Friday, November 2, 2018

Coffeeneuring 2018 - Fourth Cup with Foliage and Family...

Tea time with my deceased father and grandmother in beautiful cemetery grounds.
Late October in weather in Vermont can be fickle; this year it's rainy and cool, but the spectacular Autumn colors are especially brilliant, tethered against grey skies and verdant hues. Nearly dusk, I set out with a full thermos of hot tea, gardening gloves, a trowel, and several flower bulbs all stashed in a makeshift handle bar bag on my Dahon. Plus lights, of course, because I would return home well after dark.

As I pedaled along in light drizzle, I mused over how far I'd come as a commuter cyclist, fully embracing less than ideal conditions for the sake of a bike ride. And it was these checkered weather patterns: either frosty and cold or rainy and/or blustery weekends that invariably fall during coffeeneuring time that made me leave stove and apparatus behind this year in favor of lugging instant, hot beverages by thermos. I couldn't be happier! This simple change means I can fully enjoy tootling along, sometimes setting out without a particular historical place in mind (my theme this year) as was the case when I decided to plant flower bulbs at my family's grave site. I intended to find another spot after my mission to fulfill my historical quest, but then it occurred to me that this cemetery is my personal history, home to my father and paternal grandmother (plus a slew of other relatives) and the appropriate thing to do was sit and have tea with them.

Satiated and warm, I pedaled several miles along the waterfront trail, embracing the darkness and listening to soothing waves. It's refreshingly quiet - one of the rare moments - as few cyclists ride the unlit path. To complete a loop, I eventually turned uphill for a mile - difficult on my 6 speed folder - to get home. 

The History: New Mount Calvary Cemetery is home to most of my relatives, including: great grandparents, great uncles and aunts, plus various cousins. I learned that the Valade Family farm (farmhouse and barn still exist today adjoining north end) sold land in 1936 to the Catholic diocese to establish another cemetery. I've met and enjoyed several visits with Joe Valade, who was a dear neighbor and friend to my grandparents, who I presume, is one of the children. It's a small world.

The Place: New Mount Calvary Cemetery
Date: Sunday, October 28
Drink: Trader Joe's Apple Cranberry Tea
Observation:  I treat cemeteries like parks because of the wonderful old trees and interesting gravestones.
Total Miles: 16

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