It's been a strange summer with Covid floating about. We've had a couple burials, often private affairs with no funeral or life celebration in church. Please keep the grieving families in your thoughts and prayers as many are waiting to gather and share stories of their loved ones.
On Sunday, Sept. 13th after church we gathered to carry out various service projects for the nation-wide ELCA, "God's Hands Our Work." We had about 12 people join the crew working on trimming monuments in the cemetery that were overgrown with grass. We worked on the first couple of rows of monuments in the SW quadrant of the North Cemetery. In a little over 2 hours we trimmed and cleaned up over 42 monuments. Several members of the crew even leveled the cement bench at the top of the south stairs. As we were trimming out the flat monuments, we even found two that were COMPLETELY hidden by the grass. Probably too 30+ years to get like that. One final thing... In the North Cemetery we have several graves (at least 10) with a square cement block next to the monuments. It has a P S stamped in the cement (see the picture in the slide show below). Does anyone know what these are for? Send me an email if you have any thoughts!
I'd like to thank these volunteers who helped with the work.
After the initial lull in activity we've had a large increase in lot sales, monuments being added and burials. I'll try to list some of the other things we've done this summer after Memorial Day.
We'd like to thank Lester Rydeen for replacing several of the water spigots in the south cemetery back in 2019. The handles were a little short and hard to turn, so this summer he added some extensions so they're much easier use.
If you've been in the south cemetery, you may have noticed a cement pad near the flagpole.
Next year, we're planning to place a teak bench there for visitors to sit. Donations or memorials going to the cemetery fund will be used to purchase the bench. The bench will not have a back, so you can rest and face either the east or west side of the cemetery.
Once again, the families and friends of our deceased have been sprucing up grave sites and placing flowers in remembrance of their veterans and loved ones. Scroll down for some pictures of the beautiful work they've done.
One note, the grass was mowed last Wednesday (5/20/20) and the cemeteries looked perfect. By Memorial Day we had a fresh crop of dandelion flowers that had gone to seed. After the next mowing or two, they'll barely be noticeable. The cemeteries are mowed each Wednesday (5/27/20 is the next mowing), so most of the seed heads will be cut down. We do not use herbicides on the cemeteries for several reasons...
Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 concerns, we will not be having a memorial day ceremony this year. The honor guard from the American Legion will not be going to any cemeteries to present the colors.
There are four new vets that have been added since Memorial Day last year. They are:
Bertram Arkman who served in the Marines
Gust Kempf who served in the Army
Kermit Grandberg who served in the Air Force
Roger Novotny who also served in the Air Force
The cemetery committee is placing 188 bronze stars and flags on all of our veterans grave sites. It's an enormous job dispersing the bronze stars and flags throughout the cemeteries! Here's what all the bronze stars and flags look like before we place them.
Well, today we turned on the water in the North and South Cemeteries. Thankfully everything went well this year! Last year we had three major leaks that required repairs. It was well into June when we finally got them all fixed.
If you encounter a spigot that doesn't shut off or is leaking, please let us know so we can address it! We have 13 watering cans in the North Cemetery. One behind the columbarium, one at the water hydrant (near the North gate to the cemetery) and one at the top and on each terrace on the west and south sides of the cemetery. After using a watering can, please return it to the spigot (and fill it 1/2 with water so it doesn't blow away).
Please do not move the red handle on the water hydrant (it should be up). If you turn it down, it shuts off water to the whole north cemetery.
The South Cemetery has four spigots for your convenience. Three along the road and one near the "Jesus" stature on the hill.
Today seven cemetery committee members were pulling stakes (that mark cemetery "blocks" in case we need to have a winter burial.) We're doing it earlier this year because the warm weather has encouraged the grass to start growing. The first mowing will happen later this week.
The four teak benches were put out in the columbarium. We're thinking about adding a bench to the south cemetery. We also continued to remove dirt and flowers from the pots that were used last year. Wood chips were added around remaining trees as a mulch and some shrubs trimmed. Black dirt and grass seed was spread on a couple recent burials. Later in May, we'll be turning the water on and hope for no leaks this year...
We've now have over 190 veterans in our cemeteries and will mark each with a bronze service star and flag for Memorial Day. This year four new veterans passed away and were added to the cemetery.
Here's the crew that worked today!
As we clean up the cemetery, we're removing plastic pots with dead plants, Christmas wreaths, faded plastic flowers etc. We keep some of them for a while, then recycle or throw them out. If you're looking for plastic pots or wreaths, email Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org You can come and see what we've saved and pickup items you may want to keep.
I will be attempting to record some general thoughts and comments about Elim's cemeteries on an irregular basis throughout the years. This is an attempt to let you know a little about what goes on in our cemeteries.
Spring seems early this year, today (Monday 3/23) several cemetery committee members started the annual Spring clean-up in the North and South cemetery. During the work, we also practiced personal distancing... One of the members commented that this was the earliest he's ever remembered working on the cemetery. As we talked we realized that mid-April was really early! Here's why we were out today.
Each winter, in conjunction with Elim, the Gammelgården and the city of Scandia, the Elim Foundation puts up Christmas lights on several of the tress in the cemetery. We turn them on in January and leave them through Vinterfest (1/25/2020) and into February.
On Wednesday, 3/18 we took them down, removed all of the extension cords and Dan & Rick Sandager pruned almost all of the recent plantings (from the summer of 2015). To keep them from encroaching on the sidewalks, they were pruned quite severely. The cemetery crew filled a trailer and minivan with the branches and dried out Christmas wreaths on the graves. We also removed old plastic flowers and other memorabilia like solar lights that didn't work anymore.
In late April and May we'll be