Walk with me

I used to take the boys to our town cemetery all the time to wander its broad paths and to feed the ducks. It seemed incredible that K had never been.

The hour drive to a Gloucester beach really didn’t appeal to me, so this was our compromise.

SIMPLE seems more important than ever right now. Ten minute drive. Finn left at home (no dogs allowed). Can return weekly!

(I’ve been wanting to quilt Celtic designs for a long time).

The names evoke other times. Rudolph. Anna Kate. Florence. Roland M King. Emeline. Jessie Annie. Gertrude. Levina. Adeline and Augustus. Elnora Wright.

George and Levi were everywhere.

We saw a number of other people but it was in no way crowded. It felt safe.

The green lights showed up again.

We could make a study of the flora. Many trees are tagged.

I thought more spring bulbs would be in bloom, but it’s still too early.

Driving home, we could tell it was Saturday because lots of fathers were out with their young children. Leaving mothers to soak in a hot bath, perhaps?

Freshening one’s living quarters feels more important than ever. Clutter imposes a drag on the spirits. In New England, air needs circulating. Today we’ll tackle the ‘new room’ (which is now 20 years old). As K’s ‘office’ and my fabric cutting station, it needs renewing, big time.

What are your plans for the weekend? What IS a weekend? Do you find tidiness matters more during home containment? Are you, like Dana and me, baking? How much news are you allowing yourself? Where are you putting your rage?

PS Son #2’s friend — the one from Brooklyn? — recently tested negative for the virus. I put some worries to bed, therefore, and also felt a little better about my 24 year old’s decision making.

PPS A colleague of my brother’s in the Stony Brook ER saw 21 positive cases the day before yesterday. Twenty one out of something like 24.

Also, my brother speculated that LA is about ten days behind NYC. The lack of density will mitigate the outbreak some, in his view, but the huge homeless and prison populations will do the opposite.

20 thoughts on “Walk with me

  1. Marti

    What a refreshing walk. Celtic crosses, designs, move me deeply.Took a lot of photos of cemeteries when we were in Ireland so just now went into my photo folders and found the oldest tombstone that I photographed from Ireland: Carved on the stone:” Here leith the Body of Francis Kehoe. Dep July 20, 1785.” the next carved words were hard to read but the carved words end with, “Lord have mercy on his soul. Amen.”

    This weekend, we are considering how we want to plan our garden this year. We don’t put anything into the ground here until May except for garlic. Since last year’s garden was dismal, I’m pretty sure we will have a much smaller garden this year. Water is expensive here so that always plays into our planning. Tomatoes and chile peppers are a given. We have garlic in the ground as I write this, it can handle the colder temps. Will more than likely plant some assorted lettuce, still have some seeds from last year but we will go directly into the ground with them unlike past years when we started them in little peat pots. Swiss chard is a given and Pak choi. Our herbs do well and come back except for the basil. Rosemary, thyme, sage and oregano are already here. I will grow cilantro because it is a must for making salsa. Last year I saved seeds from a multicolored lantana plant so I’m hoping that they will take because I do like lantana and geraniums scattered about in clay pots on my patio. I brought our geranium plant indoors and it is thriving, waiting to go back out. No need to plant sunflowers, a yearly planting because the birds drop many seeds and they come back, year after year.

    Now as to your tidiness question: I’m a Virgo so tidiness is a given.I like things to be in their place, no piles of stuff strewn about. My home is pretty much in a tidy state and even my husband has become more orderly but then we have bee married 50 yrs so he gets my need for things in their place!

    My indulgence this week is re-reading a fascinating, multi-generational 480 pg Hawaiian saga, Shark Dialogues by Kiana Davenport. There are actually more pages than 480 because Kiana added a Hawaiian glossary. I learned some Hawaiian words when we lived in Maui but it is always good to have a refresher. Aloha!

    1. deemallon

      Lord have mercy on us all.

      I’m quite moved by (and a little jealousy of) your garden plans. A ritual. One with lovely results.

  2. ravenandsparrow

    Your cemetery seems so calm and peaceful. Some of the shots remind me of the Japanese Garden in the Seattle Arboretum, a favorite haunt from days gone by. Getting out into the open is soothing and I’m glad you have such a place close by. Clutter clearing is a very worthy effort. I am tackling my studio which has once again degenerated into a nightmare. I can’t start something new until order is restored. Now that the taxes are off to the accountant I can also tidy the dining room table. No one comes for dinner anymore so it has become a pigsty paper repository…sigh.

  3. Nanette

    I love cemetery walks…..we have one very old one out of town a bit, from the very early days, 1850s, but it’s not really tended and the gravesstones are non-existent or rotted wooden crosses, it’s peaceful though.
    I’m packing up my house…..a difficult time to travel to look at houses for sale, so a bit of uncertain limbo around this……so my house teeters between tidy and not-so……but I always keep the kitchen and bathroom clean and tidy, and the other rooms depend on what stage of decluttering and packing I’m at. The mess doesn’t bother me, it’s a work in progress.
    I listen to the early morning news, and pick up bits and pieces on our community FB page, but that’s about all. I like to know how our area’s doing, mainly. An interesting question about rage……I see it a lot in other people’s rants and nastiness on FB, but don’t feel it myself. As Grace would say…….just going.

    1. deemallon

      I cannot imagine moving at this time. Good luck with that!! It sounds like you have a balanced attitude.

  4. Nancy

    Nice walk. We alway stop at cemeteries when on road trips! I keep making plans to tidy, then end up reading and communicating online! Ha
    Just heard a baby in IL died of the virus. So scary and puts a whole new thought of all of our families at home! Especially since we keep hearing that CA is ten days behind the worst of it, like NY. I also just talked to my 95 year old aunt, a very circular conversation as she sits alone in her room at the nursing home she lives in.
    Sigh. Be well everyone.

    1. deemallon

      A baby?! My twitter feed is FILLED with references to people under fifty who have died including a fair number in their 20’s. Truly alarming. I feel so bad for people in nursing homes who can’t see their usual visitors. Like K’s dad. Also, I think about the students who won’t get to have a graduation ceremony or a prom.

  5. Anneliese

    Beautiful photos – I am enjoying them very much. Weekend – everyday is like weekend just now. We had to be on the road today for an important errand – so, empty highway, a wonderful positive side effect of these awful restrictive times, we saved about half an hour one way. Ok, I found out that I care less about the house – when spring really arrives – after this cold intermezzo – I will return again to the normal routine.
    Just a little baking, bread! I feel no rage – funny isn‘t it? We have to overcome this time and that‘s it.

    1. deemallon

      One boy lives in LA and is an essential worker. His commute is 30-50% shorter now. Also, there’s no smog!

      When it warms up a little, I love opening the windows and running fans and getting the stale air out and fresh air in.

      I cannot imagine feeling no rage.

  6. Acey

    Am glad there are public spaces where you can walk and observe things together and also through your camera lens. Am putting my rage into one of the fictional characters I’m considering bringing back from times dead gone by thanks to you asking if I did this thing anymore. A pivotal scene in the previously imagined plotline – turned on its head. the point, purpose and everything else. It might even be the first thing of total re-vision that I write.

    Also to Marti mentioning the Shark Dialogues – that’s on my re-read list for this year. Was planning over the summer but not sure what good too much planning has anymore.

    I have a weird relationship to tidying as some sort of control freaky Home Ec/In the Home a Woman’s Word is Law mechanism from childhood and teen years. Also derive zero satisfaction or sense of personal balance from being the one to maintain and preside over tidiness in a multi-person household as an ongoing thing. Am, however, always interested in reorganizing how existing space is best utilized and then overseeing the upgrade’s maintenance.

    When MA started to light up I realized we’d all keep best our sanity and senses of humors if we agreed to live like graduate students. Sane and responsible grad students, for sure, but in that general ballpark of relaxed standards and following our bliss via micro-focused priorities. When/if that stops working we’ll think of something else that will.

    1. deemallon

      I share some of your leftover junk about housekeeping. My mother would Revacuum sections one of us had done if it weren’t to her satisfaction. When there were four of us here, the house was always a wreck. And not just a little wreck but a total wreck. I had no help and preferred not to make us all crazy by imposing order that would be impossible to maintain. But since it’s just K and me now, I’m shocked at how far the other way I’ve gone. It really satisfies me to pick up and to keep things relatively clean. There are still messes, by the way, but I can FIND things. Not my phone half the time, but my shoes, my favorite pair of pants, the pruning shears.

      I’d love to hear more about your writing either here or in a side bar.

  7. Jen NyBlom

    What an absolutely lovely cemetery!! I remember when I was very young, we lived in Ipswich and I loved when we went strolling thru the old cemetery there…I’ve been tidying; outside in the gardens–it’s too pretty out to stay indoors! An added plus; don’t tend to pay much attention to too much news either! ha. Be well <3

    1. deemallon

      My mother is buried in Essex not far from there. It’s a raggy place of overgrown grass and a few large oaks, but it’s peaceful.

      You be well, too! You’ve been doing some impressive improvements to your yard.

  8. Liz A

    I love the umbrella tree reflected in the water … and the stone that echoes its grace … and the bridge, like a bridge I once knew so very long ago in Roslyn …

    “my” cemetery was on Shelter Island …. across from the Presbyterian Church, along the way to the lunch counter where we bought comic books and ice cream cones … my little brother and I were fascinated by the stones from the 19th century … and yes, the names … my “Scotch” grandmother (my mother’s term) was named Jessie, though never did she drink even a wee dram


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