My Travel Blog

Should I Be Concerned About… Lisa?

Lisa and I have been married forever.  Well maybe not forever, but 38 years is a long time. There are those occasions when I still remind her that I’m entitled to an annulment.  You might ask why?  It all comes down to her failure to disclose, prior to our wedding. Clearly disclosure after the wedding does not count.  There are certain facts about her family (that shall remain locked in our vault for an eternity) and then are some of her more unusual traits.  One of my wife’s more disturbing qualities is her love of cemeteries.

Frankly I think they are creepy, but she can’t get enough of them.  So far as she is concerned the older the cemetery the better.  Wherever we stop we always go for walks.  Every town we’ve visited had at least one cemetery if not more.  Most of the churches have a small cemetery connected to them.  Lisa just loves to walk between the gravestones checking out the names of the people, how long they lived and when they died.  More than once I have sat outside a cemetery, and waited for my wife.

A large cemetery next to the canal.

The cemetery at Verdun.

The Aisne-Marne American Cemetery.

We did go to one cemetery where I decided to join Lisa.  As we were walking around a young woman came up and asked if we needed help.  Fortunately she happened to speak English.  I had Lisa explain, because I was too embarrassed, that she liked walking around cemeteries.  The nice lady offered to give us a tour.  Most of what she had to say I ignored even though Lisa was soaking up her every word.  We came to an old plot that may have had a for sale sign on it, but I’m not sure.  I asked our guide about the old gravesite.  She said that in France people are buried for an eternity.  The only problem is when it comes to French cemeteries; an eternity is 50 years after the last relative visits a gravesite.

I don’t know if there is any truth to our guide’s story, but it does make for a good tale.  While staring at the eternal resting place of some poor Frenchman our guide pointed out that he was coming back up to check out the weather.  She said they used to bury their dead in wood caskets.  When the caskets rotted out their bones, which were lighter than the surrounding soil, would migrate to the surface.  She even pointed out a few of the poor fellows remains that were now exposed.

While this is a cemetery it is also an archeological dig we came across.

Dom Perignon is buried in a small church in Hautvillers.

The one thing the French do better than most countries is the way they honor their men and women that gave their lives in battle.  Wherever you go in France there are war memorials.  It is a constant reminder that war should be the very last resort.

A French war memorial in a small village.

Another typical French war memorial.

French graffiti.

-Tom Miller
Author of “The Wave”  and “When Stones Speak”– 
Chuck Palmer Adventure novels

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About the Author:

Tom Miller graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Geology. He is a consummate adventurer with over 1,000 dives as a recreational scuba diver, and an avid sailor who has traveled 65,000 miles throughout the Pacific including the Hawaiian Islands. Miller has also cruised the canals of Europe on his canal barge and given numerous lectures on cruising the canals of Europe, as well as sailing in the South Pacific. Piloting is also an interest of Miller's, and He has completed over 1,000 hours flying everything from small Cessnas to Lear jets.