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If we were having coffee: A walk through a cemetery

Showing off his feathers.  (This was taken here at the ranch before I left to go on vacation.)

Nobody can discover the world for somebody else. Only when we discover it for ourselves does it become common ground and a common bond and we cease to be alone.

~ Wendell Berry, A Place on Earth 

A morning walk in Montrepose Cemetery, Kingston, New York.

If we were having coffee, it would be lovely to see you again.  Come on in out of the heat!  It is oppressive out there today.  The temperature was near 90°F before 9:00 this morning.  I don’t know what the current humidity level is but the air feels thick and heavy.  Thank goodness for the clouds, and for the wind which has been blowing and gusting.

We have the usual coffee, a large assortments of teas, some blueberry sparkling water that I picked up in Vermont, lemon & mint infused water, beer, wine, and probably a number of other things I’m forgetting.  As for snacks, today it’s all about the dairy (did I mention Vermont?).  We have several cheeses, a variety of crackers, and fresh bread from the farmers market.  For those looking for something sweet, there is a bag filled with Lindt’s chocolate truffles from the Lindt outlet store in Maine.  I didn’t know they have so many flavors until I stepped in there and saw them all.  It’s a mixed bag and they’re not labeled so you’ll have to wait and be surprised by the first bite.  I don’t recall all the flavors we picked, but they include pineapple, citrus, caramel, fudge swirl, and coffee.

There were many interesting statues and tombstones in the Montrepose Cemetery.

How are you?  What have you been up to lately?  Has summer been treating you well so far?  Have you traveled anywhere or seen any new sights?  Have you gone on any good walks or hikes?  Read any good books or seen any good films?

Cherub and irises.

I finished reading Black Chalk by Christopher J. Yates.  I had high hopes for it in the beginning, but was a tad bit disappointed with the ending.  Ah well.  I’m not sure I could have come up with a better ending, and the book did entertain and keep me turning the pages.  I am currently reading Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education by Michael Pollan.  I am thoroughly enjoying it and learning more than a few things about gardening.

As for films, I have nothing to report.  M and I haven’t been here to watch movies and it’s something we didn’t do while we were traveling.

On the hillside.

If we were having coffee, tea, or some other beverage, I would tell you (in case you missed it) that M and I have been traveling for most of the month of June.  We went north through Upstate New York to Vermont then on to Maine.  Vermont was business for M who attended a conference there.  I hung out with a dear friend whose husband was also there for the conference, and we had a few adventures and saw many interesting things.  In Maine we met up with family (including Little Wookie) where we also saw many interesting things and had a few adventures. I will be showing and telling you all about the trip as the days and weeks go by.  As you might imagine, I took a bazillion photos.

I loved, loved, loved Vermont, and feel pretty much the same way about Maine.  There was an unexpected heatwave during the first few days we were in Vermont.  Once it cooled down, it was absolutely wonderful.  Even in the heat it was absolutely wonderful.

Celtic cross.

Today’s photos are from a walk M and I took on Friday, June 9, before leaving Kingston, New York.  We picked up a walking tour brochure and I immediately gravitated towards Montrepose Cemetery because, as you probably already know, I love walking around in cemeteries, especially older cemeteries where you find old trees and lots of lovely statuary.  M seems to enjoy touring old cemeteries, too.

I can’t find much information about Montrepose Cemetery online.  I thought I’d read that it was designed by Calvert Vaux who, in partnership with Frederick Law Olmstead, designed Central Park in New York City, but I can’t verify that.  What I can verify is that Vaux is buried in Montrepose Cemetery.  He accidentally drowned in Gravesend Bay in Brooklyn, New York, while visiting his son.

The Coykendall family plot.

The cemetery was formed in 1850, and is said to be example of “19th century cultivated Romantic style landscape” (from “A Walking Tour of the Chestnut Street Historic District and Neighborhood” sponsored by the Friends of Historic Kingston).  It is a large cemetery and I’m not sure M and I covered it all.  Some of the other folks buried there include:

  • Jervis McEntee, an American artist who was part of the Hudson River School.  Vaux, by the way, married Jervis’s sister, Mary, and is buried among the McEntees.
  • Arthur Sherwood Flemming, who was the U.S. Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare under President Eisenhower’s administration.
  • There is a large Jewish cemetery within Montrepose Cemetery for the congregation of Agudas Achim.
On another hillside.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it feels good to be home for the weekend with no plans and nowhere we have to be.  M and I did ride out to a local orchard and farm market to pick up some fresh fruit and veggies earlier today.  The first of the peaches are in season, and they are amazingly sweet and juicy.  While we were out and about, we stopped by the fishmonger’s for some shrimp and flounder to have for dinner.  We ate our share of seafood while in Maine, mostly lobster because it was Maine and it was lobster season.

Overcast morning.

If we were having coffee, tea, or something else to drink, I would tell you that the local fireworks show, celebrating the 4th of July, are tonight.  I’m not sure if we’ll go.  The heat and humidity are keeping me undecided.  Plus I’m feeling lazy, and loathe to spend too much more time in the car.  It’s about a 30 minute drive (which seems to be the case for everything around here) to where the fireworks display will be.

Sheltered.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that we opened the pool this week.  If you brought your suit along with you, we should take our beverages out there and go for a swim.  The water temperature is near 80°F now which is plenty warm enough in this heat.

I really like the way the cemetery was designed around the landscape.

If we were having coffee, tea, or some other beverage, it would be time for me to turn this over to you so you can tell me all about what you’ve been doing lately.  Thank you so much for stopping by today.  I always enjoy our coffee chats.  Feel free to stay a while, go for a swim or a walk, and we can decide later about the fireworks.  I don’t think it’s worth going out to the dock or the Point for sunset this evening.  We are pretty socked in with cloud cover and it’s unlikely we’ll see anything.

Be good, be kind, be loving.  And take the time to pause once in a while throughout your day to Just Be.  🙂

A shaded path.

This post is in response to #WeekendCoffeeShare which now has a new home.  Thank you to Nerd In The Brain for taking on the job of hosting it, and to Diana for starting it. Put the kettle on, start the coffee maker, open a bottle of wine, or whatever your preference is, and join us.  I’d love to hear all about what you were up to this week.

One more look at our resident Great Blue Heron.
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Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

11 thoughts on “If we were having coffee: A walk through a cemetery

  1. I will have your snacks–cheese and chocolate. Yum! 🙂
    That cemetery is lovely. I guess it was built after Mt. Auburn in Cambridge, MA, and Laurel Hill in Philadelphia, but part of that whole movement. All the photos are beautiful, but who can ever tire of the great blue heron?
    Enjoy your weekend/holiday, Robin!

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  2. The Great Heron photos are incredible. I loved reading your post, as I have family in Maine and friends in Vermont, and the things you mentioned reminded me of things I’ve heard them say. Sounds like summer in the east, which I really love. Thanks for taking us there with you!

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  3. You certainly did clock the miles this trip. Old New England cemeteries are interesting places to visit – there are often stones dating back to the 1700s and since families were buried together you can piece together their history. Sad tales of multiple infant mortalities and women dying in childbirth. Men with up to 5 wives in tandem! Decorated headstones and epitaphs are fun to read as well.
    Happy Fourth to you both!

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  4. Boy, you know how to bury the lede. I was enjoying the travel tales (actually thinking of moving to Vermont) but then you said POOL. I’d sooooo be there. July and I generally don’t get along and, being not that far from you, I, too, and enjoying lots of humidity. sigh

    Thanks for the cemetery pics. I sometimes go to the one near me, to visit someone I know, but also to read or to walk. Very quiet places those. 🙂

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  5. First of all, your photos are lovely. Cemeteries have their own beauty in a haunting way. The Celtic Cross headstone is beautiful.

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  6. I love graveyards. They have much to tell. This one is particularly lovely. The trees are beautiful. You can’t scare me with heat, but I freak out in humidity. I wish I could stay longer, but I am melting. Thanks for the iced coffee.

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Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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