Tuesday, May 20, 2008
regret, Captain Bartholomew and our little village
Tink's weekly word challenge is for photography depicting pure and regret. I would like to live life with no regret, so that as I could say today "I have lived well, and have no regrets". No, I don't want to skydive or climb Everest, I don't regret not having done that, and I am proud and happy of my little dog and cat family, my work and my sweet and beautiful wife.
BUT, a fellow my wife works with, 40ish, was standing at the bus stop with his two kids and dropped dead Friday. Just like that! I hope he was happy and cracking jokes with them, it had been a good day, and he had no regrets in his life.
I do not want to sound morbid, but this thinking took me and the camera to our village cemetery, which, like the village of Etna, is about 200 years old, with Revolutionary War (begun-1776) heroes buried in the back. It is not used much or at all. I think it is full and ignored and a bit overgrown, a goth's paradise really, and only 200 yards down the road. Although there is a fantastic nature preserve next to it, and both make superb walking with dogs, I hadn't been over there since CM visited nearly two years ago.
In the far corner by the road is Civil War (end-1865)Captain Bartholomew, curious because he died in The Wilderness, and he has a beautiful monument. He was 28 when he died, but his wife lived forever! She was a widow over 50 years after he died in his twenties! There were no children. The Captain was a hero, and it was easy to find out this information about him online. He enlisted as a private at the start of the war, and rose to captain after a few years and key battles--very unusual!
Interestingly, in the back of the cemetery is a very old fellow, veteran of the Revolutionary War (1776) AND the War of 1812, Jesse Bartholomew, who I later discovered had 15 children, who was the Captain's grandfather.
Sadly, I saw this strip of six connected stones--5 of which are for children of the same family, the Sherwood's, all of whom died on different days of the same week in the 1850s, aged 4-20. God, what was it? Flu? The parent's stone is of a different material, and so worn I cannot read when they died. In the map of the village from 40 years later, 1895, 2 households near the church have Sherwoods. So the whole family was not wiped out.
I walked out of the cemetery and bumped into a neighbor, who has lived here his whole life, and in his family's house which they built 130 years ago. Naturally, he has stories about many things, then I went to the town PO and asked to see the folder that holds the collected town history. There I copied the map, which I think shows our house as either the shoemakers place or the Van Horns (41), and then these 2 pics showing our house in the 1890s.