Friday, June 24, 2016

Still Waiting for Summer to Start

At the Ocracoke Island History Museum. My favorite exhibit is the circa 1930s kitchen.

Okay, it sort of has started, but I'm still in that stage of denial where I believe things will settle into a wonderful, productive summer routine. They never do, but a girl can dream.

Last week we took our annual trip to Ocracoke Island on North Carolina's Outer Banks. For reasons I can't explain (but I swear aren't morbid), I spent a lot of time in graveyards this trip. There are eighty-one burial sites on the island, which seems excessive until you think that people have been living and dying on Ocracoke for close to two hundred years. Most of the graveyards are small, some with only a few stones. Some are neatly tended to, and others have been grown over by vines and weeds.

This family cemetery on Howard Street is typical of the graveyards you'll find in the heart of Ocracoke Village:

Things get a little wilder in the wilder parts of town:

I didn't track down all eighty-one graveyards, but I found quite a few. During my explorations I wondered what it would be like if every subdivision had its own cemetery. Why does that seem like such a strange idea?

A folklorist I know documents tombstones and graveyard art in the South--you can find her work here:  Again, it sounds like a morbid preoccupation, but I find something very moving and tender in these spaces. People are so strange and interesting and idiosyncratic and funny. That's what I like about them.


We've been back almost a week, and I can feel a bout of the summer blues brewing. This is not my favorite season. I've decided to give taking an afternoon siesta a try and see if that helps. And yoga. Although I always say I'm going to give yoga a try and I never do. It's sort of like my ongoing plan to clean out my attic. Such a good idea, such folly!


Tomorrow I'm going to Florida for a big librarian convention. I come back Sunday. And then summer will begin for real. I mean it.


Kit said...

I am fascinated by old cemetarys myself and in fact recently I have been reading all about the lost colony of Roanoke. So curious and I wonder if anyone will ever find where everyone went. The mysteries of life. :) I hope you have a great trip! See you when you get back. :) Kit

Nancy McCarroll said...

Graveyards are fascinating. That is the first thing I wanted to see in Castine when my friend drove me around the little town last week. Thinking of all those people who no longer walk this earth, but who had lives that mattered. Not morbid at all.

Will go to the link you mentioned. Right now.

Jo said...

That 1930s kitchen looks remarkably like the kitchen in my new (old) cottage. I feel like I have moved into a Beatrix Potter book.

That is possibly the best summer vacation spot ever. I hope you drifted palely through the graveyards in a floaty white dress.

I am sure napping will make your summer much, much nicer:)

Pom Pom said...

I know what you mean about yoga. Just yesterday I said to a friend, "Let's do yoga together since neither of us know anything about it." We probably won't. Maybe I should try it on the Wii first in the privacy of HOME.
That attic isn't going anywhere. Do it later.
Treat yourself to some real summer pleasures like loafing on the porch with iced tea every day or running through the sprinkler. Maybe you need to designate one day a week for having a tomato sandwich for lunch like Harriet.

magsmcc said...

Ah, talk of the attic. I love your attic. Please go on just talking about the attic. It gives me such hope! I feel those blues right now. Summer starts on Thursday here (despite the fact that we have had our summer weather month in May, as always, and it will just rain on and off now, as always), and I am stressed and sad at the thought of all the interesting things to do that will stay on slips of paper in the interesting things to do jar, and at the knowledge of all the screen time and fights that will not stay in the screen and fights jar. Sigh. There may be reading and music practice, but that will come our of the fights jar too!

GretchenJoanna said...

Cemeteries are holy places. It's good to be with those who are waiting for the Resurrection.

I hope you get to nap. In spite of what I've been writing on my blog, I feel that my summer is only beginning, because I've been so terribly busy and only today am heading back from the brink of insanity.

I'm glad it's hot, and that my house is cooler. When the outdoors gets cooler this evening I will go out and read some more poems, and drink some more tea under the umbrella. I hope to have quite a few days of solitude like this in July.

It doesn't seem to be the time for big projects, like getting exercise, though I admit that while it was still spring I bought a pilates DVD that I haven't opened yet. It may have to wait until fall. This week it's sleep I need.

Angela said...

I love enamelware. We have a blue and white brand called Falcon and I hunt for it in charity shops!

Tracy said...

I think an afternoon siesta...or nana nap.... Is exactly and always the perfect thing no matter whatseasin it is. I always spend the first week of my summer holiday sleeping. I simply cannot keep it together without keeling over half way through the day. Of course, our summer holidays are about half the length of yours (we get six weeks if the timing works out) so I try and get a year's worth of afternoon naps in while I can!