Interred

160507 Flag

After what seemed like endless delays, or problems, we finally got my father into the ground yesterday afternoon.  The North Cemetery is plagued with insects – this time of year black flies but instead it rained.  I had the yard fogger with me and the bug spray in my pocket just in case.

I’ve gone to many, many funerals.  Leading up to this I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said to people that they are for the living.  I always go to show my support to people I care about in a time of great sadness.  Until yesterday I probably never truly realized what an impact the simple act of showing up can have.

This was one of those life flashing before your eyes moments. My best of friends were all there, from kindergarten until now.  People that have all held a significant piece of my life, people I truly love.

The service was rendered beautifully by a minister I’ve known since my early teens, one who I consider a good friend as well.

The military honor guard did their part in sending Dad off the way he wanted.  Taps being played was the only real request Dad had.  The flag was presented to my by a man who had worked with him at Westover.

It’s interesting the variation in rituals there are from place to place.  In more urban areas after a funeral everyone goes to a public place for food and drink.  Up here everyone goes to a family members home.  When I arrived a good friend immediately said what do you need to have done and she and her husband set out he food.  People arrived, helped themselves to food set out or found what they needed in the fridge.  That’s when you know you have people comfortable in your home – they help themselves.

From arrival to the last person leaving the rest is a blur – as I knew it would be recalling the same situation when my mother died 17 years ago.  These are the things you don’t forget.

All in all I did right by my father through the whole mess and the bonus was yesterday felt like a huge community group hug.  Thank you all.

Winding Into Winter

141026 Sunrise

The temperature was at freezing this morning.  I lit the stove using last nights coals and made my coffee.  The morning temperatures have been in the mid forties for the past few weeks but I start the stove every morning to take the chill off.  I love the cheeriness of that fire when I walk into the kitchen.

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity as it always is when winter approaches.  Most of the wood is in, the fall cleaning is finished.  Things are moved around (like sleeping areas) to be the most comfortable for the winter.  We do not have heat on the second floor of the house so the electric blankets went onto the beds.

Everything left was dug out of the garden, a bumper crop of carrots this year both Danvers and Atomic Reds.  The Atomic Reds were one of this years experiments and I would plant them again.  I was disappointed that they don’t stay red when they are cooked much like those purple beans.

The month of October was also a time of connecting with friends, both old and new.  A very dear friend of mine stopped in to visit me while on a trip here from New Mexico.  I haven’t seen her since 1995 yet we picked up as though we’d seen each other a month ago.  It was wonderful reminder of how dear my old friends are.

Our 2nd Annual Harvest Party was a success other than the weather, but all that really did was keep us in the house.  Not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon – eating great food with great friends and family.  This event is always an interesting mix of old and new acquaintances.  It’s always fun to rehash the day with newcomers who are trying to learn who the players in my life are.

Then there are the newest “friends”.  My cyber community has evolved into the most interesting ways in the past few months.  I have become acquainted with a few like-minded people who are working towards some self-sufficiency.  They are craftsmen, farmers, artists, renovators.  They have similar interests and through our frequent posts we get to know a little about each other.  This has offered me an opportunity to learn a lot about some of my interests.  They are generous in conversation, answering questions I might have about weaving, gardening or livestock.  The readers of this blog offer words of wisdom in situations I write about.  It’s a little  support system.

The changes in the past few months have been interesting and not always as expected.  Rowe is an isolated area and you have to work harder at being social.  I’m not always able to leave and the ability to converse over the web has in some respects kept me sane.  It keeps me connected with my kids, spouse and friends – old and new.

As we wind into winter, a time when serious arts and crafting come into full swing I’ll continue to share interesting tidbits of what is happening here and welcome the interaction of those who read it.  I’m looking forward to the down time.  Having the quiet and solitude always turns my mind towards creativity – I’m always thinking, planning.  There just is never the time during the warmer months for sitting at the loom or hooking a rug.  Winter will offer a respite from the yard work and gardening, it will allow me to recharge and dream about spring.  By the time it arrives I’ll be ready.