A piece of history known as the “ghost tracks” have returned to the Higbee Beach area along the Delaware River in Cape May. Beach erosion and storms have continued to unearth the tracks from time to time, most recently in the last 10 days. My daughter and I visited that area yesterday.
The century-old tracks were built by the Cape May Sand Company who in 1905 began sand mining and dredging sand from the beach to be processed for glass and cement.
During the World War I period (1916-1919) this area served as a munitions testing ground performed by the Bethlehem Steel Loading Company. The tracks were used to move cannons and massive munitions along the coastline that were then fired into the beach and sand dunes to test their strength for the US and its allies, including Russia, France, and England.
Fortunately, sand mining operations were suspended in 1936 when Cape May became concerned about depleting sand from nearby bathing beaches.
A year ago today, I watched in horror as the Capitol Building of the United States of America was stormed by American citizens. Let us never forget this tragic moment in history when those among us resorted to violence to solve a perceived injustice.
Hate and violence are not solutions to our country’s problems. Greater communication, tolerance, respect, honesty, truth, compromise and love are the qualities that will allow our democracy (republic) to thrive as our founding fathers intended.
Freedom and the spirit of democracy are never guaranteed…they need to be treasured and nurtured every bit as much as do our relationships with each other.
Many holidays are celebrated at the end of the year. Regardless of what you celebrate, I wish you and your families, peace, joy and love! For those of you who find this a difficult time of the year, may your burdens seem lighter and your hopes for the future brighter than ever before. Thank you all for your support!
I’m daydreaming…looking at man with an oversized cowboy hat riding a bull or a wild horse in a large corral. I’m not sure which it was because I was wondering more about why this vision was invading my thoughts. I dismissed it, but then when I saw the same sight in my mind’s eye the following day, I decided to sit down and meditate upon it.
As I relaxed into this vision, I realized that the man was an Italian singer that I enjoyed listening to. This realization made the whole daydream even more bizarre. I started to make notes as I watched the sketchy images of an unfolding story. I wrote the short story, “That’s Just the Way it Is” in a little over two hours which I published in 2013. A little later I wrote a sequel, “Return to Texas,” published in 2014. The cowboy from the vision became John Colter, who is the protagonist Becky’s, first husband.
Somehow Becky’s story never “felt” finished…too many loose ends needed to be connected. Life got in the way until 2020 when I began working on a book that would reveal a more complete version of Becky’s life. This book became the novella Where the Heart Goes in which Becky’s shares scenes from her life as a child up until her death, from a place that seems like the afterlife. It’s like a saga packed into a novella-sized book informally narrated by the protagonist. This is a story of love, guided by the heart.
Where do stories like this come from? Is this a past life memory…mine or someone else’s shot out of the collective unconscious? Was I Rebecca? Perhaps it’s just the product of an unbridled somewhat creative mind. We will never know for sure, will we? What I do know is that this story was meant to be written and lives in a special place inside my heart. I hope that it will find a place in yours as well!
I’m happy to announce that my novella, Where the Heart Goes, is now available on Amazon for purchase as a Kindle or paperback! The book is a western about a young woman who moves from Philadelphia to Texas in the 1800s on a journey of self-discovery where the events and people in her life bring her to a greater understanding of love. Those of you who liked my short stores from a few years ago will delight in this extended and more detailed story of Becky’s life! (link below)
I’m happy to say that my novella will FINALLY be released in November, 2021.
“Where the Heart Goes” is narrated by Rebecca Adams, a strong, unforgettable woman who travels from Pennsylvania to Texas to follow her dreams in the mid-1800s. She shares with the reader clips of the most memorable and poignant moments of her lifetime beginning in young adulthood. It’s an ordinary life in many ways, woven with themes of love, romance, motherhood, abuse, spirituality and death. Yet, Rebecca has a remarkable ability to learn and reflect from the experiences of her heart. She aptly sums it up with, “It’s strange how the heart can take the reins from you but still allows you to think you’re in control.”
When I published two short stories several years ago about Rebecca’s life, I had no idea her saga was not yet complete, on paper that is. The original idea was inspired from an unusual daydream I had of a man riding a bronco, who became the character, John Coulter. From there, the story took on a life of its own and developed into “That’s Just the Way It Is” and “Return to Texas.” This follow-up novella is a deeper and much expanded version of the earlier short stories with more emphasis on the historical times in which it took place. Perhaps its basic theme—deep love that lives in the heart and soul, never truly dies—bears repeating in a world that often appears loveless. It has truly been a joy and a heart-warming experience to write this piece.
The book will be available in paperback and Kindle formats…I’m looking forward to sharing more information with you next month!