Yesterday I went out to my favorite spot west of town
hoping to raise my spirits
and to snap photos of several barns
that I am featuring in a seasonal progression project.
What I found dismayed me--
no, that is too mild.
I was close to tears
Years ago, the residents of this tiny town
were told we had a green belt around our beloved homes
that would prevent any stripping or drilling of the land.
What we weren't told was that it was a flimsy piece of paper
with no legal weight
as the 'town' did not purchase the land for that green belt.
They simply declared it.
So you can imagine the shock when about 6 years ago,
a huge coal company began stripping those precious acres.
It turns out that they bought the land and thus could do what they wanted with it.
Each year they have come closer and now they are almost up to the road
that I travel for my photos.
You could barely see that tower before,
but they have cleared out around it.
In the next photos you can see some equipment.
What you can't see is the HUGE equipment
up over the far hill (my battery died)
and you can't hear the awful noise.
From what I've seen on my drives to and from school,
this equipment belongs to the gas drilling, as in fracking, companies.
I would guess that a monstrous towering well will be erected soon.
I wonder if they have to allow the tower to remain.
These guys tend to horribly tear up the land.
If the coal company owns the land,
they sell or lease it to the fracking company.
If private owners have the land,
most have succumbed to that temptation called money.
Across the way from it is this scene.
I would say they are getting ready to strip this part.
Below in the distance you can see some of the stripped land.
I couldn't get a good picture of the part that is truly ugly
and absolutely devoid of any vegetation of any kind.
This sign, in front of the above parcels of land, says it all.
So my spirits were not lifted.
Spring is still not in evidence and everything was still the dull colors of parched winter.
And the machines have arrived.
That leads me into today,
one of the two biggest days for Christians
and probably the most important, although his birth needed to happen
for this day to eventually occur.
Today is a celebration of Jesus' resurrection,
a life changing moment for anyone who believes.
I do believe.
So why do I not like Easter?
It started 19 years ago.
It was the first Easter after the divorce
and the first holiday without the ex-husband and I celebrating together
with the kids.
He was solidly linked up with my ex-best friend of 15 years
and would be married to her by July.
Meanwhile, my son and I dressed up and drove out
to the little country church that my dad pastored as a retired minister.
Mom was there too of course.
But over on a side aisle were my ex-in-laws
who had followed my father to this church.
They and my parents were best friends.
Normally, we would all sit together.
Well, actually we would go to our own church
and then meet both sets of parents at the country club
where we would eat a lovely Easter buffet together.
But when we did visit this church, we would all sit together.
My son went and sat with his grandmother.
I ended up standing in my dad's office, bawling,
while I could hear the service and esp. my dad's sermon.
It was horribly gut wrenching.
My daughter had gone with her dad.
She was attending our old church.
(That church had not reached out to me,
but instead kept close the part of the pair that had the money.)
No more seeing her all dressed up and standing by her brother.
No more hiding her Easter basket along with her brother's.
No more family get-together at the club
in which we celebrated secular Easter
after having celebrated the Christian Easter.
My son and I went to my parents house
where mom had a lovely dinner for us all.
Their hearts were breaking as was mine.
That set the tone for the years to come.
I hoped that grandchildren would change it,
but my daughter-in-law's family had precedence on Easter
and if my son and his family attended church,
it was the old church
and guess who was there?
(his dad and step-mom and her huge extended family)
I have never blamed my son for returning there.
I am thankful he goes to church and esp. that he takes his kids to church.
They are able to go much more regularly now that his non-believer ex-wife
doesn't rule every Sunday.
Plus I lived in Cincinnati.
I would come home to be with my dad
and we would attend the church where he was a member.
(He gave up his own church after my mom died.
They had moved to a retirement campus and he had taken on a church
in Canton, Ohio.)
I have lived in my hometown now for 8 years.
My son lives a half hour away.
He and his children will be sitting with his dad and step-mom
who came up from Florida for a short visit.
I have no problem sitting with them at Christmastime
or any other time.
I go to their home.
I sit and talk and laugh with them at the grandkids' birthday parties.
I hold no resentment towards them for choosing each other.
Except on Easter,
when they not only sit in my old church
with grandkids that are part mine,
but they go out to the club
and have an Easter buffet together.
I could go to the church here that my dad once pastored.
But I know that Easter is not the time to face the memories
of him up behind the pulpit.
Nor do I feel up to facing the little children with their parents
and/or grandparents (many of whom I went to school with).
And then there is the 'Easter outfit'.
I have none and don't want one.
So I am at home, celebrating Jesus' resurrection with my own devotions
and prayer time.
And that's why I don't like Easter.