Pioneer Bowlus Cemetery

            There is death in the air. Gone are the days of spring and summer where our little valley is full of lush green life. The season has changed. The leaves have changed color, faded to a lifeless brown. On this blustery October day Thomas and I are headed back to the winery from Pumpkin Hollow the little valley where our Elevation vineyard lies. Along the gravel road we whined, passing fallow wheat fields. Today I brought Thomas with me, not just to see the vineyard but for our secondary activity. We will be visiting a cemetery. I don’t hold much stock in superstitions but to be on the safe side, it’s best not to wonder alone in a graveyard.

            We pull off the road with not a soul insight, parking adjacent to a wooden arch with an old sign rocking back and forth in the wind. The sign reads Pioneer Bowlus Cemetery. Thomas and I pass undisturbed under the weather worn arch. Scattered between the over grown weeds lies small grave markers. Many are so old there is little left of them besides a wooden steak rising from the ground. Others are proper markers with long forgotten names chiseled in stone; left by long dead loved ones. Awhile ago I heard tell a story, that the cemetery is haunted. The farmer who works the land surrounding the cemetery claims that each time he passed a certain grave his tractor stalls out. Lost spirits have long been said to mess with the electrical systems of machines. Perhaps the lumbering tractor disturbed a wayward spirit’s rest; perhaps it’s just a coincidence or a tall tale. I read many of the grave stones. This brooding season and abandoned cemetery have turned me somber and contemplative. Some pull at my heart strings. Thinking of parents having to bury their children and vise versa. These brave pioneers found this land and wrought it out by hand making it the near paradise many of us call home.

            As we head back to the car my mind continues to wonder. I think about other carrier opportunities besides winemaking. Out loud I say to Thomas, I wonder if any of them were buried with their jewelry. Suddenly a chill wind rises and we feel a coldness pass through our souls like an angry wraith. Just kidding I shout, passing under the arch. I raise my arms pleadingly, just kidding, sorry not funny! On the drive back to the winery I fervently hope we didn’t pick up any extra passengers. Good thing I have a nice brooding bottle of Tertulia waiting at home to warm my tattered soul.