Originally Published: June 22, 2018 5:58 a.m.
Dear Annie: The artificial flowers on my grandparents’ graves have gone missing three out of the past four times my mother and I have put them out. We put new flowers on the graves several times a year — seasonal flowers in the spring, summer and fall, Christmas flowers, etc. It is disheartening to drive to the cemetery a few weeks later and discover that the flowers and vase have gone missing. Once, my mother had used an etched crystal vase.
I never knew my grandfather, but my grandmother was special to me, and both her parents were very special to my mother, of course. We are the only family members who honor my grandparents with “fresh” artificial flowers anymore, but it is important to us.
Could you please offer a plea to people to be respectful and leave flowers in the cemetery alone? They are nice-looking flowers; we do not allow them to become shabby and faded. If we check on the flowers and they no longer look nice, we remove them and then go buy replacements. There is a trash barrel at the cemetery for just such disposal. — Janice in Texas
Dear Janice: I would contact the cemetery office to ask about its policy on artificial flowers. Sometimes caretakers remove artificial flowers when the wind begins blowing the plastic pieces apart. It’s also worth making the cemetery office aware of the fact that your flowers and vases have gone missing in case it’s the work of not a caretaker but a thief. Here’s hoping that’s not the case, because how sad would that be?
Regardless, I want to commend you for honoring your grandparents. Your frustration at the flowers’ disappearance is understandable, and I hope you’re able to get to the bottom of that. But what truly matters isn’t what happens to the flowers. It’s that you bring them in the first place. What a beautiful thing, honoring your grandparents in that way throughout the year. I’m sure they are smiling down.
Dear Annie: I think you blew it with your answer to “Digital Age Discrimination.” I am a senior and struggle with the computer. Best thing that ever happened was when my smartphone got run over by a car. I was simply too dumb for that aggravating device and went back to an old flip phone.
I take it you did not check with any major grocery chains regarding the problem for seniors with digital coupons. When my computer was down and there were some items I wanted that had digital coupons, I went to the Kroger manager and asked whether he could help. He said I could just tell the cashier to put in the code to get the digital coupon discount.
I no longer have to hassle with the annoying and aggravating problem. I hope you publish my letter to inform your readers, young or old, of how to get around this issue. And if other chains are not doing this, then their customers should be complaining to management to do likewise or taking their business to a chain that does. — EDH in Roanoke, Va.
Dear EDH: A simple, human solution to a technical problem. Thanks for writing. I think your letter will help many.
“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to email@example.com.