I learned a new word recently: bombogenesis, the process by which a storm rapidly intensifies. Rhode Island (which is not an island) was recently hit by one of these storms, which brought a lot of snow and even more wind. When I went out to pick up the newspaper (which some fool had actually taken the effort to deliver), I found I could not face north at all without cold, wet, pointy bits of ice continually slamming into my eyes at speeds in excess of forty miles per hour. The next day, there were some pretty intense drifts. Snow depth ranged from practically zero inches up to six feet. The area around the house was clear, but the wind curled around it and dumped a lot of snow on our southern-facing porch.
I haven’t been travelling much lately because I am taking care of my grandfather now that my grandmother has died. I am continuing to write my science fiction book and my philosophy book, but have not taken any time to draw. I am also still conflicted with which direction to take some of my other fiction ideas. In the meantime, I have decided to go ahead and publish more of my musings and observations on the blog in spite of having no true adventures to pair them with. I had wanted this blog to be about travel, but my thoughts are part of my life too. My life is in a slow season. I am also having some baffling computer problems I have to keep working around, so this delays blogging still further.
Southern Rhode Island must be the cemetery capitol of the world. I see a tiny one outside a Rite-Aid, another tucked behind a Burger King, one at the edge of a field, a big one just down the road from where I’m staying, and then I read a story in the local paper about all the cemeteries in the next town, including the one where my grandfather’s parents are buried. We went to go see them and some people my grandfather went to school with. It was an uneventful trip.
The newspaper article on cemeteries was more interesting. It mentioned a mass grave where a scorned traveler had his revenge by burning down a house with dozens inside. It mentioned two women who were rumored to be vampires, possibly because they had frozen solid during the winter and had not decayed come springtime when the ground had thawed enough to bury them. It also mentioned a single, unmarked grave outside a cemetery that took some sleuthing to find out who was there.
New England seems to have a lot of “layers” to it. New developments are built, new neighbors move in, roads are changed, trees grow up, and spots that used to be locally famous become inaccessible and are forgotten. My grandfather speaks of a “split” stone that one can walk through. It is still in the woods somewhere, but surrounded by homes. I’ve also read about a nearby boulder that pivoted atop another to make deep booming sounds heard long distances. Many families used to dump trash such as bottles or old frying pans on their own property. These spots hold a wealth of archaeological data. They have since been covered over and the original families are long gone, but my grandfather still remembers where some of them were.
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My name is Dan. I am an author, artist, explorer, and contemplator of subjects large and small.