So after I posted about the Parker G. Webber house, I learned a bit more about him. Apparently, he also built the barn for the Stoneham Senior Center (previously the alsmhouse and poor farm, previously the site of a wolf attack). We decided to take a walk today, and headed to one of our favorite walking locations – the Lindenwood Cemetery. It occurred to me as we strolled past rabbit tracks and duck tracks in the snow that it was very likely Mr. Webber was buried here in Lindenwood, nearly within sight of the homes he built and lived in for fifty years (apparently with his -gasp- second wife!). And we found him almost immediately!
It’s hard to feel sad because he was ooooooold, by any standard. It is sad that he has to bury his son. It seems odd timing for the Spanish flu, or late for WWI.
Anyway, we then continued our wandering around the graveyard. It’s not particularly old by New England standards – there’s the really old one that is open once a year that is not this one. It was opened during the Civil War to handle the influx of local heroes coming home in boxes. We found a few more interesting graves I’ve never noticed before. It was a lovely walk!
I love graveyards. I always have. I remember being 6 and visiting the graveyard in Bonners Ferry and thinking how pretty it was, and if I died soon I hoped they’d bury me there. I used to go hang out in the Mineral Cemetery to watch the stars on bright, clear nights. My husband proposed to me in the tiny graveyard we’d walked to on the night we met. I walked around the Wyoming Cemetery in Melrose the night I was in labor with Grey, and through Stoneham’s Lindenwood Cemetery the night I gave birth to Thane. I am often in graveyards, when I play taps for veterans funerals. I find graveyards lovely, peaceful, thought-provoking and restful.
On Saturday, we arranged with Coelynn McIninch to do our every-four-years formal family portraits. Coe had taken the Camp Gramp portraits two years ago, and I’d liked her work a lot, so it was logical to ask her to come and shoot us. But it was 4 pm on a Saturday afternoon in September, with fast-fading light. It was overcast, and a bit chilly. I’d _planned_ on going to the Middlesex Fells for the pictures, but suddenly that seemed a long way away. “Why don’t we just go to the graveyard?” my husband inquired, reading my mind. And so we went.
I should also mention that we are very respectful of graves, and we teach our sons to be as well. I never forget that a place of peace of me is a place of sorrow for others.*
Folks, the pictures are AMAZING. It was very, very difficult (nigh impossible!) to keep Thane looking forward and smiling, but she did it. Grey is adorably snaggle-toothed… I’m shocked that the front tooth has held on another few days! There were some pictures of us getting wiggles out, or being silly, or just being a family with a six year old and three year old (for a few more days!) I’m super pleased with all of them – both silly** and serious – and the hard part will be to decide which ones make it on the wall and in our Christmas cards!
That’s right, folks. The last game of the regular season is on the radio, so it is clearly time to think of Christmas cards!
I’m tempted not to share, if only so those of you who actually get Christmas cards from me are surprised, but that seems too mean.
*There was a guy there who was learning how to drive a clutch on the cemetery hills – loudly – and someone must have called the police because two cruisers pulled in just as we pulled out. I admit to being rather glad we were safely off by then!
**The ones where the boys are being zombies and eating Adam’s brains are AWESOME. I love the “Tomb of the Living Dead” some teenager scrawled on that wall years ago.