Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lunching with the Dead

My wife and I wanted to try something new for a lunch date we had on Friday. We like going to places and doing things that are unique or adventurous. Some of the best dates we have are spontaneous excursions. In Wilmington, there is no shortage of places or opportunities for that.

First we decided to pick up sandwiches from the deli at the Carolina Farmin' grocery store on Market Street, and some coffee from Port City Java. The sky was clear and the weather felt more like May than February. It was a gorgeous day to be outside

We drove over to the historic Oakdale Cemetery on 15th Street. I remembered a particular spot next to a Camellia tree next to which sits an old iron woven bench. Flowers had bloomed and many had already fallen and strewn all over the ground nearby.

There was no better place to have lunch that day than right there. It was mad romantic. Not to mention our company, who were as interesting as they were deceased. I poured some coffee onto the ground so as not to be impolite.

A man who worked at the cemetery came over. "We don't have people do this very often," he said.

"We're a peculiar kind," I replied.

"No! Not at all. It's what people used to do all the time," he said. He wasn't kidding. This was true of many old cemeteries in past decades, and even in ancient history, as explains the cemeteries website:
The residents used mid-nineteenth cemeteries as parks, places to stroll, enjoy nature and the company of friends. Such a custom goes back to ancient Egypt, where in Alexandria, tombs were a place where families gathered, picnicked, and socialized...
"You've got a beautiful spot on a beautiful day with a beautiful woman. It's the perfect setting for enjoying lunch," he says to us. My thoughts exactly.

Apart from the exquisite time we had, I felt like we were doing a good thing. A continuation of a lost tradition. More people should do this on the regular, for serious!

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