Saturday, November 13, 2010

You don't get out of life alive!

Today's adventures included working on the grave, photographing the church in Grabenstätt, entertaining surprise visitors from South Tyrol after lunch, and walking around the Tüttensee.  A great Saturday all around.

About the grave.  Graves are private little gardens that are to be tended.  There is weeding to do, flowers to plant, and candles to light on a regular basis.  Germans in this area are also a little competitive in their grave keeping and somewhat judgmental about the upkeep (or lack thereof).  We pay one of the villagers 100 Euros each year to check in on the grave and keep ours from becoming the most unsightly grave in the cemetery.  She manages to put about 99 cents worth of dirt on it about 2 times a year and occasionally sticks a plant in the middle.  Marianne is the one who lights a candle on feast days and birthdays and puts flowers in the ground.

The gravesites are leased on a 10 year basis.  If no one renews the lease, the gravesite is reclaimed for another user.  That is one reason that old graves are so unusual -- the church or the community constantly reclaims the gravesites.  We were caught off guard when we were in South Tyrol recently and learned that the gravesite of Peter's brother had been reclaimed by the priest because no one from the Egarter Hof lived in the village any longer.  This is the prerogative of the priest.  So there.

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