Sunday, October 4, 2009

A days break

We take a break from our regularly scheduled food posts for a day of fun. We had a totally free day, the desire to do something fall, and the cooperation of all concerned. The original plan was going to be head to some local pumpkin farms and a shrine, but things were changed as a result of a dialogue with one of my neices. She is working in an area haunted house, invited us to attend and that launched a discussion about what I think is totally wrong with the way many celebrate the holiday. Halloween has NOTHING to do with monsters, criminally insane people or "the evil dead". It is about honoring the memory of your ancestors, celebrating the harvest and remembering. While my faith path may make it seem like I would be the most fun person to hang with for Halloween, because I take my belifs seriously, I am not. So I got the inspiration to go to the cemetery and make a film with Windows Media showing its beauty, canceling out some of the seasonal nonsense. And so off we went

First stop was a very local cemetery with several elaborate statues and in ground vaulted crypts. The developers wanted the place to resemble a park and a city unto itself, and so the place has street signs, rolling hills and more. It is a beautiful place to visit year round, but in the fall with the turning leaves it becomes spectacular. They have a cemetery walk each year at the peak of color where costumed actors portray the "residents" of the city and tell their stories.

We strolled around for over an hour , taking pictures and then headed to our second destination for the day- the National Shrine of St Theresa of the Child Jesus. It was her feast day on Thursday and I hoped that they might be having some special event. I am not catholic, but I love pagentry, spiritually meaningful celebrations and art. No special event, but the place was beautiful as always
A collection of rosaries donated to the museum. Some were as old as 1745

Within the shrine was a piece that came from an older shrine in Chicago. The place is beautiful, peaceful and smells of roses.

We were going to stop at a pumpkin farm next, but once we got there it was an absolute mob scene of people, mand we decided we really had no desire to spend a long time in line to pay 5 dollars for a caramel apple, so we stopped for lunch at a Chinese Buffet. No counting, just eat till satiated. I was pretty confident that any damage done would be walked off this day.

Next stop was an older cemetery closer to the city where my great grandparents are buried. It is filled with many elaborate headstones and a mausoleum that is the resting place for 5 of the cardinals for the archdiocese of Chicago. Took almost a hundred photos here, and then headed to the cemetery across the street, where my grandparents are buried. This one has many wonderful outdoor statues and a huge indoor mausoleum that 9is filled with spectacular artwork, such as this

After a few hours of walking, picture taking and reflecting, we decided to head home. and made a stop at Starbucks for a hot pumpkin spiced latte lite. It so totally hit the spot after this cold but fun day ! No one was hunry for dinner, so it was a snack night. I sat down to put the pictures into the movi maker, go the music, and then discovered that neither Youtube, Blogger, Facebook or Live Journal supports the format. Shoot ! So I simply uploaded the albums to my Facebook account and called it a day. By the way, if you wish to see the full collection or follow my posts on facebook, I am there as Diane Harding Balsamo.

It was a very good day. Tomorrow, back to the food blogs !


Diane, Fit to the Finish said...

It sounds like you had a really nice day, even though your plans ended up being different than what you originally thought. I love it when people are spontaneous!

People don't often think of cemeteries as places of beauty, but they often are.

I hope you have a wonderful Sunday Diane!

Rebecca said...

I am curious, what is your religion? Also I lived in Chicago and never knew of these neat places....makes me want to visit the city again someday..... I lived in Oak Park, do you know it?