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A few days ago I wrote about the cemetery tour.  We went to all the cemeteries were grandmothers and grandfathers were buried including the cemetery at Emanuelle in Willow Creek. When we went to the Oak Creek cemetery in Bottineau my mother was looking for trees that she had paid to have planted but we
couldn’t find any. I could tell that she was a little bit disappointed and would like to have seen “her” tree but I explained to her that I didn’t think there was any way that “her” particular tree could be matched to any particular location. During the conversation I noticed some people doing some work and opening up a new grave.
Right away I thought of the funeral director in town and I called him. He had no information on trees, but said that I should call a person named K, Someone who works on the cemetery board. As I was getting ready to dial her number a car left from where the people were working and was coming my way. I thought I would have to move my car but the woman cheerfully waved at me and turned off in a different direction.

I called K and left a message and wandered over to the group of fellows digging the grave. I inquired about the trees and if they would happen to know where the tree my mother purchased might be planted. That began one of the more fun half hours of the summer. The gentleman I was speaking to said I can’t show you the tree because we haven’t planted it.  He reached inot his pickup and took out my Mother’s letter and said that their plan was to start planting as many trees as possible the next day.  He walked with me to where my mother was, and asked “where would you like your tree planted?” As we talked about that another gentleman who was working on the grave came over and in that conversation we found out he is married to one of my distant relatives. As these conversations were going on the lady who left in the car a
few minutes before stopped by us, got out and introduced herself as K. She had gone home and heard the message on her phone and came back to help.

It may not seem like a big deal, but this little encounter was extremely refreshing. In a world in which everything from the VA to the IRS to the Border, to the local McDonalds seems to be broken, and no one seems to care enough to try to fix it, or is too incompetent to fix it, these people are a breath of fresh air.

I did not ask permission of these folks to use their names or even to write this blog.  They don’t know I have written this.  I don’t remember the names of all the men that were there, and they would probably be embarrassed if I mentioned them, but they and K obviously enjoyed what they did. That alone was fun to see. They obviously took great pride in what they did which is really neat. Finally they actually seem to care about us and whatever concerns we had about the final resting place of my father and mother.

I understand that the people around whom they work every day probably don’t complain too much, but their relatives and friends might.  I would just like to take this opportunity to publicly thank these folks for their hard work and dedication and my belief that if I did have a complaint it would be joyfully, enthusiastically, and professionally addressed.  Although my mother wasn’t complaining, her tree was
planted the next day, and they even went back to the cemetery and took a picture for me. Hats off to the caretakers and those who watch over the Oak Creek Cemetery. In a world in which it seems you can’t order a hamburger and  fries and a small drink without something being messed up, their professionalism and pride in what they do is exemplary.