Monday, Dec 24, 1888 A warm mild day like a spring day. No snow in sight any where. Took a walk over to the cemetery to look at the spot where our beloved dead sleep through the festal days as well as the days of sadness. The dead stalks of the summer flowers stood upon dear Gertrudes as well as my mothers grave and the flag places there last decoration day by the Grand Army flapped in the breeze above Maurices resting place. What a change in my life has their going made, and how sadly I looked upon this spot where they lie unconscious of we who come here, I know not why, if it be not to sadden myself anew. I walked over beyond the new part of the cemetery where Gertrude and I used to go and gathered a handful of laurel and some of the scarlet berries of the black alder, which I placed above the portrait of dear Gertrude, my father and mother, and Gussies photograph. Sara received a very nice and affectionate note from Laura with a little calendar. The Christmas time had brought her tender memories of the dear old home and she wrote under their softening influence. Sara wrote her equally cordially. I wrote to Lucy and in the evening we went down to Johns and saw Lily. Julia had just come from N. Y. John went down town.