Joseph finished up his Citizenship in the Community merit badge over the weekend. Part of the requirements is a community service project. We had a hard time finding one for some one his age until United Way sent him (us!) over to the city cemetery to rake pine cones. He was trying to be done by Saturday, so we spent most of his afternoons there last week trying to get his 8 hours in. Joseph was pretty sick and tired of pine cones by Friday afternoon, but he stuck it out and did a great job.
We pretty much only saw one part of the cemetery, but it had some neat headstones. One was for President Hinckley's grandparents (Ira and Adelaide Hinckley),
another for Dan Jones (a body guard of Joseph Smith in Nauvoo and Carthage)
and my great, great grandparents, John Joseph and Mary Frances Mosely Woffinden, their son, John W. Woffinden, as well as Mary's father, Thomas Mosely.
The Woffinden's were Joseph's favorite because they are not buried near any trees at all, much less pine trees! The saddest for all of us were the children, especially those just a day or two old. There were far too many of those. It was sobering for our children to realize just how unusual it is for most babies to survive into adulthood like they do now. Our medical system isn't perfect, but compared to life in the not-too-distant past, we're doing ok.
It was a crazy week and I'm not sure Ryan actually got his homework done everyday, but I really loved that project. I may go back myself sometime just to help out. There was such a quiet peace while we were there. It felt good to be doing something nice for these people who came and went before.