I know it might be considered a bit morbid to troll about in old cemeteries. As a kid cemeteries used to scare the living hell out of me (along with just about everything else, so go figure) but today I find certain cemeteries to be particularly serene. In spite of the “buy one get one free” sign in front of the cemetery (Chapel Heights Memorial Gardens) where my grandparents are buried, it’s actually a very peaceful place to hang out. People fish in the creek that runs in front of the cemetery which could be seen as irreverent by some, but I don’t think my grandparents would mind. They always enjoyed fishing.
I’ve always loved willow trees. This is the view of the creek that runs in the front of the Chapel Heights Memorial Gardens. The peculiar thing about Chapel Heights, as far as cemeteries go, is that the only grave markers they allow are simple flat ones- like Grandpa’s Army marker. There are no obelisks, or statues, or ostentatious carvings. From a distance it simply looks like a park. The beauty there is more natural than historical. When the weather improves some (but before the mosquitoes take over) I will need to take another roadtrip up there to just sit and hang out for an afternoon.
My favorite cemetery (now that does sound morbid, but what the hey) from a historical perspective, is the Marion Cemetery – right across from the Harding Memorial on SR 423. The Merchant Ball is there, and you can see where it rotates on its base even though no one can explain how or why it does. Some of the best examples I have seen of maudlin Victorian era gravestones anywhere are in the Marion Cemetery. I have taken pics of a few of them (the one at the top of this page is one of my favorites) but I don’t have enough space in my memory card for all the really good ones. I could literally spend a week in there wandering about and taking pics of cool old Victorian headstones. There must have been a lot of people in Marion back in the day with a LOT of scratch to spend on their dead relatives from the looks of the monuments in the Marion Cemetery. Today the place is so poor I’m surprised that anyone who dies now gets a burial or a grave marker at all. If I would have to make an educated guess, cremation has probably become the dispatch method of choice for the dead, simply for the cost effectiveness. From another practical viewpoint, I have to wonder about the wisdom of burying dead people in a reclaimed swamp. Burying people in the ground- even in concrete vaults and steel coffins- doesn’t strike me as being terribly sanitary considering the high amount of rainfall and the poor drainage that is inherent to Marion County- and the rest of Central Ohio.
I am thankful the dryer works. It can dry a large load in about 90 minutes which is encouraging. 90 minutes is a lot faster than 3 hours plus. It feels good to have the laundry caught up. It is a relief to know that if I want to wash the dogs, or wash all the living room quilts that cover the furniture, I can. I washed my bed sheets and blankets yesterday. Since the dogs like to sleep in the beds I have to wash everything often, otherwise it ends up covered in hair and smelling like dog funk. I’m glad that Lilo is really the only one of the three that ever gets much of a funk to her. Clara has almost no odor, likely because of her short coat and sparse undercoat. Sheena I can’t really explain. She should reek to high heaven with her thick undercoat, (Heidi and Kayla were purebred GSDs- and they both reeked no matter how often they were bathed) but for a dog with such a thick coat Sheena is remarkably clean-smelling.
As far as my ongoing quest to live authentically (which is how I understand Martin Luther’s instruction to “sin boldly”- here is a link to a better theological understanding of that instruction) I can only appeal to the grace of God to overcome my fear. I can only trust that He will give me the courage and the discernment to do the right thing- and the forgiveness I inevitably need when I screw up.
I’d like to have a spontaneous and unfettered approach to life. Not being dead broke all or most of the time would help, which would require me to (somehow) get Jerry to pay for his fair share of things instead of just footing the bill myself because I know he throws major fits every time I request money. He can go to the hell hole and blow hundreds of dollars and to him that’s quite fine, but if Steve-o needs $50 to pay his electric bill and I don’t have it, it’s a Federal case. Jerry can be generous when he wants to be, (especially to his family, except Steve-o of course) but he simply doesn’t get it. No matter what method I use to explain it to him- spreadsheets, calendars, letting him see my bank statement, etc. he just doesn’t get it that I’m not randomly blowing money on frivolous and unnecessary things (such as beer, cigarettes or gambling, but I digress.)
One time when I asked him for money because I was dead broke after paying the car insurance, he actually accused me of having an illicit drug habit! I don’t. I can’t even drink with the medical issues I have. Most of the illicit drugs out there would probably kill me outright. He should thank God I’ve never been into crystal or the white powder, or I’d probably ripped his head off and shit down his neck hole years ago.
Technically one could say that I do have a “drug habit” – but all the drugs I take are prescribed by my Dr.- and are pretty much essential to keep me vertical and above ground. Otherwise I wouldn’t bother with expensive (though non-frivolous) things like blood pressure meds and insulin. It’s not like I have the Dr. write me scripts for high dollar face Nair and that stuff that’s supposed to make your eyelashes grow. (WTF?) I simply don’t make enough money to pay for everything – stuff like car payments, the exorbitant amounts for various insurances, scripts, groceries, gasoline, etc. and so on- for both of us. If I did have enough money to pay for it all, believe me, I wouldn’t ask. I would just pay and keep my mouth shut.
I do draw the line at a few of Jerry’s vices. I refuse to buy his beer, smokes, or to support his gambling habit.
In his favor he does pay his own truck payment, and he has to buy his own beer, smokes and lottery tickets.
Very few things terrify me and stress me out more than arguments about money. I’ve never been a person of means, and I’ve had to scrape and pinch and rob Peter to pay Paul my entire life. My parents were never people of means either. Their most heated and (verbally) violent arguments were always centered around money and (almost always) the lack thereof. Nothing would send Dad into a rage quicker than anything involving money. I can’t blame him. There were times when we were growing up when he had to make the choice between paying the mortgage and utilities or buying food or medical care.
As a kid I remember weeks of eating pretty much nothing but Cream of Wheat or no-name Mac & Cheese to get by because there was no money for food. I remember going without things like glasses or dental visits for years at a time, because there was no money in our household for preventive care. Before I could drive it really didn’t matter if I had glasses or contacts or not, so I just dealt with it. Ignoring my health is likely how I ended up with rheumatic fever too, (you get it from untreated strep infections) because it came to a point when I would refuse to tell anyone I was sick, and I’d even try to deny it even if I was clearly deathly ill. I knew they couldn’t afford the Dr. visit or whatever scripts he might prescribe- and I didn’t want to hear their fight about how much it cost and how they don’t have the money after the fact. Now I have permanent heart valve and joint damage.
I should know better at this point in my life. It’s not about lack of money, but how “household” money is being used. Right now Jerry pretty much pays his truck payment and sustains his own vices and thinks that’s all he needs to do- while I’m footing the bill for Steve-o, as well as Jerry’s scripts, Jerry’s food, all the insurances, etc. he insists on having even though it’s overkill, and so on.
I am dead afraid of letting him get a taste of reality because I know he will do anything he can to punish me for it.
Why I am browbeating myself for expecting Jerry to act like an adult and take responsibility for his fair share is beyond me. I’m glad he bought the dryer, because I really despise crunchy clothing and I’m not going to the laundromat, but in perspective, that dryer cost less than one month of all the various life insurance that gets deducted out of my checking account- on his insistence- every month. The dryer is also a replacement for the one I bought for $350 back in 2000 that he has had the use of for the past 11 years, if you really wanted to play tit-for-tat.
I don’t think I owe him obeisance for anything. For all intents and purposes I kiss his ass to keep the peace- but I of all people should know that feeding alligators only makes them hungrier. Appeasement is Obama’s foreign policy and it’s not working for him either.
I know what I’m doing. I don’t like it, but I need to find the courage to change it.