Out here in the “sticks” there isn’t much for a bored mother of a 4 month old to do from home. I could pull some weeds, check the mailbox for the 3rd time in a day, or whip up a nice food dish that will ultimately rot away in the back of the fridge, a forgotten victim of our very deep stainless steel appliance. But as we’re trying to save money, anyway we can, trips to town are limited to save on gas (and boy oh boy, one can spend alot in the dollar store if let loose with a debit card, so I avoid unnecessary trips when at all possible). Junior and I packed up the stroller with Ollie the colourful stuffed octopus, some bottles, spare diapers, a blanket, bottled water…. well, you get the point. I’m surprised I didn’t have a pack mule to carry all the baby stuff on… anyways, we packed up the stroller and we did what strollers are meant to do… strolled. We strolled up the gravel road to the highway, which thankfully wasn’t that busy as it was mid afternoon, and we strolled up the road about a kilometer to a little cemetery that we pass on our way into town. I’ve never strolled a cemetery before, and I thought I better do this before Junior is old enough to think I’m a complete wacko with my mother/son outing choices. Once there, we passed many rows of shiny granite head stones and further back, under mature pine and oak trees, we found the older stones engraved with family names that I now recognize as local roads in the area. It’s an amazing thing to think of, that a town, a township, and county, doesn’t consist of just roads and land divisions, it really is made from families. Real, dirt-under-the-fingernails farmers, from mothers of 8 children, to that guy who delivers milk, and even that old lady who wears the same flowery dress to church each Sunday. As I passed the stones and connected them to the road names in the areas, I pictured generations of families, homesteads and parish communities. I wondered who these many people were, what legacies they left. My own family has a road named after us, and many of my family still live there, an arms reach from the original farmhouse that raised many a rigid country kid. Now, Hubby, Junior and I, live on a road named after the farmer down the street. This farmer is a true testament to the enduring perseverance of generations of men in the dying world of farming. This farmer has teenage daughters, and although they all work tirelessly in the barns, shoveling, milking, and herding the holsteins, they will most likely go on to marry gentlemen from the city, or pursue great careers, or even travel the world (or all of those things). This farmer has voiced this possibility, not with any fear, but with a calm certainty. His daughters do not show any interest in carrying on the farm, and he seems fine to see them stretch their own wings. He will eventually have to sell the cows, auction off some machinery, and live out his days in his farmhouse, which has housed many of his forefathers, and one day there will be nothing left of his name but the sign at the end of our street. Strolling this cemetery brought me to feel a surreal connection to our little town. We probably won’t have a road named after us, and our house can’t really be called a homestead, but the land we stand on is not just ours, it belongs to the many families before us that toiled hard through history, and we should be so very honoured to be a small part of it.
And to lighten up this very serious post…. on my way home from the above mentioned cemetery, I was passed at high speed by three very large tractor trailers carrying “processed organic waste”. I gagged, as each truck passed me….what the heck is “processed organic waste”? It didn’t smell like manure… it was human…. it was disgusting! I came home and showered. haha.