So, my sister has a problem.
Well, really, my parents have a problem.
And if my sister and my parents have a problem, so do I.
My parents bought a used camp trailer last year, and it was in pretty rough shape. It is now in worse shape for the winter, as my sister discovered as she came down yesterday to prepare it for the season. Bad enough that the roof and at least two walls will need to be replaced.
And, as I don’t have anything else to do at the moment, I was drafted into helping.
I got to do deconstruction.
I genuinely enjoyed the drive down. It probably had a lot to do with the fact that it’s now legal for me to drive my car, so I wasn’t as paranoid about cops, but I’m going to claim it had everything to do with the time of year.
I spotted several largish patches of wildflowers–indian paintbrush and globe mallow. I could see meadowlarks singing their hearts out on fence posts, and saw perhaps a dozen hawks and eagles. I could smell the sagebrush, and the alfalfa that’s ready to cut, and the rye just starting to bloom.
And then my nose stopped working and my eyes started to swell shut. Ahhh, spring.
I came into town a different way than I usually, do, mostly because I wanted to stop and take pictures of wildflowers if I saw any more, and I had a car pass me, that I later passed, and I didn’t want it to see me stopped on the side of the road. Yeah, I’m insecure like that.
I drove though what I consider my real home town, the place where I lived until I was 8. It’s been more than 20 years since we moved, but it still feels like home.
I figured, since I was already there, and my eyes were already swelling shut from the rye, I might as well swing by the cemetary, to find the grave of Clayborne Elder. (You can read about him here)
So, here’s the thing. I know the Leamington cemetery. I know a lot of people who are buried in the Leamington cemetery. Heck, I’m related to perhaps half of them. But I’ve always known that. I’ve always known that my Mom’s ancestors settled the area, and I’m still related to at least a third of the population in and around this community.
But that’s all my mom’s side. Clayborne Elder is–different, somehow.
I found his grave, and discovered that it’s very well taken care of. There’s a fence around it, and the old sandstone headstone was replaced by a granite one at some point.
When I saw it, I started to cry.
My roots in this area run deep. I always knew that they did, but when I was standing there, realizing that this was my family–from my paternal line, surrounded by maternal ancestors, I felt them go even deeper. It’s weird. I felt the family connection, and also the connection to place.
This is where I belong, and I can’t imagine living anywhere else.