I love looking at old photos. Behind the people, the expressions, and the setting, there’s always a story.
I wonder what their lives were like, way back then.
What were they thinking?
What were their dreams?
What were their hobbies, education, or routines?
Take a look at this photo of my relatives. Judging by the clothing (women in shirtwaists and dark skirts that fall to the ground), and putting that together with their birth dates, I’m figuring this photo was taken between 1895 and 1900.
When I look at this, I long to know more.
When that spunky gal on the right, Ola, was older, her family begged her to write down her memories. What a wealth of information that is! In her writing voice, she talks about how it was to live during a time before cars and planes made family and friends accessible.
Ola lived to be 93 years old. She experienced love and loss that is incomprehensible to me. But what got to me was the leaving. When she was a child, she and her family left the comfort of family in Georgia to make a better life in Texas. They traveled by train to get to Navarro County, where she eventually met and married her sweetheart, Clarence. Then, in the early 1900’s, she and Clarence loaded their young family into a covered wagon and made an arduous trip to northern Oklahoma.
It’s that last bit, the travel by covered wagon, that made my imagination go wild with possibilities.
What would it be like to leave behind safety, security, and beloved family in order to make a better life in an untamed land?
That question led me to my current novel-in-progress.
I’d love to tell you all about it in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, if you have any old photos hanging around, take another look and ask yourself, What’s their story?
I’d love to hear it!