This morning I spent quite a bit of time composing this post. Blogger kept giving me grief .... messages stating that I'd logged out from another location, did I want to log in again. After about 10 of these messages I said, yes.. OK. Off I went again, writing. I hit publish. But when I went back in this afternoon all that had published was the first sentence! And, it was in orange type and underlined. I can assure that I did neither.
Blogger was making me nervous enough to copy the entire post and hopefully I'm able to paste and publish. Let's start again.
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This year we started our journey by heading to Tennessee to visit with our cousin and to make a pilgrimage to the family cemetery. The day we arrived was hotter than Hades - 106 degrees, and that was not accounting for the humidity. Let's just say that it was dangerously hot.
We walked down the hill where all the graves are located, overlooking a peaceful valley. My grandmother's grave seemed to be leaning slightly downhill, the heavy pink granite being undercut by water flow during storms. The Farmer and I made a mental note to ask what would be involved to straighten it up.
As I got closer I noticed that her headstone was covered with spiderwebs and leaves. YIKES! I know my grandmother was rolling over in her grave. She was a very sylish and somewhat vain person who cared about her appearance, her home and how things looked to the outside world. This would never do. But, it's 106 degrees and I have nothing on hand with which to clean and polish the headstone.
I pull myself into my McGuyver mode and search around for a fallen branch with leaves still attached. Carefully I sweep away what I can and give her stone a kiss and a promise to return in the future to do it up right.
Dinner at our cousin's house was wonderful and we told old stories over and over. My cousin related one we'd never heard before and we reminisced about her father, my Uncle Murdoch. He was one of those old time southern gentleman who was a fabulous storyteller. We'd spend hours on the porch fascinated with his tales. A car would drive by while we were porch sitting and he's say, "Oh, there goes old Mr. Castleberry. I remember when he......." and on the journey we'd go with him, transported by his words to a time long past.
Remember, my grandmother and aunts and uncles were raised without electricity or running water. They went to town once a year to buy the children shoes for school. The world in their lifetime went from 1800's type living to a man on the moon. (God rest Neil Armstrong, by the way).
I felt a great loss standing in that cemetery. Alot of wonderful and unique people are buried there. Great uncles, and great-grandfathers who served in the Civil War and a great-great-grandfather who established the cemetery and all those children who were lost to diseases that rarely take a life today. My great-great-great grandfather is buried about 20 miles south on the land that was given to him in payment for his service in the revolutionary war.
The slaves are buried there too. I had someone chide me for mentioning this one time, to which I say, "It's history, it's truth, I'm not about to revise history. My ancestors lived in the south, they owned slaves. Like Maya Angelou say, "When you know better, you do better."