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Meet Grandma

Diana, as captured by Ariana

About Diana, by Diana

I’m writing to introduce myself. My name is Diana, but the younger generations call me Grandma. I am what you would call a “baby boomer.”  My parents are considered the “silent generation.” They were called that because they experienced the great depression and World War II.  “Baby boomers” are part of all the children that were born once World War II was over and young couples could reunite or get married. I remember at school recess jumping rope to the rhyme, “First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes baby in the baby carriage.” That pretty well sums up what happened from 1946 to 1964.

My hobbies include quilting, reading, and family history (I do not like to use the word genealogy because that just denotes names, dates, and places. The best part is the stories you discover). I have enough fabric and projects to stay in quarantine for years.

Fast Forward to 2020…

Ariana, my granddaughter, was attending college near us and when everything due to Covid-19 went on line and we felt that the safest place for her was with us. Going home to Texas right then wasn’t an option because her father had Covid-19.  She thought her new living arrangement was pretty great.  She had her own room with a queen-sized bed, her own bathroom and someone who liked to cook.

I am a firm believer in “you are as old as you think you are.” That means I am somewhere in my 30s or 40s. This was all shattered by news broadcasters. I am now told I am old, I am at risk of dying from Covid-19, and I need to quarantine. That meant Ariana had to quarantine too. Ariana’s mother was seeing first-hand the effects of Covid-19 and made it very clear that we could not go anywhere! I must admit that I did sneak out to go grocery shopping during senior hours because I wanted to be able to pick out my own vegetables and not rely on a store to do it for me. I no longer sneak out, but still only shop early in the morning or during designated senior hours.

The Beginning of Headstone Hunters

Even with hobbies to occupy my time, quarantining gets old and cabin fever set in. Ariana was being a good sport about not associating with friends, but also needed to get out of the house. One day I decided that Ariana and I needed an adventure (I always love a good adventure) so, we stopped at the local drive thru drink shop (don’t tell her mother), and then I took a bit of a detour to the local cemetery. 

I had watched a You Tube about the Find-A-Grave phone app and how you could attach GPS coordinates to headstones. I had a 2nd great grandfather buried in the Spanish Fork Cemetery and I always felt sad for him.  He has no family buried near him.  After he died, his wife moved closer to children and was buried in a different city.  Every time I went to the cemetery I would have to wander around a general area until I found his tiny little plaque (he didn’t even get a stone). My goal was to attach GPS coordinates to his grave and that would mean less wandering in the future.

Ariana initially thought I was losing it, but was a good sport and got out of the car.  As we started to wander, she became fascinated with the different carvings on the stones and the names and dates she was seeing.  She became interested in a headstone for Mary Ann Chambers would died on March 13. March 13 was the day Ariana’s mother was born. I also noticed that it had a little plaque attached to it that told us Mary Ann Chambers was a pioneer.  There are data bases that tell about these pioneers and I just knew we could find an interesting story. Let’s just say we never did find my 2nd great grandfather’s grave that day.  That was okay.  We knew we would be going back to the cemetery. 

At the same time Ariana and I were meandering through cemeteries in Utah, her younger sister, Vivian, was doing the same thing in Texas. It was an activity that helped united us even when 1,000 miles and a worldwide pandemic separated us.

It is interesting how as you wander a cemetery a headstone will silently speak to you and say, “I had an interesting life. Please learn more about me.”  That is how Headstone Hunters began. We hunt out those headstones that needed GPS coordinates, fill requests posted on Find-A-Grave for a picture, and find out more about those headstones that silently speak to us and want us to learn about their lives. Stay tuned to read the stories we found.

Warning!! Headstone hunting can become addicting.

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