Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Schoolhouses and Cemeteries

On a beautiful, crisp October day, we visited some old cemeteries. Old cemeteries are everywhere, often we don't even know where they are. We live just down the street from one that now sits between a school and a grocery store. We were here for years before we even knew it existed. There are 2 south of us, both on busy roads, that I drove by a million times before I noticed them. One we visited is a secluded, fenced and treed spot that backs up to Verizon. There are only a handful of graves, only taking up a small part of the cemetery, the latest dating from the 40's. There was a grave for a stillborn and a 2 month old, both alone. That was so poignant and sad. I wondered these people's stories. It's so hard to imagine that this spot, once distant to town and in the country, now is in such close proximity to loud rock concerts, something these people could never have dreamed. Now on concert nights the stillness is broken and the sound reverberates through the ground.

As we traveled to another cemetery (we were geo-caching) we passed this old schoolhouse (pictured). Again, the questions. When was it built? What is the story? What was the teacher's name and what was she like? What did the children go on to do? I wish I could go back in time and get glimpses, it's so hard to imagine it at all. And again, it's so desolate and sad. Why has it (and so many like it) been allowed to fall into ruin? I have always loved old schoolhouses. There used to be one in near ruins near my house growing up, and I dreamed of fixing it up into a house. It was torn down. I was sad then too. Why do so few people seem to care to preserve our past?

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