This is how my stories start. And how they get dragged out. It isn't my fault.
I took a look in the old homestead barn today, scouting for camping stuff. Things I know I have seen, I'm just not sure where. A memory game. Concentration. I didn't win. I couldn't pull it up, I'd have to make the rounds. All of the stashes and cubbies. The old barn is slowly fading away, we've pretty much cleaned it out already.
I peeked into the back corner room, the old outhouse, and spotted a box. A cardboard box full of trinkets. Lying right there in the wide open. I've been in here recently. I have not seen this box before. Odd. Must examine. Steps from an old wagon. Little pulley blocks for clothesline sized rope. My interest was immediately piqued. Maybe there's man cave stuff hiding in this new box of mystery. I dug.
A tiny book. Fancy. A diary? Negative. A photo album. Grape sized photos, four to a page. Nineteenth century, for certain. I flip through. I don't recognize anyone. There are some crayon scribbles, and a few notes. Names, mostly, written in pretty cursive like my Mom's. In pencil.
I wish there were notes on every photo, ever. It's a huge advantage.
Mrs. Blake. Charles Graham. Came from Scotland with brother and sister. Annie Graham Foy. Her Aunt Hattie. OK. It appears to be members of the Graham family. I don't recall seeing that name in my family tree. Well to do, I surmise, I've never seen an album like this, so many old photos in one setting. Family, apparently. Why do I keep finding this stuff? How long has it been in our old barn? A decade? A century? So many unanswered questions. I'm asking myself, and I just don't know.
I did what I always do. Took it home. I gave it a second look while supper was cooking. Studying between the four minute flips of some particularly tasty shish kabobs. Where to start? My ancestry website. Silly question. I punch in some names, and search Maine, early 1800s. Boom. Charles Graham. Westbrook. Civil War service.
Perfect. Another soul, another life that I'll spend hours researching. Another family affected by the brutal conflict. I want to know them. All of them. Maybe they're tied to my family, somehow. Connected to me. It's the theme of my big Civil War project, "The Boys in the Box". This is merely another boy, from another box. Chances are, the Grahams will now be woven in with the Walkers, the Deans, and the other families that have earned spots in my story. It just happens. I think it will all work out for the best.
I'm drifting away from this particular page, the Powers That Be aren't very kind to me on the distribution end. I'm trying to wean myself. It's difficult, I've had so much fun. Right here on this page. It was nice. Nothing is forever. They keep 'fixing' things that weren't really broken.
Please check out my business website, it's easy to find. Search for Gallant Appliance Service dot com, and make sure it's really me. Some of my competitors are crafty, they try to stick their nose in while you're clearly searching for my site. Don't fall for it. Click on the blog page for all of my decent writings, and sign up with an email while you're there. My host will shoot you a message every time I post a new project. Lots of photos, too. All I want. It's my page.
Apparently, all of these stories just want to be told. I feel like they've chosen me, somehow. They've been waiting. No rush.
I hope I can do them all proper justice.