Today was the event we had ridden across the country for. Today we laid my twin brother’s and father’s ashes to rest at the family cemetery. I discovered that my father’s ash container had sprung a leak somewhere along the ride. Looks like we may have scattered a few of his ashes along Route 66. Dad is out seeing America.
The bad weather had finally broken and it was a fine spring day. Amazingly enough we found the cemetery, thanks in no small part to Google Earth, with no problems. The cemetery is just left of the middle of nowhere and down a gravel road. The cemetery was just as I had remembered it when we laid my mother’s ashes to rest 9 years ago. I guess cemeteries don’t change a whole lot. An occasional new resident but no one ever moves out. This particular cemetery dates back to the mid 1800s. The oldest gravestone I have found and have been able to read dates 1863. Time and countless winters have worn most of the gravestones to the point that they are illegible. The newest resident, prior to my mother was in 1965. I’m sure the residents are happy for the newcomers as the stories between the older residents become a bit stale after 100 or more years of retelling. We left temporary markers for my mother, father, brother and myself: The end date for myself being currently uncertain. Along with the markers, we left flowers for my mother, planted a rose bush for my father and left cinnamon rolls for my brother. My brother loved food. He never met a meal he didn’t like. You never had to ask if he wanted seconds, the answer was always “Yes” and “What were we having for dessert?” I also planted a lilac bush in memory of my friend Janet. Whilst Janet never lived in Indiana, I considered her family so it seemed appropriate to have a memorial to her in my family’s cemetery.
Following our final good byes to family members gone by, we loaded up the SUV and headed out to check out some of the local covered bridges. These are not the Bridges of Madison County as they are in Putnam County. We don’t have covered bridges in the West so they were a curiosity we needed to experience. The bridges we found date back to the start of the previous century. Admittedly, they do all kind of look alike so after visiting three, we changed our focus on antiquing. All things old now being new, we headed for the gigantic antique mall in somewhere, IN. I believe this is the world’s largest antique mall, or perhaps it only seemed so. A mall containing millions, if not billions, of treasures that people were willing to part with and even more people willing to stand in line to purchase. Perhaps it was a toy that you remember having as a child or perhaps it was a Snoopy drinking glass that you once coveted which met with an untimely demise. Whatever the reason, here you could relive the memories. The sister-in-law found an old steamer trunk that she wanted. Transport back to California proved to be an issue as we all doubted it would survive airport check-through and shipping seemed to be a logistical nightmare. To show solidarity on her having to pass on the trunk, I forwent my purchase of the Snoopy drinking glass. It’s what families do for each other.