The husband was a pallbearer for a friend today.

The elderly farmer who used to own the property that now belongs to us, passed away on Monday afternoon, as the snow was beginning to fall.

Spark was 82, and in poor health the last few years.

We met him when we were in the process of buying this land. He was not the owner at that time, but still owned the land adjacent to ours. Spark was right there when the surveyors came, correcting them as they laid the boundaries.

At first, we just dismissed him as a cantankerous old man- but came to learn, he was usually right!!!! He wanted to see who these outsiders were, that were coming in to take over “his” land!

He measured the boundaries of his land and ours, by the stump of the old tree, straight across to the flat rock, to the corner by the walnut tree. That stump was nearly buried, and we humoured him – but darn if he wasn’t absolutely right!! The surveyors had to correct their work!

His favorite remark was “Well, we’ll just see what kind of neighbors you turn out to be….!”

Spark, we were told,  was a notoriously slow driver. Don’t ever get stuck behind ol’ Spark!!! He took great pleasure, it seemed, to have a line of traffic 10 cars long, behind him as he drove 2omph in a 45-55mph zone!! His eyesight was poor, we were warned never to pass him on the left side!! But, up until recently, he got out on the roads in his big red pickup, almost every day, checking on his cows, his land, the neighborhood!

He thought nothing of driving down our driveway, very slowly, checking things out, seeing how the haying was going, and telling us how it should be done, and which section he wanted his bales from!

When the firemen came to have a practice burn on the old house on our property, we invited Spark to come watch. He said he just couldn’t, too many memories in that house. But, we saw him, sitting in his pickup truck, just out of sight, watching the old homestead (which was beyond salvation) go up in smoke.

My husband took a liking to the irascible old man, and would stop in to chat, on his way home from work.   He began to stop in more often, to check on him, particularly as Spark’s health took a turn for the worse.

The husband would always joke with him about a little piece of bottom land attached to our property that he was hoping Spark would sell him.

Have we proved to be good neighbors?, he’d ask him. Well, I dunno, but I’m not selling that land!!! We never expected him to!!

We learned never to ‘mess’ with ‘his’ river!!!! If there was a rock out of place, he’d know it!  In turn, Spark allowed the husband to get rocks from his land for our garden, and showed him where all the biggest and best ones were.

Spark had a dedicated caretaker who took him to all his appointments, and watched over him. But I know he was glad to see my husband drop by for a visit, or bring him a plate on Thanksgiving. 

Today was the funeral, and it was a packed house! He did not have alot of family left, but an amazing amount of people showed up to see him off. It was a brief ceremony, followed by a ride to the small church of his final resting place.

We wish Spark well, and we know wherever he is, he will be driving around, 20 mph, checking up on everything and everybody, making sure everything is just the way he thinks it should be!img_4968