To know me is to know that health and fitness are important to me. I eat right, work out six mornings a week, and walk an average of six miles a day. But squats? Ugh!
If you know me you also know I struggle to climb my family tree during the summer months. Who wants to sit in front of a computer when you could be outside walking around a lake or down a wooded trail? What’s a genealogist to do?
Visit a cemetery of course!
Husband and I didn’t start our recent trip to Fort Snelling National Cemetery with exercise in mind. We went to check on my dad’s gravesite, pull weeds and maybe take a picture or two (hundred) for Find A Grave.
Fort Snelling is one of the 131 national cemeteries in 40 states and Puerto Rico maintained by the VA’s National Cemetery Administration. If you’ve ever visited a national cemetery, you know the markers are placed at precise distances from one another front to back and side to side.
After visiting with my dad for a bit, Husband and I drove to another section of the cemetery. I boldly stated I planned to take photos of one entire row across and a second row on the return trip. These particular headstones look best photographed straight on, so my technique was to:
- step to the left
- step together
- stoop and shoot
- repeat steps 1-4
286 times! I had to lean on the last 50 or so headstones just to stand up and I could barely walk back to the car. My legs hurt for the next two days!
After my muscles stopped crying, I realized what a phenomenal way this had been to combine two things I love, staying fit and memorializing those who have passed.
According to Find A Grave, only 23% of the 207, 902 memorials posted for Fort Snelling have headstone photos.
I’m already doing squats to prepare for my next trip.