I think all of us desire the above title…a place to call home. We want to have something in our memory that evokes happy thoughts and pleasant scenes, remembered friends, and exciting experiences. For me, this is what I think about when I think of home. We can add love and security to that list.
This home is different for everyone, and may even be different within a family that grew up together. I had many houses while growing up, but only a few places really seemed like home. The atmosphere, circumstances and people in my life at that time all contributed to that feeling of home.
You all know by now that I mostly grew up in Colorado. It is a very beautiful place, with the soaring mountains to the west. I was there until the late 1970’s and to me that is very special because it was still rather small compared to today. The cities were not all run together, you could travel for miles in open country, just enjoying the scenery. I loved it when we would journey into the mountains and drive through old mining towns, seeming to hang from the edge of a precipice. I always imagined the people that lived in that forgotten town. They had once enjoyed a life there…marrying, burying, working, and raising families. Today, they are barely a memory because so many have passed on.
In my early teens, my family moved to the east coast. First Vermont and then New York…upstate New York. I loved the east coast and still do. The seasons are beautiful and each one unique. I was amazed at the history…300 year old houses?! I loved touring Boston and walking where so many people from my history books had also walked. We lived in Crown Point, New York for almost three years. It is a beautiful area there by Lake Champlain. So much history! The winters were cold and long with a lot of snow. We filled our time with sledding and ice-skating. My siblings even skated across Lake Champlain one winter. I thought they were crazy and didn’t follow. The ice-shanties speckled here and there probably gave a clue as to the thickness of the ice, but it wasn’t enough evidence for me!
I met my husband in the Hudson Valley area of New York. Another gorgeous place. I love the history there as well. Beautiful houses…magnificent mansions lining the Hudson River. Huge trees seem to grow everywhere, towns tucked between. My first book, ‘To Thee I’m Wed’ takes place in a fictional town in that area. So many of my memories of my home there are interlaced through that book.
So now, I arrive at my destination. We reside in Kansas and have for almost twenty years. The area we live in has hills and in the spring, red buds blossom, powdering the hillsides with pink. Cottonwoods grow along the rivers and in the spring, little white ‘puffs’ float everywhere. Some years, our yard is covered with these little ‘puffs’. Not a good thing for those that are bothered by them! This area also has much history. The houses are not as old and the state younger than some, but still very interesting.
Kansas also has its share of abandoned towns. People came here, full of expectations and hope. They built towns. Some were fairly large at one time, boasting newspapers, several churches, banks and schools. I drive through these lonely, vacant towns and wonder what it was like so many years ago. Rubyville – A Place to Call Home, was written about these towns. I always wonder who lived there, what they did, what they looked like. I would like to go back in time for just a bit and see the town as it was. This was the inspiration for my Rubyville series. Many people called these towns their home…some for their entire life. I pray I reach my goal of telling some of their stories so today we can experience just a bit of that life so long ago. No, the Barton and Langworthy families are not real. But I hope they become real to you as they experience life…just as we all do… and that transcends generations. Enjoy my new series!
To Thee I’m Wed and Rubyville – A Place to Call Home, Book 1 are both available at Amazon. Look for Rubyville – A Place of Refuge, Book 2, coming spring of 2016! I would love to hear from you and would greatly appreciate a review on Amazon. I DO want to know what you think! http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=deborah+ann+dykeman