If you live here you have to be feeling moist. We’ve had rain for days and days on end. We got a one-day reprieve which was marvelous. We were able to get a quick road trip in on the one nice day, but that was about it. My significant other and I spent part of that evening mowing the lawn before the next bout of rain was to hit the very next day. It hit and it was right back into total moisture.
Most folks who live here look forward to spring, summer, and fall. We need warm and clear days just to get ready for winter. I have 3 cords of cut and split wood lying on the ground waiting to be stacked inside the woodshed and I just haven’t gotten to it. The constant rain hasn’t helped, and it hasn’t done much for my general mood either.
We had a death in the family a few short weeks ago. My biological father’s wife passed after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. She was a lovely woman who grew up in the same Georgia town as the author of the Br’er Rabbit books. The rainy weather did not make dealing with her passing any easier. One of my most vivid memories of her was walking down the main street of her hometown and having her point out the extra doors on buildings like the old movie theater. That extra door was meant for “colored only.” She wanted us to know about her town’s shameful past and she wasn’t afraid to point it out, even when it involved her forbears.
We got a bit of a family tree lesson from her, including how her great, great grandparents had owned a plantation nearby. Yes, they had slaves, and yes, she faced the ugly past, did not hide it but did not condone it. For the majority of her adult life, she lived in Vermont where she was most comfortable. I always felt that she was conflicted about her home state and some of its inhabitants, but she never failed to take advantage of a teachable moment whenever we visited their Georgia home. The fact of the matter is that she was well-educated between the University of Georgia and the University of Vermont. Her entire career was spent teaching history and doing her best to instill a sense of social justice in her students. She tackled the issues of race, women’s rights, global warming, and holocaust awareness throughout her career and well ahead of the curve. I hold a great deal of respect for Ms. Belinda Gardner, a strong woman who was always a bit ahead of her time. To have her taken by such a cruel affliction as Alzheimer’s was heartbreaking.
In the aftermath of her passing, it just seemed to rain and rain and rain up here in Vermont. She is returning to the state that she loved just as soon as my biological father can clear the decks in Georgia. Because he is a Korean and Vietnam-era Veteran, his wife will be interred in his space at the Vermont Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery in Randolph, as he eventually will be.
Human beings are such imperfect creatures, but I don’t see how we can progress as a civilized species until we all can face the good and the bad of the past, and learn from it. Belinda knew that and did her best while she could to get the point across.
This rain just keeps on coming and I think of the Creedence Clearwater song “Who’ll stop the rain.”