Photo Challenge: Creepy

Tombstone from 1800s

The inscription at the bottom reads:

Friends and parents as you pass by
As you are now so once was I
As I am now you so must be
Prepare for death and follow me

That shocked me when I first read it. Gave me the creeps. I said, “No, I won’t follow you! Not ever! You don’t tell me! I’m not going to die!”

Then I calmed down a little, stopped being mad at someone who’s been dead for 101 years, and thought about why a person would want that on her tombstone.

Had she been sick? Did she know she would die soon and felt bitter about it? Or did she write that into her will, to have that inscribed no matter when she died, or under what circumstances? Why did she want to basically give the finger to anyone who stopped to read her tombstone? Did she want to freak them out, or is this a preachy sort of sentiment? Or did she just have a weird sense of humor?

I found some information about the verse on this blog, which says it was pretty popular at that point in history. The usual verse starts out with “Remember me as you pass by.” So I wondered about the phrasing of this stone. Why “friends and parents?” I assume she didn’t have any kids, otherwise wouldn’t they have been mentioned? Why not simply, “Friends and family as you pass by?”

Was it a deliberate dig to her parents? Did she want to call out to her parents each time they visited her grave to remind them that she was dead? Sometimes when I think about this woman, I imagine her as someone who still has the personality of a rebellious teenager at age 39, wanting to torment her parents one final time.

Or did they have a bad relationship, and she knew they wouldn’t visit anyway. Maybe the whole town knew that she wasn’t on good terms with her parents, and this was her way of publicly saying so.

I’ve thought about this tombstone a lot, and clearly have even invented some family drama in the life of young Mary, who died 101 years ago. Maybe that’s the point of anything written on a tombstone. To be remembered by people; to be thought of by the living.

In the comments section of the blog I linked to, many people said they remembered the first time they had read this verse on a tombstone. It certainly had an emotional effect on me.

I did think about it, Mary, may you rest in peace.

And just for creepy’s sake, here are a couple more images.

Hip bones xray
Ghostly bones

I think I’m a little annoyed that all the stores already have all of their Halloween candy and merchandise out already. Halloween is still on October 31, in case you were wondering if it had been moved this year.

Stores, school hasn’t even started yet, could you just continue to push the school supplies a little longer before you shove the next holiday down our throats? Shelves lined with Halloween crap in mid-August? That’s just creepy.

Purple leaves and spider web
Spooky spider

In response to the challenge called Creepy.

Sun Not Available For Comment

The sun’s not out again today. Unlike yesterday, today is humid and gloomy. There was something refreshing about yesterday’s gentle, chilly breezes. Today, the air feels stagnant and the grey is gross. I don’t mind grey skies if the air feels light and fresh.

Anyway, after all that whining, here are some pictures of sunflowers.

Sunflower and bright sky
When you can’t have the sun, try this as a substitute.

The sun was not available for comment today, but released these images through its publicist.

Sunflower bud with spider
I love the spider sitting under the bud.

Tomato Flower and Evil Squirrels

Delicate tomato flowers always remind me of a crouching spider.

Flowers on a Tomato 'Lemon Boy'
Flowers on a Tomato ‘Lemon Boy’

These flowers belong to a variety called a Lemon Boy. The plant’s tag promises yellow, 7-oz. fruit that is lower in acidity than red tomatoes. I hope they do well.

I read thisĀ interesting article about tomato plants failing to produce fruit. I learned that tomato plants self-pollinate, meaning they do not require bugs or any other help. Each flower contains male and female components and the pollen simply falls into the area it needs to be in order for pollination to occur. Bees and wind are not essential to the process, but they do help by shaking the flower and helping the pollen fall. The article explains that when high temperatures occur, along with extreme humidity or dryness, the pollen will not fall, and the flower is not pollinated.

As fascinating as the subject of self-pollinating flowers is, I’ve never dealt with the issue of them failing to produce fruit. My problem is that squirrels will visit our balcony and eat the tomatoes….in the most annoying way possible. They pick a ripe one, take one bite, and drop it. They do this for every tomato that has color. Do they think the next one is going to taste any different from the last?? So now I have no tomatoes and a mess to clean up.

They leave the green ones to ripen. This gives me just enough hope that maybe I’ll actually get to eat one before they notice it’s ready. But no, they know how to crush my dreams and swipe them right out from under me, in what seems like minutes before I was heading outside to pick them.

Actually, I got lucky last year and they weren’t around. I hope this year they don’t notice my plants, knock on wood!