You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. Robin Williams

Location: Kentucky, United States

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Rolling moss gathers no stone

Last night Beverle and I had dinner with my parents. Mom made spaghetti with her unique meat sauce. Actually, sauce is not accurate, this is something she made up when I was a kid and I have never seen a recipe like it anywhere else.

She browns some ground beef, and drains it. Then she adds enough ketchup to lightly coat the meat. Next, she adds onions, and chili powder to taste, stirs it all up and simmers until the spice is cooked into the beef. Scoop generously onto the pasta of your choice, stir to spread the flavoring onto the pasta, and then eat.

I usually eat enough of this to feed a small family, and last night was no exception. Desert was cobbler made from fresh picked blueberries and Breyers Vanilla Ice Cream.

After eating all that, we needed to move around to assuage our guilt for blowing our diets so badly. Dad said he needed some help putting up a birdhouse, so I held the pole while he attached the brackets to hold it in place. Then Mom wanted to go for a walk. She put the dog on a leash, forbid the cats to follow, and we ambled down the road.

We stopped at my uncle’s just down the street. He and his wife are avid gardeners. Their back yard was ablaze with hundreds of flowers. They gave us a tour, telling us the names of all the plants we did not recognize, (and there were many).

After that, we stood staring at the ducks in their neighbor’s pond across the road. We debated for several minutes before realizing the ducks were not real. He had colored the water green with something and placed two duck decoys in the middle. We don’t know why. Maybe it was just to make people ask questions. Very strange.

We walked out the road, talking about the fence line a farmer had recently cleared out, and about one of the other neighbor’s dogs who would bite if you came too close to the yard. Dad pointed out a house that had sold recently, the new owners had bought everything but “the horse and the dog”, Dad said. As we neared the end of the road I realized were we were headed. Mom had been leading us towards the cemetery all along.

Duff Cemetery sets across the road from the now unused, one room Duff Church. It is an old-fashioned country church, as you might see on a postcard; it was built in the 1800’s. A few years ago, family of the members buried there restored the church. They fixed the plank siding, repainted it, and placed a replica bell on a brick podium in the churchyard.

Although none of Mom's family was ever members of Duff Church, they have chosen this graveyard as their family burial ground. My parents have already purchased their headstone and it is in place, needing just the final date to be engraved. I saw their headstone a few months back following the unexpected death of one of my cousins. As we were leaving his gravesite, Mom pointed their headstone out. It made me very uncomfortable seeing my parent’s names there, and now we were returning to the graveyard to look at the plots again.

This time was different though; for it was not their gravesite we had come to see, but my own. As more and more of Mom’s family have bought sites in the cemetery, my parents were concerned there would be no room left for their close family when the time came. Mom came into my office at work a few weeks ago and asked me to talk with Bev about being buried there. I talked with Beverle about it that afternoon, and shortly thereafter, my parents bought us four family plots as a gift. Mom brought the deed to me at work a few days after I talked with Bev.

So after a very nice dinner, followed by a pleasant visit with my uncle, whom I rarely see, then a relaxing stroll along a country road, I ended up standing on my own grave.
Strange, very strange.


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