141/366 :: Wednesday 20 May 2020
desk view for those very sunny hours in the middle of the day.
142/366 :: Thursday 21 May 2020
running around between three different things but still needing to wash my clothes. fun fact, this was the exact same kind of washer that we had when I was growing up. (and the dryer is the same kind that I bought when I first moved into my own apartment six years ago.)
143/366 :: Friday 22 May 2020
it's nice to have windows open again!
144/366 :: Saturday 23 May 2020
backyard apple blossoms.
145/366 :: Sunday 24 May 2020
I know that I can get books from the library or order them from bookstores, but I'm working my way back through this shelf.
146/366 :: Monday 25 May 2020
I'm not sure what kind of tree this is but a few days later there seem to be more leaves than blossoms.
147/366 :: Tuesday 26 May 2020
cherry blossoms at the end of May, always.
134/366 :: Wednesday 13 May 2020
I'm not sure what kind of flower this is and it seems to be the only one of its kind in my garden.
135/366 :: Thursday 14 May 2020
I buy most of my books used, and most of those I buy paperbacks. this is a first printing of one of my favorite books that I picked up last April at Half Price Books in Milwaukee (so many things I miss in this sentence). anyway, all that to say that if I can take the dust jacket off while I'm reading, I most likely will.
136/366 :: Friday 15 May 2020
the new packaging for Pipsticks just makes it even happier.
137/366 :: Saturday 16 May 2020
two more cemeteries, this time in Baileys Harbor. the cherry street signs around here are my favorite - I have a photo of Tart Cherry Lane hanging on my wall.
138/366 :: Sunday 17 May 2020
makes me smile all the time.
139/366 :: Monday 18 May 2020
buy a house, they said. it'll be fun, they said. the rain will drip from the ceiling sometimes, they didn't say. (someone is coming to fix it.)
140/366 :: Tuesday 19 May 2020
(if you’ve come here to tell me that what I’m doing is rude, disrespectful, weird, etc. please first go watch the Pixar movie Coco or do some research on Día de los Muetros.)
the first cemetery experience that I can remember is walking around Bayside Cemetery in Sturgeon Bay with my grandma when I was little. she told me that she walked around there because there weren’t any cars. I probably thought it was a little creepy at first, but it does make sense.
many years later, in October of 2015, I took my first photo at a cemetery. I had either missed my turn or decided to go to a shop in Egg Harbor after I drove past it, and I turned around in the cemetery across the highway. the leaves on the trees and ground were orange and yellow, and I thought that the very old headstones made for a nice photo. I felt weird about posting it on instagram, but I did it anyway.
I took some more cemetery photos on Halloween 2016 in Bayside Cemetery, but it was almost two years later that I signed up for Find a Grave after a blogger that I follow mentioned it. “At Find a Grave you’ll find details about cemeteries and individual memorials for many people buried in those cemeteries. Memorials generally include birth, death and burial information and may include pictures, biographies, family information and more. Members can contribute what they know and can leave remembrances via 'virtual flowers' on the memorials they visit, completing the virtual cemetery experience.”
on my early solo walks through cemeteries, I was mostly taking photos of gravestones that I thought were interesting because they were so old and had cool fonts, or because they featured a statue of an angel or the Virgin Mary. those are still my favorites to photograph. I also enjoy reading the names, and a fun discovery has been so many couples named Joseph and Josephine, or William and Wilhelmina, or just two names that were so similar to one another.
so once I take the photos and then run them through Lightroom, I pull up Find a Grave and find the cemetery and then the memorials and start adding photos. sometimes I fulfill requests, but I don’t claim requests if I don’t know how to locate them in the cemetery. I have been able to fulfill some simply by randomly coming across them, and I do often check the app while I’m in the cemetery to see if there are any people I can assist.
Find a Grave is open source, so it’s just a bunch of users working together to help record all of these memorials. because of this, I’ve also been adding memorials to the website. I always try to look for obituaries and try to connect them to family memorials on the website, and through that, I have found some resources to help me fill in some gaps. unfortunately, there’s a big gap and I don’t know how to fill in a lot of them, but there are so many other great people working together to help add information. it makes me smile to see the same names throughout Find a Grave who are adding newspaper clippings and additional information. I enjoy getting to read these clippings and learning more about the people whose graves I have visited.
over the past couple months, I managed to photograph an entire cemetery in my area that was missing a lot of photographs, and I’ve been working my way through another one and have added many memorials there too. I always enjoy getting to connect family members to each other. recently I added some memorials in Baileys Harbor and another member on Find a Grave came across them just the next day and I was so excited because they were somehow related to him. I actually added some of my great-grandparents to the website and was able to go back a few generations and see where my great-great-grandparents are buried in Illinois and Ohio.
q: you have a series of photos taken through the years of an abandoned house in Door County. do you have any gravestones that you return to to take photos of over the years as well?
a: not really. there are a few angels that I have multiple photos of, but I wouldn’t consider them to be series.
q: how many cemeteries have you visited?
a: I don’t have an exact answer, but I would guess two or three dozen. most of the ones I’ve been to are in northeastern Wisconsin, but I have also visited several in the Milwaukee area, a couple in Montreal, and one in Vermont. I also rode by (in a bus and on a horse, ha!) a few in Ecuador, and they were beautiful.
q: what’s your favorite cemetery?
a: I don’t have one favorite. however, there are a couple large cemeteries that I’ve been to in Montreal and Milwaukee that I want to go back to because I haven’t had enough time to explore them. the Milwaukee brewing Best, Blatz, Pabst, and Schlitz families are all buried at Forest Home, and there are so many peonies at Saint Adalberts in the summer. if I have to narrow down between a few cemeteries to visit, I’ll usually go for a Catholic one because I think that they’re more likely to have angel and Virgin Mary statues.
q: do you ever feel creeped out walking around these cemeteries?
a: not really. I do sometimes still wonder if people driving by (or the few other people who might happen to be on the other cemetery) are judging me for walking around with a camera, but I know that I am not hurting anyone and in fact helping to piece things together for others.
(though reading obituaries/newspaper articles about some of these people has made me sad.)
q: how do you find cemeteries to visit?
a: Find a Grave app, Google Maps, just driving around. I have added a few to my “want to go” list on Google Maps that I hope to visit someday!
q: what do you listen to while you’re out in cemeteries?
a: the same things I usually listen to: audiobooks on Audible (lots of Harry Potter), podcasts (lots of true crime), or music (Taylor Swift, Death Cab for Cutie, The Lumineers, The Head and the Heart, Geri X, etc.)
if you are planning on visiting a cemetery, please remember to be respectful. don’t litter. follow the posted rules. not all cemeteries allow dogs, because cemeteries are not parks. there are people there to mourn their loved ones, and they deserve respect and space.
happy wandering. be safe out there.
127/366 :: Wednesday 6 May 2020
128/366 :: Thursday 7 May 2020
sometimes I forget to look at how long something needs to cook and then it's two o'clock by the time I'm eating lunch.
129/366 :: Friday 8 May 2020
I do really miss hanging out at coffeeshops.
130/366 :: Saturday 9 May 2020
131/366 :: Sunday 10 May 2020
I would say that I like the lake.
132/366 :: Monday 13 May 2020
someone's always watching.
133/366 :: Tuesday 12 May 2020
and then I finally cut the grass. but the dandelions came back a couple days later.
120/366 :: Wednesday 29 April 2020
I liked those trees.
121/366 :: Thursday 30 April 2020
and then I immediately changed into a different jacket.
122/366 :: Friday 1 May 2020
I don't know what these are, but there are three different colors of them in my yard (pink, white, and a blue/purple) and they kind of smell like lilacs.
123/366 :: Saturday 2 May 2020
walking through the park to go get Maggie for a walk.
124/366 :: Sunday 3 May 2020
I shot an entire Catholic cemetery in Brussels and saw some beautiful old buildings on my way there and back.
125/366 :: Monday 4 May 2020
Etsy orders in lovely packaging.
126/366 :: Tuesday 5 May 2020
what arrived in the mail, day two. I finally ordered some photo books from Social Print Studio that I've been meaning to make for over a year, and it brought me so much joy to finally have these memories in a book.
113/366 :: Wednesday 22 April 2020
I love going out to the lake just to watch and listen to the waves. this is my favorite lighthouse.
114/366 :: Thursday 23 April 2020
front window daffodils.
115/366 :: Friday 24 April 2020
it was a little cooler in Algoma than I expected it to be, and the cemetery was also larger (and better organized) than I was expecting.
116/366 :: Saturday 25 April 2020
finally, new slippers.
117/366 :: Sunday 26 April 2020
more daffodils. these are in the backyard and they have finally all bloomed. there are white ones too, and some other flowers that I don't know what they're called but kind of smell like lilacs.
118/366 :: Monday 27 April 2020
don't worry, I'm also listening to the Harry Potter audiobooks and when this was taken, I was listening to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
119/366 :: Tuesday 28 April 2020
mold-a-rama on my desk. I think it's smiling.
a photographer with the desire to hide behind the camera a little less and let the light shine through.