In these parts, Old Man Winter comes and visits, visits with a vengence, and usually overstays his visit as well!  While shoveling snow and battling ice, I have found one thing that he is good for!  The car ice brush/scraper.
My tip:  Leave your ice brush/scraper in the car year ’round.  It can be the ideal all-in-one tool for your cemetery visits.  
I cannot ever keep a kit with all the things in it I seem to need.  But often when I get to a cemetery, I find that the headstone is dusty, dirty, or covered in old lawn clippings spit out by the lawnmower.  Also many times flat plaques have the sod encroaching in on the wording of the plaque.  Funny story:  I was at a cemetery with lots of family residing in it.  I found a flat plaque in my ancestors section with the family surname, but a new given name:  Rence.  I was so excited.  Took my photos and could not wait to get back to the hotel to look online for this person.  Could not find them!  Called relatives and asked about Rence.  No dice!  No one knew this new mystery family member!  Then I enlarged the photograph.  I noted the plaque did not stop where I thought it did.  Indeed the sod was over a fair bit of it!  Turned out the name was actually FLORENCE.  Someone we all knew!  Boy did I feel the fool!  
Now I tote my ice brush/scraper with me as I walk the cemeteries.  The brush is soft enough (from heavy use) to whisk away dirt, dust, grass clippings, etc. without doing damage and the scraper end works fine as a makeshift shovel for cutting back that encroaching sod.  It also comes in handy for reaching high stone tops to brush away spiders and other critters that may be nesting on the stone.  Plus I have found from experience that they also work very well for scraping slippery, wet, Missouri clay off your dress shoes before a meeting when you got stuck in that same clay while on a backroad trying to get to a rural cemetery earlier in the morning!
Plus every rental car I have ever had the use of always had one of these in the glove box, the trunk, or under the rear seat!  It is almost built in!  So I don’t have to try and pack that kind of gear and get it through security and the friendly TSA folks!  
It may not be perfect, but it sure beats the times I have resorted to using a stick to try and remove sod and the times I have stained my hands (often before some meeting) while brushing unknown detris from a gravestone for a photo.  
Hope I helped out someone today, now
Onward To Our Past!

  1. Ama Reply

    I would never have thought of that ! I will buy one and put it in the glovebox 🙂

  2. Pingback: Here comes autumn …. a perfect time for genealogy cemetery visits and photos! | Onward To Our Past

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