Death’s Garden: Crossed Fingers

Loren Rhoads just published on her blog a piece that I wrote, “Crossed Fingers,” about a cemetery in Texas. She has an outstanding blog and is an impressive author. Check out her blog & my piece here and also check out her other writings at

Cemetery Travel: Your Take-along Guide to Graves & Graveyards Around the World

All photos of Pleasant Hill by Jo Nell Huff. All photos of Pleasant Hill by Jo Nell Huff.

by Jo Nell Huff

“Cemetery! Cross your fingers!”

The admonition floats to the surface of my consciousness like the command of an angel as I see the cemetery ahead on the left. The child within me obediently crosses the middle finger over the index finger of both hands. I continue to drive my car along the freeway at 70 miles per hour.

When I traveled with my family as a child, the females in the car crossed their fingers while passing a cemetery. Father did not participate. Either an older sister or my mother would warn of an approaching cemetery and we would all cross our fingers. I confess that I still do it after these years, even though I know it is foolish. While driving alone, I can boldly cross them without fear of derision. When traveling with fellow passengers…

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11 thoughts on “Death’s Garden: Crossed Fingers

  1. Hi Jo. Glad to know your name at last. I was brought up in the East End of London and we always crossed our fingers when passing a cemetery. I wonder where that came from.
    I loved reading about your Uncle Houston and about your time with him

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, thank you, Judith, that means so much coming from you! Now I have another London connection as I felt so much at home the first time i visited. Loren, who writes all about cemeteries everywhere, and lives in California, had never heard of crossing fingers. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I hope each day is easier for you as you rebuild your life.

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  3. Oh Jo Nell, I have long been a cemetery aficionado, much to the chagrin of my husband who abhors them. On road trips, I would pull into every cemetery we would pass, only to hear him begging me to keep going. In our small cemetery I can go and visit with both sides of my family all the way to the immigration to the Texas Hill Country from the beautiful Rhine valley of Germany with our Prince Carl of Solms, to settle a new German Kingdom in the lands that belonged to Mexico. Now, we want to build a wall to separate that country from her long lost child…….my!!!

    But I do digress, I love cemeteries an so enjoyed your piece. I do not cross my fingers; however, I put on the turn signal!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You are fortunate to have so many ancestors in one cemetery and to be able to trace such a rich heritage. May there never be an ugly wall between! Thank you for taking time to read my piece as it was a bit long but Loren has had other cemetery essays so I thought I would submit mine to her. Consider following her blog as she writes about such interesting cemeteries (she lives in San Francisco) and also reviews books on cemeteries. You brake for cemeteries – love that! Fortunately, Husband enjoys visiting them too. There is always so much history. I hope all is with with you and Augustine and that Chac has visited you as he has here. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • In the US it must be a Southern thing but one commenter said she grew up in East End London and they always crossed fingers. It is good that you have those memories of going to the cemetery to tend graves. Often it was left up to the families to take care of the graves. Thanks for sharing! Your comments and likes are always appreciated!


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