Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Having a Boo Radley Moment

As it happens, Mrs. Olsen and The Mister of the House recently spent an entire childless, work-free, vacationing week in celebration of 10 years of marriage. We reveled in fall colors and American History on the East Coast. Our camera batteries died on day 4, but on day 2 we had a lovely Boo Radley moment. Come on in if you dare!



The Mister of the House has strong opinions about headstones. He despises the shiny, ostentatious, marble headstones of the present. He insisted that he wanted a simple thin headstone someday (to accompany his pine box) just like the ones throughout this cemetery.


Romantic huh? Here's some of the folks we paid our respects to:


Of course, we also talked about having a bench on a simple hillside to commemorate our final resting place. Benches also go well with pine boxes.


And I thought Mother Goose was just a cute little kids story. Evidently she was better than that, a doting loving mother that could entertain childlike imaginations.





Just look at that John Hancock! Nothing like some male ego to tell the King of England to back off! There's a new alpha-male on the block called democracy.



Anyone who knows The Mister of the House, knows how nearly impossible and vexing it is to get him to pose for a camera. Prepare to be amazed at this next picture for which he happily obliged and posed:



If anyone is wondering, I love this photo. I love that my man wants to be buried in a pinebox on a country hillside with a bench!

It's almost inspiring to think of an entire life, and the legacy they left behind them, burning a trail to heaven with intermittent ash falling on the present. Cemeteries are good for that. It makes you think of the legacy you might leave behind, if any at all. Paul Revere, John Hancock, fought a dear fight for our liberties, and I was quietly reminded of that at this place.

And yet, the legacy that touched me most personally, although not to diminish the great cause of our First Patriots...was this:


Josiah Franklin and Abiah his wife, lie here interred. They lived lovingly together in wedlock fifty-five years; and without an estate or any careful employment; by constant labor and honest industry, maintained a large family comfortably, and brought up thirteen children and seven grandchildren respectably. From this instance, Reader, be encouraged to diligence in thy calling, and distrust not Providence. He was a pious and prudent man; she a virtuous woman. Their youngest son, in filial regard to their memory, places this stone. J. F. Born, 1655. Died, 1744. Aet. 89. A. F. Born, 1667. Died, 1752. Aet. 85


With all the living to inspire others, the American Dream, celebrities, do-gooders, and world-changers...sometimes it's tough to live "small". At least to be content while doing it. Motherhood seems to be one of those things the world considers small. And when my kid has diarrhea and I change 13 runnies in a day, I too wonder if it is worth it.

So thank you Josiah and Abiah, for living quietly without acquiring much worldly goods, for being content without a big estate, and for encouraging diligence in the great calling of family life. There is something so inspiring and beautiful about their lives. Eulogy penned by none other than their youngest son, Benjamin.



15 comments:

Kelly Bryson said...

Happy ten years! I've never been to Boston, or Philadelphia, and barely made it to NY (about 18 hours worth. That was a long day.) What made you guys come East?

Mrs. Olsen said...

Cheap tix and a sister that lives in Boston means I could afford a getaway. Sometime in our travels we need to hook up!

April said...

I don't know if I would visit a cemetary if I traveled back east...

I really loved this post. It reminded me of the time Chay, my sister and I went to an old old cemetery out in the woods up in the middle of nowhere- we were looking for Cordilia, my great great great something- we found her finally. It was great. Sister took a picture of her grave for record-

paula said...

Looks like you had fun. I love historical trips like this.

LGH said...

Amber, you are such a fun writer. I love your blog and the pictures that you post. I also love how you appreciated those old headstones. Now, I have some very interesting news for you and the Mister of the House....when my father died, he always said he wanted to be buried in a pine box. When we went to pick out the casket, the MOST expensive one was made out of pine! That surprised me, so we couldn't AFFORD to get my dad his wish of a pine box to be buried in!
Glad you had such a great time; you both deserve and earned it!

jennaloha said...

Yay you posted again! I always look forward to our postly encounters. Good pictures, witty humor, and a little meritable lesson tucked in for good measure. More! More!

Sounds like a great trip- thanks for letting me visit Boston vicariously. And Happy Halloween to you, Mrs. Olsen.

Wade and Marilyn said...

Great post and happy ten years. Lots of love--

Lee Family said...

so true. I think we need little boosts like this to compete with the world's perception of success. I have never visited that cemetery - just drove by it on the duck tour. How LAME am I? You're such a good writer.
Anyway, thanks again for coming my sissy. I wish you could have stayed 7 days longer. love ya

earwaxtasteslikecrayons said...

Thanks, Ambos.

Lee Family said...

and you look so perty in that picture my beautiful sister

Angie said...

Sooo cool! I love old cemetaries and the amazing heritage that our country holds. I think certain people high up in the government need to pay a little visit to those places. And I would come sit on your "bench" and think of you! Happy 10 years!

Allen Family said...

Love old cemetaries! Love your writing! Love, love Mr. Benjamin's homage to his parents! Jealous of your trip!

(someday, Nik, it will be my turn for the East Coast tour)

Lee Family said...

How come no one knows how to spell cemetery.

Kimberly Davis said...

You are amazing....you never fail to inspire!

Mrs. Olsen said...

I am so ticked that pine boxes are the most expensive!

Seriously, cemetery is misspelled so much nowadays. Thanks for the spellcheck sis.