Friday, October 7, 2016

Dorky Dates: Picnic & Tombstone Rubbings

     Some graveyards are absolutely beautiful. And why not? Wouldn't you want your final resting spot to be in a gorgeous location? That doesn't even take into account how beautiful some tombstones are. If you want to make a haunting memory of your day, grab some paper and chalk pastels, pack a picnic, and do a little research.

This date can cost a little bit of money (not much), due to the fact that you need to have the proper supplies to rub tombstones (large paper, chalk pastels or charcoal, a mailing tube for safe keeping, hairspray or Krylon sealer) and the supplies for a picnic (cooler, food, blanket, etc.).

Graveyard Etiquette
Be respectful! This is the final resting place of people who were beloved by their friends and families. Make sure you have permission from the cemetery management to make rubbings, as it is prohibited in some cemeteries. If there are others there who are mourning their loved ones, make sure to have the utmost respect. Treat this as an anthropological study, and possibly scout out a separate (preferably close) location for your picnic.

Who Would Enjoy It
While Ray and I were the only ones who went on this date, this date could be interesting for a group. Just make sure you pick your group from people you know can be respectful. This is not a good outing for your rowdier friends, especially the ones who like to drink and cause trouble. And while you might enjoy a bottle of wine or champagne at your picnic, this may not be the proper time for this activity (unless you have your picnic afterwards and in a different location).

What You May Need
Picnic Supplies:

  • Comfortable places to sit or lay down
  • A blanket or tablecloth for sitting on
  • A picnic basket or tote for your dishes, napkins, utensils, etc.
  • Dishes, cups or bottles, napkins, eating utensils, serving utensils, containers for your food and drinks
  • Cooler for food and drinks
  • Food and drink that are good for picnic, i.e. portable, finger foods, tasty morsels for you to enjoy (We took sweet potato salad with chunks of ham in it, sunbutter stuffed dates, carrot sticks, and water with tea bags to give it a different flavor. Had we not been doing a Whole30, we probably would have included something chocolate.)
Tombstone Rubbing Supplies:
  • Large paper
  • Artist charcoal, chalk pastels, or crayons (crayons do not work as well in my opinion)
  • Masking tape can be used, but it may mess up some of the older tombstones, so use with care
  • Hairspray or Krylon sealer to preserve your rubbings, especially if you are using charcoal or chalk pastels
  • Mailing tube to store your rubbings
  • Soft bristle toothbrush, water, and soft cloth for drying (this can help remove debris from a dirty tombstone)

Special Considerations
No one wants to mess up a tombstone, so be careful. Make sure that the stones you want to rub are solid by giving them light knock. If they sound hollow, try a different stone. Some stones may need to be cleaned before they can be rubbed. You can do this with a soft bristled brush. You may also need water to loosen some of the crud that has accumulated. You will also want to do this when it has been clear weather for several days because wet tombstones will not work. Windy weather may also not be your best bet, as the paper may not want to cooperate. 

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