I hope that everyone had a Happy Memorial Day. We always try to do something memorial-y and this year my friend was tour guiding at an old cemetery nearby.
Isn't she cute? So we decided to go over there on Sunday after church with friends and had a wonderful time. We first had a little walking tour with someone else from church and he showed us the old storage space where they would keep bodies until they could be buried -- wouldn't want to get locked in there, spooky! We learned the difference between a crypt and a mausoleum and about the different types of headstones and memorials. They then gave us some candies and water while we waited for the trolley. What a completely harmless and kind thing to do. Phin ate one -- I said one, little, tiny, insignificant -- tootsie roll and was covered from head to toe with chocolatey stickiness. Someone came by and asked if he had had a chocolate ice cream cone. No, a mere tootsie roll caused this much damage. I've washed his shirt three times now and it is still stained, but it kept him happy and that is all that matters in life, right? Next we were given a ride on this tractor pulled trolley and would stop at various spots to talk about the interesting life of a Bloomington son or daughter. All of the stories were so fascinating -- circus performers and opera singers, politicians and quack doctors, midwives and mothers. I love to think about people's stories and how a whole life can be wrapped up into a tight little package of a paragraph. What would be our talking points? I also like living in an old house because there is life soaked into the walls (not literally, of course, ew!) and other people's memories swirling around. I can sense that nothing too horrible has happened in our house because it has such a serene spirit. Matthew and I could feel it when we first saw the house. Hey, that is seven years ago this week! Wow. We saw thirty or more houses on a Monday. Went back to see some on Tuesday, and bought our first house on Wednesday. When we initially walked in we were phantasmed by the shiny floors and completely charmed with the second staircase and unique nooks. Matthew was amazed that the distinctive front and back doorknobs were the same ones that were on his childhood home in Fresno, California. I sat down on the bottom step and for the first time felt like I was home. I felt the spirit of happy families and pleasant busy-ness and still feel it as we've added our own stamp to it. I used to always be scared at night, but have never felt that way here. We even decided to ignore the fact that there was only one bathroom and not enough bedrooms. That is true love.
Okay, back to the present and the cemetery drenched in past. All of the kids seemed to like it, even the surly teenage boys who wandered off before we embarked on the trolley, found their own fun in spying on us, hiding behind large markers, with only their telltale gangly athletic shoes poking out. Every once in a while we'd also catch a peek of their mischievous smirks. Then we started the macabre subject of what do they do when the cemetery is full because those dead people aren't going anywhere and Ella told us that in Europe they dig up the bodies after a while so there is room for more. I don't know if that is true, but just cremate me please.
On Monday we hung out with the same friends who were kind enough to take us to State Farm pool. It was delightful, of course, but then my dear Ella left her brand new, only worn once, totally splurged upon, no longer available, J. Crew swimsuit in the shower -- never to be seen again! The lady at the lost and found asked, "Was it nice?" As if that could excuse and explain why someone STOLE it. We are praying that they will be so consumed with guilt that they will eventually return it to the office and we will be reunited with it once again. Another lesson in not paying too dear for anything.