Childhood Cemetary

28 Jan

Across the road from my grandmother’s house lies a large field that is usually planted with either corn, cotton or peanuts.  I spent the majority of my childhood playing in this field with my sister and cousins.  It was prime real estate for play during the summer months when the crops were tall and full.  We would run about it for hours, despite having our legs scratched up from the stalks and stems of the crops.  It was a massive field, at least to a child of eight.  Perfect for a game of hide-and-go-seek or mock war, it was hard to leave when the sun went down. 

The most intriguing part of this field was found in the woods that surrounded it.  It took a good ten minutes to hike across the length of the field and through the brush to find the abandoned church and cemetary that was hiding just beyond the tree line.  Even in the daylight it was eery to get near.  The church was small with large holes in the roof and floor that had been partially sealed with cobwebs.  The webs crisscrossed over the roof and caught the sunlight as they passed down to the floor.  The webs were losing the battle against time.  Eventually the entire church would collapse…which made for an excellent session of truth and dare. 

 “I dare you to walk across the floor to the other side.”  “Make sure you don’t fall in the hole.”

Off to the side of the church was a modest sized cemetary.  The tombstones were worn with time and were barely discernable.  The engravings that were still intact were covered in moss that had to be wiped away to reveal the names and dates beneath.  To children growing up in the 90’s, seeing tombstones dating back to the early 1800’s was awe-inspiring.  We’d read about this time period in school, and had found tangible evidence of its existence.  Proof that the 1800’s had really happened; that people had lived, worshiped and died at the very place where we stood.  It wasn’t just something that people told stories of anymore. 

We continued to visit the cemetary up until I was in highschool.  By then it had lost its appeal.  Who would want to traipse through the woods when one could stay at home and watch the Discovery Channel?

Fast forward to today:  Recently my Father-in-Law has begun researching my family tree.  I’ve never given the topic much thought, but suddenly I find myself obsessed it.  This weekend I’m going to my grandmother’s house to have a look at the family Bible which my grandfather purchased when she was pregnant with my father and his sister.  Pregnant with twins and he goes out and buys a $75 bBible.  A hefty sum for such an item in the late 1950’s.  The Bible holds several generations of names and information for my father’s side of the family. 

While I’m there, I am going to hop across the road to see if I can find that old church and cemetary again.  Even though none of my relations are buried there, I don’t want those who have been laid to rest there to be forgotten. 

Hopefully next week I’ll have some pictures to share with you. 

Shoe Update:

The missing pair of shoes mysteriously showed up at my front door yesterday.  Hmm.  *stroking imaginary moustache*


One Response to “Childhood Cemetary”

  1. Dr. Leonard Hofstadter January 30, 2010 at 11:57 AM #

    One history venture regarding the evolution of where we now are as Americans, and another regarding your heritage. Both have significant value. One I have no knowledge of and can offer no input about, but I so wanted to address the “Ocean Blue” topic.

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