Years ago, my husband and I pulled out a map, closed our eyes and randomly placed our fingers on a spot. That spot was to be our weekend destination. We loaded up our young son and off we went. The only stipulations – no interstates and no national food chains. This became the best weekend getaway ever!
We took time to stop at road side stands. We visited a small town that time forgot. If you can imagine old-time gas pumps and 5¢ candies in glass jars… It was wonderful and nostalgic and so small town America.
I love small towns. I love driving back roads, looking at old churches, abandoned barns and finding the occasional surprise.
There is something about old things that speak to me. I wonder at the stories they would tell, the memories they would share – if they could talk. I think back to my grandparents – how hard they had to work to support their families – sharecropping, laboring in the tobacco fields, working in the laundry. Well, three of them anyway. One chose to make a living as a bootlegger – only he seemed to drink more than he sold…
Some people will triumph; others will fail. And they leave behind them the ghosts of what was and what might have been. I think it’s those ghosts, those wisps of memory, that draw me to by-gone places.
Those aging buildings, those forgotten places, tickle my imagination. I see the spirit of a young woman pacing the front porch waiting for her lover to come home. I hear the laughter of children as they splash in the shallows of a near by river. I smell the perfumed air that announces the arrival of a fairy prince. And if I’m lucky, a new character might just introduce herself…
So – What inspires you?