Sunday, August 23, 2009

Our Heritage in Stone

Even though the calendar says August, summer is definitely drawing to a close. There is a distinct autumn chill in the air in the mornings, the cicadas are crooning their final tunes, the kids have returned to school, and all people can do is talk about Nebraska Football!

As with all seasons, it's a time of transition, and for me this year more than most. Shortly after I get this written and posted, all the kids who came home this weekend will accompany the #3 son to Lincoln for the school year. Sometime this afternoon, the house will be quiet.

The main question the kids asked this weekend is "what are you going to do now?" That is something the Mister and I will have to answer as we go along.

Anyway, it doesn't mean that all of the fun is over. Earlier this week, a perfect evening led to the urge to go on a country cruise, and we choose one of our favorite drives. It's a little rustic, and as you can see, the road must be shared with the local population.
We made a stop about halfway into the trip at an old country cemetery. This is in the country near where I grew up, and back in those days, a small church stood next this little burying ground. I don't know what has happened to the church, but the cemetery is still safe and sound.
In no way do I intend to be sacrilegious by posting the pictures of these stones. I only want to get your mind to thinking about the lives that were lived between the dates carved into the granite. 1842 to 1919, and laid to rest in the middle of the Nebraska Sandhills. What do you think the story is?
There is not much of a story between the two dates on the next stone, but you know the story lies in the hearts of others resting beneath different stones. This, unfortunately, is not an uncommon story in any rural area in the early part of the 20th century, where the lives were hard, and medical car far away.
And again, the heartbreak that lived in this household for these years in the 1920's can be read in the beautiful names bestowed upon the precious daughters.
And again...
And another, with only a single date.
And the lesson to be learned from all of this is written on the stone below:
Remember me as you pass by
As you are now so was I
As I am now you will be
Prepare now and follow me
Something always to remember when considering history, different cultures, or simply meeting new people. While many things may be different, their thoughts and emotions and reactions to life's tragedies and triumphs will very nearly be the same as yours.

And now on a lighter note. It was a magnificent evening, the late summer sunlight slanting down at a soothing angle, puffy white clouds floating across the sky, beautiful scenery and wildlife.
Below is an example of the summer bounteous hay crop being preserved for the winter ahead. These are small round bales, of a type not commonly seen any more, although very popular a generation or so ago. Hay preservation comes in many forms - the simplest being haystacks, then there's the haystacks that look like huge bread loaves, then small square bales, big round bales and big square bales. I may have to do a photo essay on this one of these days.

The main drawback in putting up small round bales is the equipment that is used. Small round balers are vicious little beasts that can be deadly to a rancher who doesn't respect the danger. Many lost body parts and a few their lives, thinking they could clear a hay plug or make a simple repair without shutting the power down.

But the bales do look beautiful sitting in the field.
A little closer to home and we were challenged by a spike Whitetail buck to a race. He gave up, and we went on our way, relaxed and refreshed by our drive in the country.
Thanks for stopping by. The coffee is always on.

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