Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

January 30, 1897

The cabin that William E. Bernard built in 1854 is falling in. Last month, a high wind took out the top of a chimney. The porch—replaced in the 1960s—rotted away a few years ago and the porch roof pulled loose. The tin roof has rusted. Windows sagged and collapsed. Even the chestnut logs are falling prey to insects and decay. No one has lived in the cabin since 1959.

But a little window—about a foot square—is still there. William cut it through the logs so he could sit by the fireplace and look across the hillside pasture at the grave of his wife, Gillie Ann, who died January 30, 1897. She was 58.

The pasture is gone. Woods have filled the hillside, so the little graveyard is no longer visible from the homesite. William joined her over a decade later. For a while their graves were marked by simple stones. Hers was carved; his was just a flat stone. Several decades ago, their children provided a big double headstone to mark their graves. But the old stones still remain.

Trees now grow from their graves; no doubt the roots entwine and join what little remains of their bodies and their wooden coffins.

After the cabin falls and little window is gone, after the termites and decay have their way with the remains, will anyone remember a husband's devotion?


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Blogger Amy Hanek said...

I LOVE the pictures! It is nice to see this cabin during daylight hours.

Thank goodness you have blogged about this window and taken pictures because now we WILL remember this husband's devotion long after the cabin is gone.

9:28 AM  
Blogger Debi said...

Like Amy said, now that you documented it, it will always be remembered. How touching.

9:31 PM  

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