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recent road trip...

Saturday, July 30, 2016
... was a run up to SC to visit my pen pal. He is 93, so I get up to see him as frequently as I can. I  usually go about once a month, making an effort to pace myself as it is really too much to attempt in one day. I will either invite myself to stay overnight with a cousin who lives nearby in SC, or sleep in Decatur. Otherwise it adds up to about eight hours of driving - not really doable in a day.

After spending the night in Decatur, I got up early on Friday to drive up to Greenville. Always hoping to get well out of town and off the perimeter highway, past that fearful scene of twelve lanes of traffic, before the congestion is at it's peak.  They seem to go from one extreme to the other: either stalled and slowed to an 8 mph crawl, or driving at breakneck speeds. I was well on my way east, before the sun was above the tree line, so feel like I missed the most  intimidating part of the lunacy.

We had a nice visit. He as always entertaining, amusing, interesting. We talked about his family history. Someone he knows had done some genealogy research for him, and printed a lot of pages from Ancestry.com, going back well over a thousand years. Really impressive. Plus he loves to organize, so he had hole-punched and put all the amassed info. in a binder, in chronological order, naturally. With origins in France, Wales, and England before they immigrated to North America. (Interestingly enough, some were buried in the town in southwest UK I visited in early July.)

He wanted to go out in the country, west of Greenville to look for a church with a cemetery where relatives were buried. And said there used to be a fresh water spring nearby, explaining that was why the area was originally settled, with a water source for drinking. We found the church, but had to stop at a house to ask about the spring. Still right there where he left it, over eighty years ago. The church has apparently been decommissioned, and is no longer in use. We found his people, there in the cemetery, right where they were planted in the 1800's.

The heat was miserable by mid-afternoon, so we quit the search, and plan to continue when I go again. Having been taken to cemeteries as a child, by grandparents who would want to visit their forebears in middle GA., I have an affinity for visiting graveyards. Those places associated with death seem to be so peaceful and serene. Even in the blistering heat of July, that abandoned place of repose was not depressing or sad. Not a place to drag out the feeling of loss or grief, but some how providing comfort and a feeling of connection.


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