My Aunt who shall remain nameless, called me one afternoon in early fall. A season, for the Rio Grande Valley, being truly definitive only by non-weather-related markers of passing, such as high school football games, and the beginning of white-wing hunting. The weather being what it is however, makes for splendid year-round barbequing, which was what the call was about. More particularly, and highly on my favorite lists, it was about fajitas. For the uninitiated, that’s flank steak, tenderized and marinated. For me, it was, “when should I be over?”
Now, one thing about my Aunt. She loves a good story as good as the next, but her’s usually contain highly embellished bits and pieces, when she’s doing the telling. She told me the time to come over (yes, I could bring the boyfriend) and “oh, did you know it’s going to be a full moon tonight?” I’ve been in love with the cycle of the moon probably for many lifetime visits to this planet, so I knew she had this account straight. I answered that I did. She then launched into a story about visiting a cemetery, in order to witness a grave site of a recently deceased and buried woman with her exact name. I asked, “A lady with your same name?”
“Yes,” she answered. ”You like cemeteries, right? And we can go after dinner, in the moonlight!”
I do like cemeteries, often-times finding them the safest places to ride my bike. To this day, I still tour cemeteries in all of my travels, often-times photographing the most unique and oldest tombstones. I doubted her story, but thought a moonlight walk sounded fun enough.
After dinner, when darkness had fully descended, we all piled into my Uncle-by-marriage’s car. That was me, my boyfriend (eventual 1st husband) my Aunt, and said Uncle. A short Sunday drive later, we pulled into the long drive leading towards the cemetery. We rode down a narrow lane, flanked by an empty field with one lone cow, and to our North, the seemingly deserted cemetery.
The road we had turned onto was unpaved; the empty field recently plowed and all dirt, devoid of even so much as a tree. The cemetery we entered into was open, and I don’t recall a gate, just a barren plot of land with a few scraggly, short mesquite trees. There were no other cars, visitors, or monsters in plain sight.
(To be continued…)