Just this afternoon, I found myself in a cemetery. For those who are keen on details, it was Saint Alphonsus Cemetery in Tupper Lake, NY. The skies were blue with patchy cumulus clouds; a departure from the thunderstorms we’ve been experiencing. I love to stroll in cemeteries. Usually, they are quiet places excellent for the necessary contemplation of Life and Death issues that we all should ponder every so often. I had my favorite little notebook, a Moleskin, in my left shirt pocket. I keep this book handy to copy interesting epitaphs, if I should happen upon one. In my right shirt pocket was my iPhone (red protective case for those of you who are keen on details). I had on an Amazon.com baseball cap. I had already sprayed myself with my homemade bug repellant (see recipe below). The gnats seemed to love the repellant. I guess it’s an approach/avoidance kind of thing with those little bugs.
The tune “In The Mood” was running through my brain. That’s because we had gone to the Lake Placid Center for the Arts last night to see and hear the Glenn Miller Orchestra. I love big band music and the thoughts I was having last evening could make for a really cool blog. Hmmm? And, the female vocalist? Forget about it. She came on stage like a sweet blend of Mae West, Jessica Rabbit and Betty Grable. I was so intent on listening to her lovely voice and looking at her cherry-red lipstick, that I failed to notice the slit up her ankle-length gown. They had to tell me about it later.
During the concert, I had turned off the ringer of my iPhone. It was set on vibrate.
My wife had come along for the ride to Tupper Lake because she wanted to get some fresh air. I mean we have plenty of air, fresh and otherwise at our house at Rainbow Lake, but she just wanted to go on a drive. She took a short walk toward the Civil War section and then settled in the car to to escape the gnats.
So, there I was walking over a slight rise in the cemetery. The lawn was freshly mowed and the scent of newly cut grass filled my olfactory system. When I passed the headstone for Florence Rounds, my right chest began to flutter. That’s it, I was sure I was having the “Big One” as Redd Foxx used to say. For a moment, I thought that a cemetery is the perfect place to have the old ticker stop ticking. After all, you’re right where you should be. I asked God for the forgiveness for my few sins and put my hand to my right chest. Then I remembered that my heart was actually on the left part of my chest. So this wasn’t the Big One. This was the vibrating iPhone. It was Mariam calling me to think about getting home. I said okay…just a few more stones to look at in an effort to find a collectible epitaph. I switched my phone back to ringer mode and put it back in my right shirt pocket.
Quickly, I was lost in my reverie again. I passed Anna Huntington and then Daisy Peets. Both ladies were about my age when they were called home, so to speak.
I was in a rather isolated part of the cemetery. My cell phone went off again. This time my ringtone kicked on.
I had downloaded Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” from iTunes about a year ago. So, here I was standing in a lonely part of a cemetery and I’m hearing: “How does it feel? How does it feel?”
My vivid imagination, for the briefest moment, had me feeling that it was the question sung by all those deceased people, some forgotten, some remembered, to me. They wanted to know how it felt to be the one who was alive. Maybe they forgot the sun and the rain, the clouds and the snow, the laughter and the tears, the joy and the sorrow of being alive.
“It feels pretty good,” I said, as I headed back to my car.
I was in the mood.
[Make Your Own Bug Dope] This was put out by a friend of mine on Facebook several years ago. I forgot who posted it, but thanks!
Get a 16 oz Spray Bottle
Mix: 15 Drops of Lavender Oil with 3-4 Tbsp Vanilla Extract and 1/4 cup of Lemon Juice. Shake well. Spray. Enjoy.
I have been there! I love the Adirondacks. Great post. Great ending. Very well-written. I could imagine myself standing there and I could feel the quiet, thoughtfulness. Thanks for sharing!
Read somewhere that for two days in middle of July, Buddhists believe ancestors return to visit their familys and on the last day they light candles to guide them back to where they have come from.