Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Dying in the Winter in New England

The Town Tomb.   Cold Storage. What?!  A short history lesson for those from away.  It is hard to dig a grave in the frozen earth of New England.  At least it used to be before heavy equipment.  What to do with those who didn't make it through the long, dark, cold winter?  The town tomb.  Any one who passed was put in here until it thawed out enough to plant them permanently in the spring.  I guess I'm thinking of this this year as it is still so frozen out.   I took these photos in Fitzwilliam, NH yesterday-St. Patrick's Day.  Today, I saw dozens of people out ice fishing on the Oxbow in the Connecticut River.  J walked out to an island across the ice at camp a day or two ago.  The ice hasn't diminished on the pond behind the house either.  It was in the single digits again this morning.

I have a friend who has some responsibilities for the cemetery in his town. In the fall he makes an assessment of who might need a spot during the winter, and they then dig some extra spaces in the fall, before frost.  This is a contemporary practice.  Must be an interesting conversation at the transfer station (the place where all news is gathered in a small town).  "How's old Bill doin'?" "Not so good""Better plan on a dig"  "Did you hear about Jim's operation?" "That's two I'd better dig."

The Cremation of Sam McGee by Robert Service read by Johnny

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