Today was the warmest day we’ve had in six months, and I’m horribly out of shape, so I took an afternoon walk around the old farm.
I grew up here, but most of what I remember is gone. I’ve recreated it in my mind and on the pages of my books. Zoe lives in the house of my youth although the actual structure was razed after decades of being vacant. Check out the post I wrote about it a couple of years ago.
So my walk involved a lot of ghosts. Memories of my childhood, standing on ground that was once the farmhouse or a tractor shed, wandering through fields and valleys where my childhood best friend and I used to play, making up big adventures, cowboys and indians, acting out our favorite books.
I walk over this ground every spring until it gets too grown over with brambles and the ticks come out. But with all the snow and cold we’ve had, the new growth is late this year. As a result, I was able to find the red-dog gravel base of what used to be the old tractor shed where I would hang out with my grandpap. I stood on that spot and smiled, heard his voice in the wind.
I also found the remains of an old springhouse that "nature" reclaims every year. My childhood pal and I used to call it the Artesian Well.
That came from a book we’d both read, but don’t ask me which one. I swear I heard the giggles of two little girls with vivid imaginations.
I stood on what is now a sidewalk to nowhere, but in my mind’s eye, I saw my grandma’s garden with the chickenwire around it to keep out the rabbits.
But they’re sweet memories, sweet ghosts. And they feed my fiction. This is now the Kroll farm of Circle of Influence and future Zoe Chambers mysteries. I love this place. It’s home. Ghosts and all.