Election 2016: What would Susan B. Anthony do?

There are just a few days until Election Day and I have to confess that I'm conflicted about what I'm going to do when I get to the ballot box. I've been supporting a third party candidate the entire season, but I'm also aware that this could be an historic election. Do I want to use my vote to help put the first woman in the Oval Office?So I'm asking myself: What would Susan B. Anthony do?As I'm working on my book about people buried at Mt. Hope Cemetery, I've been putting off writing … [Read more...]

Headstones, creativity, and National Novel Writing Month

It's November, and for writers that means National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, when writers set a goal to write1,500 words a day and at the end of the month hopefully have a very rough draft of a novel.I don't write fiction, but I'm taking the month to set my own writing goals and hopefully make headway on a nonfiction book I've been working on for a while. It was supposed to be done months ago, but despite the mountain of research I'd already done, I seriously underestimated the … [Read more...]

Groundhogs, coffin parts, and other cemetery surprises

I was out recently with my Border collie Bandit when he came upon a groundhog hole. That's not unusual; the cemetery where I often walk is a certified habitat with the National Wildlife Federation, and is crawling with squirrels, chipmunks, groundhogs, deer, birds, and foxes. It's not the first time I've had a close encounter with critters while meandering among the dead.What was unusual this time? Around the entrance to the hole were items the groundhog had hauled to the surface while … [Read more...]

The circle of life in a cemetery

Walking the dogs this morning, I was musing over the life and death of a cemetery.I walk in several cemeteries, from historic Mt. Hope Cemetery in Rochester, NY, with its hills and dales, forests and lawns, prominent residents, and myriad headstones and monuments, to a small rural cemetery in Pittsford, NY, much smaller but no less interesting.But the cemetery where I walk most often is White Haven Memorial Park. It's close to my house, and because it's a lawn park layout - open spaces … [Read more...]

Life in the cemetery (fall foliage pictures)

I spend a lot of time walking in the cemetery. One of our dogs, Bailey, is dog reactive so it's difficult to find places where we can walk and not feed her excitement. It's been two years of training and practice and lots and lots of patience.The more new experiences she has, the less reactive she gets. But it's difficult to find places where we can walk and not run into off leash dogs. (See my discussion about the leash law.) So we walk in the local memorial park and small historic cemetery … [Read more...]

Mt. Hope Cemetery – and wildlife habitat

 I've been neglectful in posting this last week because here in the Northeast, spring made an early appearance and I wanted to be outside as much as possible before another snowstorm hits. That's life in Western NY.One of my favorite places to walk with a dog is a local historical cemetery, but last week I visited Mt. Hope Cemetery for a change of scenery. It's ironic that I've lived in Rochester my entire life and have only once been inside Mt. Hope Cemetery, the nation's f … [Read more...]