to each other for all eternity.  Then there are the others - headstone for two, but only one side is occupied and hopeful that the other will be one day.  I wonder...  if a long time passes before the other spouse dies, will he/she still wish to be buried there or did they move on with their lives, perhaps remarrying and planning to plant themselves with the new spouse?  I find the hopeful spaces next to the deceased somewhat sad, for who knows if they will ever be filled?

I tried to take pictures to show how hilly this place is, but there are too many trees blocking that view.  I made several efforts and none of them worked.  Suffice to say that when I walk the cemetery, my fitbit thinks I've climbed 18 staircases!!!  It's quite a workout.

This is how it's laid out.  Most of the time, I walk every single line.  I still haven't figured out the distance, but it takes between 45 minutes and an hour to do the whole thing (depending on how fast I'm walking that day or what I might stop to examine more closely).

Where do you walk?

1 comment:

B. Manatee said...

Thanks for the pictures. I love walking in cemeteries and I'm looking forward to visiting the one of my youth- and my grandparents- in just a few weeks.