Hold Your Breath Passing A Cemetery


Do we share a childhood memory of being told to hold our breath when passing a cemetery? Today, driving a narrow two lane country road on a bronze-colored afternoon, I followed two mammoth John Deere pieces of equipment down the road for several miles. (They’re picking cotton just now and I think that was their purpose.) I was perfectly happy to mousey along. Having lived a number of years in Kentucky, and in rural settings, I was transported on nostalgic wings to the common occurrence of  trailing farm equipment out on the county roads. I began to laugh when the line of cars I was in crept past the Nashville, NC cemetery. If anyone tried to hold their breath the attempt could have been serious. I don’t remember an explanation for this game, but on this October day, unbeknownst to a farmer, he provoked a lovely memory and made me smile. Leave me a comment if you ‘hold your breath….’


About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her: Stephenyhoughtlin.com
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3 Responses to Hold Your Breath Passing A Cemetery

  1. Rosie Amber says:

    I’ve never heard of that, but I think I can understand where it came from, there must be gases coming from all the residents! I love the peace and quiet of a cemetery, it allows time for thought.

  2. pbmgarden says:

    Yes, this does bring back memories!

  3. Ann Prospero says:

    I don’t have a memory of “holding my breath,” but I relate to your letting the tractors take their time, and you with them. That’s one of the delights of getting old–we’re not in a rush everywhere we go. No gnashing of teeth or building up out blood pressure. Just letting it all go by, and cherishing it as it does.

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