Anne's Bio

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Unpacking History

Anne here.
Yep, I know it's just me on this dirt road. But I can't seem to shake the greetings I've used with all our faithful Coffee Cups & Camisoles readers over the years. So, just smile and keep reading when you see my old greeting.

What's been happening on your street this week?
On my dirt road, I've been busy planning my next story ideas, preparing taxes, and chatting with my son about science and Skyping my daughter in Ireland. As usual, I've been delving into historical research, and as I've researched my family history farther and farther back through the generations, it's stretched me to the Revolutionary War period. This week I've been reading through original documents about war pensions, battle testimonies, and hospital notes.

There simply is no way to romanticize dysentery, typhoid, consumption, or smallpox.
However, I grow nostalgic and amazed when I think of the fortitude of our ancestors. Their gumption was amazing. Yet, centuries having passed, we get the benefit of seeing their lives in context of our national history toward freedom.

Every time I discover an ancestor who fought for freedom, preached freedom, died for freedom--whether for religious freedom or upon the battlefield--I am shocked these stories weren't passed down in sacred retelling. For instance, I discovered a Revolutionary War headstone memorializing my husband's 5th great-grandfather. It rested in a sleepy cemetery in the same county he grew up in, placed there 100 years beforehand. Yet no one in the family knew this. Sigh...

So why? Why didn't these stories get passed on? Often two reasons. Pain, being the first. Second, their stories seemed ordinary to them, and the feeling of being the present allows people to believe they couldn't possibly forget. But the truth is that pain impacts everyone, and the truth we pass on about how to become overcomers impacts the freedom of generations to come. And the truth is that we are all a people who forget. Without words and stories to help us remember how to  preserve the truth of lessons learned--we forget and remain caught in the wrongs and chains that fetter our people for generations. I'm sure this brave ancestor was glad to have survived the battle of Long Island. But as I read about hospitals, perhaps little did he know that his next battle was surviving the conditions there. There are horrors our ancestors wanted to forget about slavery, war, and disease, but what were the truths to be preserved to prevent a repeat of history?

If there's anything worth romanticizing from our past, it's our lessons of victory, perservance, forgiveness, and love. So, as I think about what stories I might write about this era after the Revolution, I'm brainstorming what it might have been like on America's frontier after the war. I can't wait to see what characters might arise!

Samuel Rigg's Millrace Surry County, North Carolina where he settled after the Rev. War
My paternal 6th great grandfather's estate

He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 
Even though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for Thou art with me;
Thy rod and staff,
they comfort me.
Psalm 23

What are your favorite 18th century authors and stories or movies?
Have most of you traveled through Virginia, Pennsylvania, or Kentucky where many of these patriots lived?
What time or place would you transport to see if you could? I'd transport to a Revolutionary field hospital--but only for a day--with some hand sanitizer! Lol.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Welcome to My Dirt Road...

Anne here. That's how many of you know me to post on my old blog that started five years ago with Jaime Jo Wright and finished to include Erica Vetsch and Gabrielle Meyer. But the time has come to close down our blog at Coffee Cups & Camisoles where you'll find all my old posts, and begin anew.

So...welcome to my dirt road...where love for vintage Americana thrives, history is rich and deep, words and stories are power, and the coffee is always on...

Vintage Americana.
What's that, you say? To me it's anything historically inviting, lost, preserved, or treasured...from our American past. If you love vintage, you know it when you see it--that thing, or story that pulls on your curiosity, that reflects days gone by, that item that holds a memory, that holds a story, that once affected lives... And you just haaaave to wonder about who made it, touched it, or wrote it.
A quilt. A desk. A tool. A faded color. An old photo with nameless faces. A curled document, yellowed with time, with old cursive script. If you love know what I mean.

History addict.
That's me. Oh. My. Word. My high school history teacher would never have guessed that's me. He was the high school baseball coach and very old school. He was white-haired tough old breed type of coach and teacher. He scared me a bit but I still joined up to become a bat-girl for the boy's team because I loved baseball--what vintage loving girl doesn't love baseball?! But it was the study of the Stamp Act early in the term on a quiz of ten questions worth ten points each that I quickly realized I could flunk history if I didn't get serious. I managed to pull my C minus to a B by end of term, but it was in the archive room at Fort Wayne, Indiana, scrolling through microfilms of 19th century census records with my mom, that I actually fell head long in love with history. Oh, well, maybe it was before that in second grade when Mrs. Andrews read us all of the Little House books, and in fifth grade when I slept under a hand stitched quilt on a hay tick at my great aunt's Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Still, it wasn't until the Stamp Act quiz of 11th grade that I knew...history is a thing people can get sucked's one ginormous fascinating story!

Words and stories...?
My father is a story teller. My mother is a story keeper.
From little up, I was enthralled with my father's good story telling, whether of his childhood adventures, misadventures, or faith stories, or his reading aloud a well-written story to my mother around the table that brought a tear to our eyes, or reciting a poem he'd memorized, such as When Father Carved the Turk from Uncle Charlie's Poems, or a hilarious half German-half English tale of humor that had me and my cousins in stitches, holding our sides. It was my mother who always had notebook in hand, a pencil at the ready, down on her knees to look into my bent over great grandmother's eyes to ask her the details of her life, committing memory, names, details, and dates to the page. My mother recorded details, how much things cost, how her grandmother thought of the Great Depression, and the memory of touching the horses noses in the barn. She taught me how to sleuth through genealogy records, tromp through cemeteries for dates, and how primary research of original documents is paramount to good research. Then, at the kitchen table, while in tears over my first major writing assignment in middle school, she coached me to put my thoughts into words. I cried. She edited. I stammered. She helped me make sentences. I hated it--until I realized that words hold power and stories become lost unless we take the time to tell them and write them.

Why all this coffee on my dirt road?
Because I love everything country and backwoods. I live on a dead end dirt road in the woods. I love everything about quiet country living. I was raised mushroom hunting and berry picking with my toes in the garden dirt and my feet running around fresh cut grass on a summer's night. There is nothing better to brew than a hot cup of joe while I reminisce about my childhood here, about raising my children here, or preparing for the next generation. There is nothing better to brew while I dig into some genealogy, or brainstorm my next story. I joke a lot that it's the black brew that fuels me, but it's truly prayers, faith, friends, and family that fuel me.

So if you love a little vintage, 
if you get sucked into history, 
if you're addicted to a great story or cup of brew, and if you love hearing how faith is woven through family're on the right  dirt road. 
Pull up a chair at my country table. Sit next to the fire. Let's chat.
I hope to share her about my stories, my writing, my research, and about
faith, family, and life.
I'd be honored if you'd share your comments from time to time.
Welcome to my dirt road...
P.S.  I love tea too...

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Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
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Old posts at: Coffee Cups & Camisoles

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