Chickens in the Basement

I love to write and I love to laugh. When I write, I get to the point quick. My stories would fit on the back of a postcard. They usually make me chuckle. And you know what they say, "It's all about me!"

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Nothing Scary About This!

In 1997, my husband's office was relocating from Bunn, NC to Raleigh. This required us to step up our search for somewhere closer to his new office to live. Tony wanted land. With two young sons, I wouldn't object. We started our search and were disheartened. Power lines seemed to crisscross plots of land bigger than 2 acres. If the land was power line free, it fronted onto a busy highway. Some had been used as illegal dump sites...old cars, refrigerators, piles of paint cans, old tires, etc.

Finally in February, we found an ad in the paper and called the realtor about it. He offered to meet us at the property. It was nearly 5 acres. An old farm house was across the street and a couple of budding subdivisions were in discussion. We walked the hilly property and discovered many downed trees from Hurricane Floyd the year before. Two dry creek beds Y-ed at the base of the property and eventually made its way to Falls Lake. No power lines! No major roads! Some trash, but none requiring a dumpster! We all loved it immediately.

Then, the realtor pointed out something on the property that might be a deal-breaker. In the front, on top of the hill by the road stood a small family cemetery plot. It was surrounded by a chain link fence. Should we purchase the property, the remaining family would be able to visit their ancestors. The visitation would never be a problem for me, but would the cemetery itself?

We agreed to go home and sleep on it. If it was going to bug me, it would be at night. Turns out, that night and none after have ever been haunted by the cemetery. Very few visitors have come, and the ones who have were rather old.

We bought the land, built our house, and have been here for 10 years. The cemetery has been all but neglected...until this year. This will be my new project.

Let me introduce you to the Jackson Family...

Elizabeth and Willis Jackson

This is Willis' foot stone

Robert and Elsie Jackson

Elsie's foot stone

This stone is just to the right of Robert and Elsie's stone. Twins are buried here. Maudie and Wardie. Life must have been so hard and so sad!

Near the twins stone is Emmette's. He lived just over a month.

I can't read this stone, but the peak on top and the moss surrounding it make it one of my favorites!

This stone is so weathered, I can't make out what is written on it.

And this one has broken in half...I hope due to age and not to vandalism. It was already broken when we bought the land.
I can't imagine living here without the cemetery. My goal this year is to make their family plot a beautiful and peaceful place.


Mary said...

Anna, what a lovely post. I always like to read gravestones in old cemeteries - it's sad when some are of babies and young children. How hard life was back then - many parents buried their offspring far too soon, must have been heartbreaking.

Love that you will fix up the area - hope there are some family members who will keep coming and be grateful for your effort.

Lisa said...

What a wonderful thing to do. I hope you show it again after you have worked on it.

Bless you.

Em said...

How sweet, Anna! I love that you are going to take care of this area. I don't think it would bother me to have an old family cemetery on my property either... as long as it wasn't right next to the house! I'm sure if any other family members stop by, they'll be happy you're taking care of their ancestors for them!

437 said...

What a great story. I have always been drawn to cemetery Monuments and statuary. Even took a class once in gravestone rubbing.

Kate Spike and Her KatS said...

We should all remember to honor the dead and not just our family dead. How many people have an actual graveyard on their property, huh? Please keep us informed as to your progress in straightening up the graveyard. I love that in New Orleans it's an annual family duty.

Pixie said...

i love old cemtaries. we had one in our neighbourhood when i was a kid. it was in an alley behind some houses and we used to go there all the time!