I am ready to write my next book and I have a beginning, but I need you to help me take the story to the next level.
Please read this short beginning and tell me if I have captured your interest.... or if there are other ways you believe the story could take hold.or unfold,....
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For 20 years I have driven this road, through the Appalachian Mountains from Ohio to Maryland, and saw a small beige camper with red and brown stripes and a black awning nestled down in what I took to be a meadow.
There is a large willow tree to the far right, about 60 feet from the trailer that served as a natural God given awning. I am not sure which was the better sun block; God’s willow tree or the manufactured awning. But then I usually drove on by and didn’t do much more than wonder.
As I drove about 25 miles on, I passed a Christmas tree farm and always laughed to myself saying “it’s a fir fetch to get a Christmas tree. I don’t know why the visual of the word fir had such a girl- giggly- like impact on me, but it was infectious time after time.
I wondered if the trailer was a camper used for the summer months, but over time, I saw the trailer there through spring showers and winter snow flurries. It stayed in the very same spot, with the very same awning but I really never did more than wonder. I simply observed what I thought was someone’s life without caring… just another of life’s curiosities.
One day as I was traveling from Ohio to Maryland to visit my son and his family, I noticed the trailer was gone. Now this really shouldn’t have been surprising; after all, 20 years had gone by, but for the first time; I became curious and again; wondered.
I got off the highway at the next exit and walked into the local grocery story. The town’s population was less than 750 people so I imagined I could ask about the occupant of the trailer and learn who had lived there. After all, isn’t everyone a historian in a small community of 750 residents?
I asked my very basic question at the service desk as I entered the front door of the grocery store. “So, I have been driving by your community for years and noticed a small beige camper trailer parked out in a meadow and it’s gone now. Who lived in that camper and do they still live here?” It seemed like a perfectly natural question, but the young girl behind the service counter looked at me as if I had just asked about Anne Rice’s latest novel. She had no clue so instead of answering me; she went back to texting on her I-phone. Rather than be annoyed (after all, this happens fairly regularly!). I walked back to the meat counter and posed the same question to the meat cutter.
The meat cutter was a big man with a beard and mustache than grew to the top of his shirt collar. I posed the same question to him and a small smile tilted the corner of his mouth as if he had just tasted a tart lemon.
There weren’t any other customers at the meat counter, so he must have felt comfortable answering the question of a stranger – after all, it was pretty basic.
He said. The woman who had lived in that trailer since she was 16 years old was Grace Ellen Wilson. Grace Ellen is now 53 years old and felt it was time to do something new, so she is now living in Napa Valley California, stomping grapes into exotic wines.
He went on to add: Grace Ellen moved out of the house her parents owned less than ½ a mile from the camper because they never really wanted a child. It seems Grace was an accident, and accidents become inconvenient.
They moved her out into that scrap of grass into a small camping trailer. They maintained a small gravel driveway that lead right past their house onto the country road, so she was never snowed in or isolated from other. Her parents always mowed the field around the trailer and it had running water and heat; so it was really nicer than if she rented an apartment or bought a house in town. She had her own little part of nature as her home. She had dogs and cats over the years. They could always be seen sitting on the camper steps or under the awning in the grass. She seemed very content.
Grace worked in a nearby nursing home as an aide. She was known to be loving and warm with all the residents. Most people thought the residents at the nursing home took the place of her parents. This made sense as she had no real love between her and her parents.
It seems she never made any real friends, men or women. She was thought to be odd, different, so she stayed single all those years. You certainly couldn’t get married unless someone asked you out and men were intrigued with her peculiarity but not enough to marry her. Well, I did say she was peculiar. But then I guess you have to be to live on a small grassy knoll near the mountains and yet 3 rock- spins from your parents house.
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