Monday, October 12, 2015

Mystery Monday: The Mystery of Cemetaries

This past Saturday Wes and I went to Warner, NH for their annual Fall Foliage Festival. It was a quintessential gorgeous, New England, October day. The sun was a vibrant blue and dotted with puffy white clouds. The colors on the leaves ranged from bright yellow to fiery crimson. We saw one maple tree that looked variegated – the leaves were yellow in the middle with red edges. Needless to say, we took copious pictures.

It was a fun excursion-acting like a tourist, a “leaf-peeper” as Autumn visitors are called up here. We watched competitions during which teams of oxen pulled heavier and heavier loads, then shopped among the tents filled with jewelry, produce, crafts and furniture. The library was holding a book sale, and the Telephone Museum offered free admission. It was a little weird seeing the novelty phone we used to own in a museum. Are we that old? (But I digress!)

As we ascended the hill toward Main Street, we saw a cemetary. I'm a taphophile (defined by Merriam-Webster's dictionary as a cemetary enthusiast). I love to visit cemetaries, to wander between the headstones and read what is written on them. I especially love the older stones carved with unusual names such as Ezekial, Zebulon, or Asa. There is often the snippet etched in the granite or slate. Usually a sad story such as the one that said the woman had died at aged 41 and 6 days with an infant daughter in her arms. Six days after this mother's birthday she and hew new born daughter had passed away. To the right of her stone stood an obelisk that marked her husband's grave. To his right was the memorial of his second wife.

Immediately questions began to form: How soon after being widowed did the man remarry? Did he truly love his second wife, or did he simply need a mother for his other children? Did he fear for her each time she became pregnant, wondering if he would lose in child-birth, too? How did his second wife feel about being his second wife?

I already have a story forming in my imagination about this trio, and my fingers are itching to get it on paper. Writers are often asked where we get ideas for our stories. We find them everywhere, even in a cemetary.

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