Like that U-Haul van, I’ve driven past this cemetery while heading somewhere else — in my case, for decades. Today, after a jaunt into National Lumber for paint chips and moth traps, the guys and I went in.
It’s much larger than I supposed, with widely spaced rows of markers. There are legible carvings in slate, lichen capped marble stones in various states of blur (having not weathered the years as well), and the usual variety of shapes.
Abigail, Rebecca, Hannah, Mary, and Lucinda. Albert, Enoch, James, John and Ezra.
Nineteenth century headstones always get me thinking about history in general and slavery in particular. This person died during the Civil War, say, or this one died two years before the Emancipation Proclamation.
For the entirety of Edward Hartt’s life, slavery was alive and well in America.
There were many headstones for babies and even more for people who died in their twenties. I didn’t do an inventory or anything, but I only saw one older person’s grave — a septuagenarian. It makes you appreciate how brief lives were before antibiotics, vaccinations, surgical interventions and dental care (can you imagine dying of an abscess in a rotted tooth?)
I laughed at Frank’s gravestone. Because no text carved in stone is casual, I wondered who decided to put that period after his name and was there any debate about it?
There was a lot of storm damage. Newton’s community clean up day has designated this as a site, but as someone who’s coordinated a few of these events, I wonder what exactly people will do. Maybe a crew will come in with chainsaws, first.
The textures were gorgeous, including those associated with the neighboring lumberyard.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend! It is actually warm enough this afternoon to go outside without a down jacket!
It’s a little funny to me that just beyond this serene house quilt is the huge mess associated with tree clean up.
Happily, my brother in law came to help yesterday, otherwise we’d really be behind the eight ball.
It’s still a bit daunting. For one thing, on closer inspection, we noticed that the tree did hit the house, so I’ll need to get an insurance adjuster out here as soon as possible (after two back to back nor’easters, I imagine they’re very busy!) More snow coming Tuesday, P.S.
With the ladder leaning on an about-to-be-cut branch, there were plenty of Wily E. Coyote jokes.
We tried to broker a meeting between Finn and his dog cousin, Ziggy, and did everything right up to a point — (starting in neutral territory, keeping a good distance, then closing the distance, then a break apart) after which it did not go well. It turned into a minor disaster, actually, because when Finn went apeshit, I slipped in the snow and let go the leash. Ziggy seems to be fine, but it didn’t prevent one of my self-pitying laments about difficult dependents.
Speaking of which, after eight years on the wait list and three application updates, my sister has gotten subsidized housing. This is the best possible news for her (and secondarily for my brother, whose financial burden will be greatly reduced). For me, it is a giant chore with no real benefit (did I mention self pity about difficult dependents?) I am happy for her, don’t get me wrong. I just wish there was someone else to orchestrate the move.
Meanwhile, these are my last few weeks to prep for Newton Open Studios. We will pay rent for my sister’s current apartment through the end of April, which hopefully will make the transition manageable.
(Just so you know, we moved all her belongings into storage in 2009, out of storage in 2010, and then had to assist with near complete possession pack up during the bed bug ordeal last year. These were the same years that we moved our sons a total of seven times).