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Secrets from the Past

It’s amazing what you can learn about your past when you know where to look.  About a year ago I subscribed to and began to piece together my roots.  Yeah, I am the descendant of kings and queens…even the Vikings.  I’ll save you a few bucks by informing you that you, too, are related to royalty.  We all are in some way or another.  But I digress. More interesting to me was the more immediate past, those courageous ancestors who traveled to the New World and then helped establish this great nation.  I was also intrigued to find new […]

First Date

In Chapter VII of IN THE VALLEY OF HOPE, Mable and Charlie go on their first date away from the watchful eye of Mable’s mother, Mary. Many of us have visited a cavern but what would it have been like to go on that adventure before electric lights?  In May of 1919, Endless Caverns, near New Market, Virginia was in it’s infancy and tours were conducted by candlelight. Legend has it that the cave was discovered in 1879 by two boys who were rabbit hunting on the Zirkle farm.  When the rabbit they were chasing disappeared into a hole they removed some limestone rocks […]

Landmarks in the Valley of Hope

IN THE VALLEY OF HOPE is based on real events, people and places.  In this post I wanted to show you some of the landmarks to be found in the book. When I was a young teen my grandparents took me, (more accurately, drug me) on a picnic to a place called Strathmore.  Like many young people, I wasn’t fond of hanging out with old people.  Now that I’m an old people myself, I can appreciate what they were trying to do.  They wanted to share a vital part of their past with me. Strathmore was a milestone in their […]

Things My Grandmother Told Me

I could write a book about all the things my grandmother told me.  Come to think of it, I did just that. As a child growing up she was more than just a grandmother, she was my best friend.  We talked a lot and when I got older and less interested in those conversations she would sit me down and make me talk. Sometimes I felt smothered, needed my space, but now that I’m older I realize that those times with her were a treasure. As I researched IN THE VALLEY OF HOPE so many of those conversations came to […]

Change is Coming

The deal was finalized with a handshake and Charlie was now faced with breaking the news to his family. He knew that his plan would be devastating to his mother and sisters. Would his father make good on his threat that if he ever left he would never be allowed back on the Polk property? Charlie knew the answer to that question. He was about to go home for the last time.

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