Today was SO GOOD. Now all I need is rain pattering against the windows while I watch Hannibal to finish it off.
1) Got up early, but not painfully early (10 AM), and drove to Bozrah. Beautiful Bozrah. Johnson Burying Ground. It was perfect there. So calming, peaceful, delightful. I realized why New Haven’s no good: all the old stones are in an unbroken row, so you don’t wander. Your brain doesn’t unwind. It isn’t fun. Bozrah is very fun. I’d been there once before, but the stones face both ways, so lots of them were in shadow. I thought I photographed the afternoon stones, but no—actually I photographed the morning stones! Because, for some unexplained reason, afternoon comes very, very late in Bozrah. So when I arrived I re-photographed the same ones I saw last time, without realizing it until later. But that doesn’t matter, because this time I took a lot more photos, and I also discovered that Bozrah is a Wedding Cake Stone smorgasbord!! There’s a CAKE-and-willow stone. There’s a MINI wedding cake stone. (A wedding cupcake?) There’s a DOUBLE-MINI wedding cake stone! Suddenly my tiny wedding cake stone collection is a turning into an elaborate buffet!
2) After I was finished photographing all the unshaded stones at Johnson Burying Ground, I drove to the Bozrah French Country Market, which was about FIVE minutes away. It’s a one-time-only thing today, put on by the Bozrah Farmers’ Market people, and was sort of a combination flea market and farmers’ market (minus the fresh fruit and vegetables, since they aren’t in season yet). It was fairly small, but a nice size, and really cute, and had good stuff! I had no idea that Bozrah even had a farmers’ market, but apparently it’s a really good one and was voted the #1 Farmers’ Market in Connecticut and #9 in the country last year in the American Farmland Trust “I Love My Farmers’ Market” contest!! (!!!!!?) Yep, it beat the Coventry Farmers’ Market! And it’s on Friday afternoons, and Bozrah is secretly only half an hour away. Why have I never heard of it?? Anyway, I told my in-laws about the French Country Market event a few days ago, and they wanted to go, so we met up there! That was pretty neat. My mother-in-law and I both got truffles from my favorite truffle maker, and Beltane cheese, and I got an eat-it-now food. I’m horrible at getting eat-it-now foods at markets! But I did it, and it was good.
3) Went to…. Johnson Burying Ground, again, at about 1:10! Sitting on a fieldstone wall overlooking a little swift-flowing river, munching on a crisp apple while waiting for the sun to move across the bright blue sky and light the other side of a sweet and quirky collection of 18th century gravestones is pretty much the best way to kill time ever. In my opinion. And my Bozrah Devil Carver stone collection has now expanded!
4) Drove to Parkman Burying Ground, which is also about 5 minutes from the site of the Bozrah Farmers’ Market, but in the other direction! However, the snaily sun was still on the wrong side of the stones at Parkman, even though it was 2:30 by then. (Bozrah is a really weird town.) I gave up and left, since I figured I could always visit in the late afternoon sometime if I go to the Bozrah Farmers’ Market! Anyway, it’s pretty small and doesn’t have much (although there’s supposed to be one Bozrah Devil Carver stone).
5) Drove to Raymond Hill Burying Ground in Montville, which was also a delightfully non-far distance, and was easy to find because my Past Self had saved the location to my GPS when I went there last time but couldn’t get the sun to move across the sky far enough (at 1:30). This time arrived at 3:00 and the lighting was grand! Last time I visited, I wrote, “I was consoled by the fact that there weren’t that many cool-looking stones (as far as I could tell, with the deep shadows on their faces), so it wasn’t as huge a tease as it might have been otherwise.” Soooooo wrong, Past Self! Raymond Hill is fantastic! It looks a little boring when you’re standing at the gate, but it’s secretly PETER BARKER HEAVEN!!! My brain melted down, confronted with so many Peter Barker stones all in one place! There are eighteen of them (I’ll have to count and see if I got them all), and some of them are even readable.
6) While I was snailishly sitting on the ground transcribing this grandly readable Peter Barker stone, Susie commented on Facebook, “You should stop at Scotties on the way home.” It turned out that she was on her way to Scotties with Alex, and was about 20 minutes away. I looked up Scotties on my phone and discovered that I was also about 20 minutes away. So, I finished taking the rest of my photos speedily, and then met up with them and got a frozen custard and Hosmer Mountain birch beer soda! Even though we only live a few towns apart, I haven’t seen Susie in a couple of years. It was really nice, and we got to chat a bunch, and as we were leaving, I said, “Hey, want a CD?” and of course she did because she loves music, so I gave her my test-burn of my spring mix that I’d been listening to in my car CD player!
7) On the way back from Colchester, I stopped at Paul & Sandy’s garden center and bought some herbs for the herb bed! Lemon thyme, English thyme, creeping rosemary, friendly sage, and French tarragon. The two thymes are both giant and I bet Dean will love them since he thinks it’s always time for thyme. When I was paying for the herbs, a person from Pilates said hi to me, and at first I started to say my usual apologetic, “I’m sorry, I’m really horrible with faces…” explanation as to why I didn’t recognize her, but then I realized I DID recognize her, and I blurted out delightedly, “Oh, you’re the new person!!” She said, “Yes, I’m the new TALL girl!” It’s true, the reason I actually recognized her was that she’s super tall (and I remembered her blonde hair, also).
So I actually socialized with FOUR people today (sort of). Is that some kind of record?
Oh yeah, the shoes picture is from Johnson Burying Ground. I tired wearing my Bean shoes for gravehounding today, because my shoes always get really dirty and I feel bad for them. It was great, and I think Bean shoes should be my new official gravehounding shoes! They’re not just good for the yard. They’re good for GRAVE yards, too.
Last night I said to himself, “I’ve got to stop going to so many cemeteries. I feel addicted." I was exhausted and I couldn’t stop. But today was rejuvenating. The choice of burying grounds makes a big difference. And not overdoing it analyzing things to death for 1,000 hours on the computer afterwards when I’m already worn out from driving around all day and getting up early. I’ve got to learn to pace myself.
Okay, Hannibal time. I already ate my liver.