Monday, April 25, 2011

Decoration Day - A Family Tradition

As far back as I can remember and as long as my Memma was able, we went to Decoration Day in Boxes Cove.  I think most cemeteries have a day in the Spring that is declared Decoration Day.  We would go the week before and clean off the graves.  Memma often made her own flowers to go on the graves.  I recall one time we were there with hoes and rakes, cleaning off our family graves/plots and so were some other families.  A lady noticed a hole in the ground and one could tell that the hole was deep.  She stuck her hoe handle down into the hole and said, "Shake hands with me, dead man", and chuckled.   Low and behold, a big, black snake crawled out of that hole.  All of the dead flowers were carted off and on the day of decoration, all of the new flowers were placed on the graves.  We also had dinner on the ground on that day.  Memma started cooking on Saturday for the big day.  She made the most awesome pimento cheese sandwiches and of course, cakes, cobblers and vegetables.  Oh, and let's not forget the fried chicken.  Memma boxed up the food, flowers and off we would go.  The entire family would go.  After the graves were decorated, the women spread table cloths on the ground and set up the food.  Later, someone donated money and they now have cement tables to put the food on.  Memma always cautioned me to just eat food from the families that we knew.  I remember my Aunt having fried apple and peach pies that were to die for.  I wanted one so badly and she offered me one, but I shook my head no.  Memma laughed and told me that I could have some of her pies.  People from all around came and some people came regardless of whether or not they had family buried there because they knew the food would be good.  I think someone even brought their fork in their back pocket.  Long winded preachers didn't miss a beat either at those events.  We always got to see family and friends that you had not seen in along time.  Decoration Day - a family tradition!   

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