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We come running

July 1, 2013

For the past few years, I’ve been doing the Couch to 5k workout and running a 5k (or three) each summer. I’m not a proficient, or prolific, runner, but it is a nice way to vary my workouts and to have some time to myself three mornings a week.

I’m doing the program again this year, though I started later than I’d wanted to thanks to the crazy May snowstorm. Last year I had two routes that I would run, one heading west through town, the other heading north. They weren’t ideal (not very scenic and fairly flat, which can make for an awfully boring run sometimes), but they worked.

Last summer, our town completed a very nice bike path/nature trail that runs through town from the Wellness Center to the state park. It’s a great trail that connects with our lovely cemetery, and that’s what I’ve taken to running through this year. It’s much more scenic, though still fairly flat. But, as I am a poor excuse for a runner most days, the flatness isn’t really a bad thing. It helps that the cemetery is about a five-minute walk from our house, which is precisely the required cool-down for the Couch to 5k program. Perfect!

I’m not generally a morning person, but views like these helped make the workouts a little easier.

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Most mornings it was wonderful “running” weather (I say running, but let’s be real, here, what I do isn’t exactly considered quality running. It’s more like a hybrid between jogging and fast walking). But sometimes it was cool and cloudy, and the fields would be covered in mist and fog.

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Jogging through the cemetery also gave me time to look around and appreciate what a beautiful memorial space we have here. It’s something I never truly understood when I was growing up.

There are lovely statues.

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That also have beautiful perennials that bloom in the spring and summer.

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Shady avenues of stately pines

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And even some bare, gnarled, spooky old trees (what self-respecting cemetery would be without at least a few of these).

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The majority of the cemetery is on top of a hill that overlooks a large grassy lawn and small creek. Throughout the various areas of the cemetery, are these wonderful cement faux bois memorial benches. What a lovely place to sit and rest and remember your loved ones, or enjoy the view.

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The town we currently reside was incorporated as a city in 1870, so there are graves dating back to that time, and even prior to that, as the county was founded in 1851. Some of these old graves are so interesting to look at.

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Down to the exact day.

One of my favorite sights, though, is the flags local volunteers erect during certain holidays. Rows of what has to be nearly 50 flags all lined up and waving in the grassy lawn the weekend before Memorial Day, Flag Day and the Fourth of July.

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The torrential rains we got Memorial Day weekend had flooded the creek and grassy area of the cemetery where the flags are located, and for a day or so, they stood in water. Above you can see the debris leftover after the waters had receded. Thanks to the cemetery crew, and probably more volunteers, all the garbage had been picked up a day later and the lawn looked as pristine as it usually does.

It’s not something I anticipated loving when we moved back to my hometown, but the cemetery is definitely something I’ve grown to appreciate the longer we live here. Unfortunately, I probably don’t love running as much, but at least I have a beautiful space to run through while I torture myself with exercise.

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