The weather has been beautiful this week, and I have been stuck inside for way too much of it. I think God was sending me a message to get outside when, after sitting at my desk for hours I finally realized that there was a HUGE spider right next me. Nothing says “move it” like a spider as big as your hand.
(OK, in all honesty, he wasn’t as big as my hand. He was BIGGER!….geez, sorry about that. I am usually very brave about dealing with spiders. I think it was just the creepy feeling of knowing that I was sitting there and so was he for who knows how long. Ugh…OK, getting my country girl game face back on.)
So, move it I did. Got Riley leashed up and went for a long walk to stretch our legs and enjoy the sunshine.
Personal confession time – I have always enjoyed going into cemeteries. Actually, I should amend that to say I enjoy going to them in the daytime. I’m not fond of being by cemeteries at night. In fact, as a kid I used to cringe when my friend invited me for a sleepover because she lived down the street from the big cemetery of my hometown.
(Have I mentioned that I used to get scared watching certain portions of Sesame Street and Fantasy Island? That, combined with the whole spider thing, is really showing you a side of me that I’m not exactly proud of… )
But, daytime walking – I love cemeteries, especially old ones. There is something about seeing headstone from the 1800s or early 1900s that makes me daydream. What was life like for that person? What was their story?
I love looking at the styling of the headstones and the different materials they used. There is a very old cemetery in Cleveland that is really rich in history. President Garfield and his wife are buried there. Their monument has a beautiful view of Lake Erie and the city. John D. Rockefeller is there. His tombstone isn’t as grand as you might expect. There is also a chapel with interior walls and windows decorated by Tiffany. Gorgeous.
Back when the girls were little, I was on the Cemetery Committee for the small township in which we used to live. Our job was to make sure that all of the cemeteries were maintained, including three historical ones. The smallest was tucked back in the woods on what used to be the property of one of the original homesteads. The one chance I got to visit it was on a fall day with golden-yellow maple leaves cascading down on the old tombstones. I don’t know where I’ll be buried when I die, but I hope it is half as lovely and peaceful as that place.
Riley and I stayed more local in our walk, but eventually made our way to the small cemetery near the farm. It was started in 1824 and is still active. It is a mix of really old and really new graves. The names on the old ones were familiar to me because most were names of streets or townships nearby. It gives me the sense of being connected to those lives, those families, as I drive down roads that at one point were probably the dirt paths that lead to their farms.
It helps keep things in perspective, too. As much as things can be tough now, they were probably a lot tougher in the past. They didn’t have fast cars/minivans to get to the store when you forgot to thaw out the meat. They didn’t have riding lawn mowers for the acres of grass that needs cutting in March. They didn’t have extended pooper-scoopers to file paperwork.
And they certainly didn’t have spider spray.
I cringe at the thought of it.