Friday, November 20, 2015

Episode 11 - Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace

Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace
January 1999

This series of posts on each Friday, henceforth, moving forward during 2015 will continue the stories of “The Homeplace Saga” series of family saga, historical fiction families in the area of Oak Springs following the novel “Christmas at the Homeplace,” which ended as 1997 began. Earlier, we have seen the community move from January 1997 through December 1998. We now move into January of 1999, in novel format…

Episode 11 - Jennifer

Later Monday afternoon, Jennifer stopped by the home of Sarah Flanders to pick up the copy of ‘William’s Journal’ that Sarah said she had found. As she walked up to the house, from her car, the stiff January breeze seemed even colder than it had earlier in the day. Jennifer also realized that her own anxiety level was still climbing, thinking about what might be included in her 2nd great-grandfather’s journal. It was one thing for folks to have found old stories about their family. This was actually her family and likely in his own words.

Sarah greeted her at the door, and they discussed the weather, briefly, as Sarah took Jennifer’s coat. As they went into the living room, Jennifer noticed that there were four old notebooks laid out on the coffee table in front of the couch. Sarah said to sit at the couch, as she went around to the other side and sat down beside her.

Sarah began, “As you can see, on closer examination of the box, there were actually four journals by William McDonald in that box that Harry found at the bank. After I talked to you on the phone, earlier, I found them as I went back to take out the one I’d noticed earlier. Each appears to be for five years, during the 1920s and 1930s.”

Jennifer just stared at them, for a moment; then carefully picked one up. They each were a generic looking journal of bound lined pages. The entries were of varying length, dated, and hand-written. What a treasure… his own handwriting, she thought, as she opened the first, and thumbed through it. The front page of the volume in her hands simply said, again in his handwriting, ‘William McDonald - January 1, 1920 to December 31, 1925.’ The next page was headed with the January 1 date and several lines of writing, followed by January 2 and more writing. “This will take some time to absorb,” went through Jennifer’s mind.

To Sarah, she said, “Thank you, so much, Sarah, for letting me know about these. Are you sure it is alright for me to take them?”

“I talked to Harry, and he said the family should have them. From your work with the Society, I know you’ll keep and preserve them properly. They are a family treasure.”

“Yes they are, Sarah, yes they are. I’ll be sure the family knows they exist, take good care of them, and go from there.” She picked up each one, and saw that they each seemed to follow the same pattern of entries. In a moment, she realized Sarah was watching her.

Jennifer looked at Sarah. “I shouldn’t take any more of your time. If I find something exciting in here, I’ll be sure you’re the first one to know.”

“Thank you, that would be nice. But, I’m sure Karen and Bart will want to know quickly, as well.” Jennifer noted a matronly smile from Sarah that she hadn’t noticed before.

“Well,” Jennifer continued, “I’ll get out of your way. I’m sure you have things to do. Thank you again, so much, for letting me stop by and pick these up.”

“Happy reading,” Sarah said as she retrieved Jennifer’s coat, and escorted her to the door. “Keep warm out there!”

“I’ll do that.”

[To be continued - next Friday]

"May everyone have a homeplace, if only in your mind."

Dr. Bill  ;-)


  1. More family history discovered!! So now we wait to see if these journals hold any family secrets!! have a great week end Bill :)

    1. How many stories will be told? Will they be useful? Only time will tell! ;-)

  2. Running willy nilly this morning. Just stopped by to wish you a great weekend.