Yesterday marked the beginning of my book, The Double Cousins and the Mystery of the Missing Watch. Consequently, it marks the beginning of the series!
“What? HUH? What is she talking about now! ” Well, here it is. On April 16, 1905 my grandpa, George Lee Jones was born in Kansas.
So you might ask, “what’s the connection?” The obvious answer is that if he wouldn’t have been born, I wouldn’t have been born… but it goes farther than that, much farther.
For those of you who have heard the presentation I use in schools, this will be review. In fact you may be jumping in your seat, your hand in the air saying, “Oh! OH! Pick me, pick me! I know that answer.” Unfortunately, this media doesn’t allow me to pick you but thanks for remembering. 🙂
When my Grandpa, George Jones was eight his family moved from Kansas to Nebraska in a covered wagon. They went with two covered wagons, a spring wagon, eight horses, and six people. It was October and it was cold. It took 16 days to go the approximate 320 miles. It was an experience my Grandpa never forgot. In fact, when he was in his 70’s he decided there were a lot of experiences he had which no one else would remember if he didn’t tell them. So, he did. He not only told them but he wrote them down. He wrote three books about his life. He wrote simply but descriptively, using plain rancher talk. The books were full of wonderful examples of his dry sense of humor. I can read those books and still hear my Grandpa talking in my head.
In December 1997 and January 1998 three of my grandparents died in a six-week period. Grandpa Jones was the last one to go to heaven. Understandably, I was rather wrapped up in the memories I had from them, the things they had taught me. My grandparents all had such an important part in my life, especially after my mother died when I was ten. Now there are grieving camps and counselors etc. for children who suffer loss but when I was ten, there was my wonderful Daddy and our extended families, primarily our grandparents. They were there for us, even from a distance. They stepped up and did what families are supposed to do. When my Daddy remarried my Mom, I got another set of grandparents. Through the years these people were always there, teaching by example and there just aren’t words to say the impact they had on my life. Through this time of loss I decided I wanted to take some of my grandparents stories, starting with Grandpa Jones’ books and put them into picture books for children. For instance, maybe a story from the covered wagon trip. That would make an awesome book.
As I started to study how to write a book, I learned that you should write what you know. That’s where the idea came from for the Double Cousins and the Mystery of the Missing Watch. When I was a kid, one of my favorite places was the ranch where my Grandpa and Grandma Jones lived and worked. We went there for a week or two each summer and often other cousins would be there. As a way of honoring my grandparents, I wanted to write about this… and I did.
So, now you know why it is that I can say…. my book series started 105 years ago yesterday. Happy Birthday, Grandpa!
P.S. If your Grandparents are still living, go see them today or call them. Tell them just how much you love them and listen to them. They can tell you all sorts of neat stuff!