On Saturday Dylan and I made the cemetary rounds with my parents. We do it every year for Memorial Day. We have several cemetaries that we visit, decorating the graves with flowers and remember those that are buried there. Our first stop was to the graves of my maternal grandparents, their parents and a many other family members that were gone long before I was born. It's an old country cemetary with stones dating back to the Civil War. It sits behind a church that is no longer used. I remember going there as a little girl with my mom and grandmother. We would go early in the morning and stay for a good part of the day, taking lawn chairs and a picnic basket. We sat our chairs in the shade of the giant oak trees that stand just outside the fence surrounding the cemetary. My grandmother would visit with old neighbors and relatives as they came to visit the cemetary. Many of them also brought their chairs and lunch. It didn't seem the least bit odd to me that we would picnic and visit a few dozen feet from the graves of our ancestors. These days, we don't take our chairs and stay for the day, but we do wander all through the cemetary, making note of new graves and chatting with others that are there doing the same.
When we were finished at the cemetary, we did something we haven't done in a very long time. We took a drive through the country. Mom showed us the one room school house where she attended the eighth grade. We saw where her house was and where her grandfather's house was across the road. We drove the route that she walked to school each day. We saw where her best friend lived, the home she cleaned for an elderly widower and the location of the local store and talked about how she walked to all of them. She didn't even have a bicycle to ride. It's no wonder that obesity wasn't a problem back in the 30's and 40's. My mother and her siblings walked more miles in one day than I walk in a whole week.
As we drove up and down these gravel roads, I caught a glimpse of the life that my mother had and the life that I want. Granted mom grew up without indoor plumbing and electricity and I have no desire to go to that extreme, but there was definately something in her life that I want. It's simplicity and I believe that it still exists today on those country roads. We drove past homes where people were sitting on porch swings or in chairs in the yard. They waved at us as we drove past. They had no clue who we were yet they waved. People don't do that where I live. We saw people working in their gardens, fishing in ponds and hanging clothes out on the line to dry. Many of them were doing chores but there was a big difference between them and me. They were smiling and waving and enjoying their lives. They find joy in their everyday lives and enjoy the things that I consider mundane. They also do a wonderful job of keeping their homes looking neat and put together and inviting. My porch has containers of camping gear from two weeks ago sitting on it. It isn't a porch that screams out "come on over sit down and have a glass of sweet tea".
I want what they have. I want to find joy in taking care of my home and family and not look at it as a chore. I want to create a home that makes people want to come over and sit for a while. I want to bring that country road to my home in the city and make my home a wonderful place to live.
On the road again!
6 days ago