Friday, December 11, 2015

Episode 14 - 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 14 - Jennifer, Monday evening, at home with Brian and Ashley

Arriving home, Jennifer knows her first responsibility it to feed Ashley and get her ready for bed. She talks to Brian about the journals as she feeds Ashley, and he reminders her it is important to let Karen know she has them. He even says “I’m surprised Harry didn’t give them to Karen before telling his wife, Sarah, about them.”

Jennifer replied, “I think our work together at the Oak Springs Historical and Genealogy Society asking folks to gather old family history information played into that. Harry knew that, and knew that Sarah would know what to do. She knew from our work together, there, that I would take good care of them.”

“I understand that,” Brian said, “But you have been sharing everything you find with Karen, who was your mentor, and you need to talk to her before Sarah or Harry do.”

“You are right, of course. I’m finished feeding Ashley. Can you start getting her ready for bed? I’ll call Karen, and then come help putting her down. Then, we’ll look at those journals, together.” They went about doing that.

Karen was surprised to get Jennifer’s call. She asked if Jennifer would bring the journals over to Karen’s for lunch on Tuesday, like they used to do with Jenifer’s earlier genealogy discoveries. Jennifer said she would be happy to do that and thanked Karen for the invitation.

A bit later, talking with Brian, Jennifer said she was a little surprised that Karen didn’t seem especially excited about the discovery of the journals. Jennifer added, “Actually, she seemed to be totally distracted, like she had something else very important on her mind. Maybe she is more concerned about Beverly being back in town.”

“Beverly back in town? When did that happen.” Brian hadn’t yet heard that news. Jennifer related what she knew, and they talked about that issue for a bit. Before long, however, they had each picked up one of William’s journals and were reading.

Shortly, Jennifer got up and went to her computer to open her family history database. “William’s wife and mother had each died a year or two before this first journal started on January 1, 1920. Karen and I assumed those deaths were related to the flu epidemic.” Then, she was looking at a copy of the 1920 U.S. Census. “In the 1920 census, William, 56, was living alone, on the farm. Joe, 32, Beth, 32, Ethel, 9, and Mildred, 3, lived on the farm next door. This is the only mention of the ‘Ethel’ we ever found. We need to check that out better sometime. I’d kind of forgotten about that, from our earlier research. I wonder it she is mentioned in the journals at all.”

“William is very good at recording the weather conditions, each day, and what he did with the crops,” Brian said. “He certainly doesn’t mention family stuff everyday.”

“I noticed that in the few pages I’ve looked at, so far, as well.” Jennifer was back to looking at the first journal.

[To be continued - next Friday]

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

Dr. Bill  ;-)


  1. Thanks Bill for another update, looking forward to next week as always. I hope you have a great weekend.

    1. Thank you, Sam... always enjoy seeing your comment is waiting! ;-)

  2. What I like best about this blog is believable and "normal" in that I can see this happening and I can see the people saying what they are saying. Your blog posts are "comfortable." I hope that sounded like the compliment it was meant to be.

    1. Thank you, Bill. It turns out, this is really the only way I can write, meaningfully. I am, essentially, chronicling their lives, as they live them. It may allow the stories to continue. Time will tell, as I often say. I do take your comment as a compliment. ;-)