by Gary Torres
“Bury me in Monticello or you might as well spread my ashes in a land fill.”
That was my answer. The question that I was really trying to answer is where I want to live when we retire.
We had kicked around whether we should sell our house in Monticello and move closer to our kids. But, anyplace else we contemplated just didn’t feel right.
Sort of like a pair of shoes that just don’t fit or underwear that is just too tight and crawls around; oh sure it gets the job done, but it don’t feel comfortable.
If I am going to retire and work in my flower garden, you would think that I would like to go to a place that is sunny, warmer, actually has water, and does not have plagues of deer roaming through town.
You would think that I would want to be in a place where there are more things to do; movies to see, restaurants to dine at, ballets to see, museums to visit, and airports.
Okay. I threw in the ballet just to pretend like I am more sophisticated than I really am. But, a good cage fight would be entertaining.
So my too kind and loving wife wants the house in Monticello no matter what the cost.
She says, “Yes, we can roam around anywhere you want to drag me and I will follow you to places all over the earth, climb any mountain, float any ocean, but we are NOT selling the house in Monticello.”
I had delivered quite the convincing and elegant speech on how much more disposable money we would have, how I wouldn’t have to come to town and fix all the things the wind broke since our last visit, how much snow I would never have to shovel again, how the deer wouldn’t eat our shrubs, flowers, and trees.
I proved with my engineering brain, how the facts just don’t weigh in her favor when it comes it comes to rational, provable, logical, formula driven, statistically relevant, facts that keeping the house in Monticello was the sane thing to do.
Honestly, I have had more dialogue with granite. Long after the granite mountain is sand on a beach she will still be emphatic, “I have to have roots. This is home. This is where the kids always can come home to. This is the place” (or as Brigham said, this is the right place).
She would word it slightly different and say, “I am right!! This is the Place.”
But like always, and it chagrins me beyond measure, she is right, and she does it by acting as if she is all agreeable.
She stopped the entire argument with one little question. “Well, where do you want to be buried at?”
At first I used diversion tactics and said that I wouldn’t care because I was dead. Or that I would leave that up to the living to decide where to put my bones to rest. Or that I was expecting to be translated and not die at all or that the end of the world was going to hit first and it probably wouldn’t matter.
But, it did matter. If my posterity buries me somewhere outside the gaze of the mighty Horsehead, I will haunt them. I will rattle chains. I will make more noise than I have when I was alive.
“All that wander are not lost,” has been my mantra for the last several years. But, I am not lost because I am anchored to the earth and my love for Monticello.
Oh to be sure, it is a love/ hate relationship where I despise the wind but love the clear skies. I treasure watching the deer from my deck and hate that they eat my tulips.
It drives me crazy that everyone in town knows my business but love that even though they all know where my house key is, I still feel safe leaving town.
So bury me in Monticello, or you may as well spread my ashes in a landfill!