After we left the cemetery we headed to my great-grandpa's farm, where Pap worked as a teenager. This farm hangs on the edge of several hollows. It was a very steep and rocky farm. Most of Pap's stories were about helping run the cider press and the lumber mill. The world he described is so different from the world we live in today. It's hard to comprehend all of the changes he saw in his life. Most of the stories that I love come from his time at this farm.
He guided us to a cemetery where more ancestors were buried, including the first Amish bishop in Pennsylvania. He hadn't been to this cemetery for years, and he was very motivated to go see it. The cometary is at the top of a steep (and at that time very muddy) hill. Keep in mind that this was a 98 year old man who used a walker to get around. He was absolutely determined to go up that hill. So, with much trepidation Dad and I helped him walk up the steep incline.
When he reached the top he spent a long time resting and thinking. The day was hushed and overcast. It was a good place to be introspective. I wonder what thoughts were going through his head. Joy at being able to visit again? Gratitude for the day we had? Deeper thoughts about when his time would come?
I know that I was filled with thankfulness for the day we had spent, and with a new sense of understanding of our family's heritage. I already knew a lot about my family's history and had spent time about once a month sitting and listening to my Grandpa's tales. I'm such a tactile and visual learner though, so this day really brought all of those stories to life. I could picture where the barn was when Pap almost killed his grandpa's new bull, and I could see the route he took to walk to school. I gave me an entirely new perspective.