The Leaning Cow

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The 16th Memorial Day trip

May 22nd, 2015 ·No Comments

The grave is right beside the roadway in a country cemetery in west/central Indiana. It is hours away from where I now live, but since the development of the Hoosier Heartland Highway, that time has been cut down and the vistas crossing the state are soothing, at least better that red lights and obscure turns.

I first made this trip to my father’s gravesite in 2000, the year he died and I think the monument had just been erected. We had a big pot of geraniums and ivy and a spike; it was quite attractive and it rode down seatbelted into the backseat of my mother’s car. She drove down. The way my parents had always gone – two lane roads, towns and cities to get through and moments of “Was that our turn?” No GPS and roads by the Wabash River that followed settlers. I drove back; I think I went a little out of my way and did Interstates.

That was a long time ago. This past Tuesday was not and this past Tuesday once again my cousins and I left flowers on our parents graves. We ate lunch together in Kingman, the town in which our parents grew up. Duane, Ann, Glenda, Susie and me . . . and Phyllis, Duane’s wife, whose folks are buried very close to Duane’s. She was at the basketball game when Duane broke his arm – one of my bedtime stories, dontcha know. It was an old-fashioned, down home eatery with a table of (cough, cough) older clientele. It was Tuesday, chicken and noodle day; I need to remember that Thursday is meatloaf day. Actually, I need to find an all you can eat meatloaf buffet place, but that’s just one of my quirks.

It was a cool day, but there was some sun; it wasn’t like the steamy day when we were rained on, sauna-ed and Daune heard something and said, “Isn’t that the tornado siren at Kingman?” I imagine the pot of geraniums got watered really well that day.

As the years pass, the visit to the cemetery seems like a revolving door of perception: yesterday, long ago, just yesterday, years ago . . .

When we were eating I sat across from my cousin Ann, and I recalled how when I was little and afraid, I would run to my dad, yelling, “Take. Take. Take.” I said sometimes things in life happen and I feel that impulse and have to fight to keep my arms from reaching up. Yesterday, long ago – all the same in your heart.

Tags: Just Me - AmeliaJake · The Peanut Butter Cafe & Roadhouse

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