Monday we drove to historic Virginia City, Nevada. I was around nine years old the last time I saw Virginia City, so sharing it with my own nine year old girl was a treat. We wandered down the boardwalk and visited dramatic shops.
The colorful history of buildings fascinated us. Ian in particular loved the idea of a ghost town so he found hauntings everywhere. Anika was convinced after seeing that the ghost adventurers visited.
I was amazed to see things from a very different place in my life. I remembered certain things, like the Bucket of Blood, which was very cool. And I remembered the Silver Dollar Lady, a wall-size collection of silver dollars fashioned into a lady's dress. For some reason, that made a big impression on my childhood. We searched her out because she was hidden in a saloon. On the way we found other cool distractions like this:
I loved the vast desert views. Our gold-mining town is tucked into a thick pine forest. This one felt like a survivor-town, rugged and remote, a lost place that landed among stern mountains and dry dirt.
The track led us through an old tunnel to where scars from pit mining dug into the mountains. What an environmental mess. The sweet thing was that the kids brought their little souvenir animals, caring for them along the way.
We finished our day at the cemetery (appropriate). It may sound strange, but I love cemeteries. I have vivid memories of the first visit here as a child. Back then, I was struck by a deep fear of being forgotten. I wanted to be remembered. I thought it was the saddest thing in the world to be lost, all memories, all stories, lost. Over time I have reconciled with that early terror of disappearing. Now, I find cemeteries a place of remembering. These are the stories left on stone, wound into iron gates, distilled into names and dates and perhaps a quote. More than the loss, I see the continuing now. By visiting, by remembering, we hold the past within the present. They have not disappeared. Even while their stones sink into the earth. Or crack. Or are blasted clean by constant dusty winds. The journey matters.
And so many children are buried in this cemetery. We all appreciated each other as we drove home. Appreciated this day. Appreciated life.
A good journey :)
Oh, and we found the Silver Lady!