Thursday, August 26, 2010

A new life - 55

Rolled up in an old mattress for warmth
in the back of a 1930's Ford pickup,
three sisters said good-bye to Wyoming.
As they crossed snow covered mountains,
they remembered their dad saying,
“My brother said there’s work in the orchards of Oregon.”
What was an orchard?
Where was Oregon?
What would it look like?
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This is a Flash Fiction Friday 55.
If you want to know what the hell that means visit g-man.
The challenge is on.
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Or if you want yet another challenge write a Sunday 160.
Like a text message, the Sunday 160 only uses 160 characters (including spaces)
Keep on schedule - post Sunday
Let me know you have posted via a comment on my site
Visit at least one other Sunday 160
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Back Story - It was right around 1940 when a family of five, one of which was my mother, took off on a journey of self preservation. My grandfather's brother had found work in the orchards of the Hood River Valley. It was the height of the depression and even the Texas oil fields that had kept my grandfather busy for years, no longer offered security. So, he and my grandmother packed up their three girls and drove off on a 800 mile trek from Gillette, Wyoming to the Orchards on the edge of the Columbia River. Mind you, this was no 800 mile ride on super highways. This was a grueling drive in an old clunker of a pick up truck. My mother and one of her sisters rolled up in a mattress in the back of the truck to stave off the cold of the Rocky Mountains in April, then the snow of the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. None of them knowing exactly what to expect at the end of the journey. No home waiting for them. No hotels along the way. This was a hobo family's ride into the unknown. Only faith and hope to keep them on track.

If you like this tease, I will continue the story next week. First as a 55, then a bit more back story. It was a story my Mom shared with me during the last days of her life.

47 comments:

Brian Miller said...

oh i would love to hear more monkey...interesting way to travel and into the unknown even...yes, please continue...nice 55.

The Thirteenth Crossing said...

I love this. I can't wait to hear more. Can't wait for Sunday 160 too :) Happy Friday!


55 Flash Fiction Friday: Time Out

The Thirteenth Crossing said...

I love this. I can't wait to hear more. Can't wait for Sunday 160 too :) Happy Friday!


55 Flash Fiction Friday: Time Out

Titanium said...

Can't wait to read more! There's a entire book in there, somewhere. I just know it.

moondustwriter said...

We are all waiting for the sequel - it would be a great read MM

Moon Smiles
Changing Tide here

G-Man said...

Normally I would say that the truncated ending wanting more serves the purpose of the 55. But since this oral Family history is true, it needs to be passed on to another generation. I'd welcome an addendum to this brother.
Thanks for sharing this with us...
Have a Kick Ass Week-End....G

Prayer Girl said...

I'm on board with wanting more. You have teased me enough to have me waiting for the next installment.

PG

Stan Ski said...

Good to have a written record of family history - more would be great.

jingleyanqiu said...

love your 55,
I enjoy your questions,
beautifully written!

Everyday Goddess said...

wow, what some families had to endure is beyond my imaginings. i'd love to hear more.

she said...

interesting story. yes, more, please.

MorningAJ said...

Yes please. I want to know more.
Great introduction by using the 55. Are you going to do all the installments that way?

anthonynorth said...

It's those questions that often make us do it.

Thom said...

Ooo I hope we get to hear more of this. What a great traveling expedition. Into the unknown :) Well done. Happy Friday :)

mrsnesbitt said...

Ooooooooh yes - would love to hear more.

Bring a fork over to my effort for 55!

ladynimue said...

i sure want to know more .. this sounds a great tale to know .. Kudos to you to write this tease :)

A Daft Scots Lass said...

Nice 55 to get us thinkin'

Greyscale Territory said...

The unknowns of life can be challenging, exciting and just a tad intimidating! Great 55!

Eric Alder said...

True 55's make for interesting reading. I'm looking forward to the next installment. Thanks for sharing this, MM!

dulce said...

Great55, part of a great story!

Interesting...

:)
D.

Cheryl said...

Count me in. I'd love to hear this entire story. The 55 alone was intriguing and the backstory just makes it more meaningful.

clean and crazy said...

oh i love this, and i can't wait for next week. what an amazing piece of family history you have, hold it and share it, that keeps them all alive.

Enchanted Oak said...

I immediately saw the scene in my mind, a tiny old black and white photo with crimped edges, with a fountain-pen note on the back: "Dad's truck 1940"
My Montana grandparents took their five kids to the Pacific Northwest orchards too, in 1936. My dad's mom, Dee, went there from Oklahoma with her best friend Opal in about the same year. I wonder how such a buzz got around: There's orchard picking in Oregon/Washington.
It was an amazing time, peopled by amazing stories. I could get lost in your mother's. Please do memorialize it for yourself and for us.

gospelwriter said...

Great teaser of a 55 - would love to read more.

Colonialist said...

Really good 55-tease, and longer tease. It certainly makes one want to know more - even about the bit you have filled in.

Claudia said...

yes - PLEASE - continue!!

RNSANE said...

What an adventure that must have been and it was very brave of your parents to undertake it. How wonderful to share this story with us...it's really a part of history!

Mine is at:
http://rnsane.blogspot.com/2010/08/flash-55-friday-happy-28th-birthday.html

PattiKen said...

I really like this, MM. Oh, please do continue. I love this kind of story! I'm betting that your mom is one strong lady.

Mama Zen said...

I can't wait to hear the rest of the story!

Nessa said...

I bet it is really fascinating. I look forward to more.

lakeviewer said...

Oh, do tell! Love these memory pieces.

Fragrant Liar said...

Cool story, made all the more cool by the fact that you only found out about it during your mom's last days. What a great treasure she gave you.

razzamadazzle said...

How wonderful that your mother shared this with you. I love hearing family stories, so I can't wait until the next installment.

Teresa

Me said...

Fabulous story, both the 55 and the backstory both!

More, yes! Looking forward to it. I *love* hearing family histories and mythologies.
-C

Alice Audrey said...

I love it, and can't wait until next week's installment.

joanny said...

So glad you are writing about your families journey to Oregon. I use to spend a lot of time reading stories that families published at Mission Mill in Salem through the historic society, I also had the good fortune to read private letters and dairies from old families here that I had access to. Many of the decendents did not value the old letters and such so they threw them away.
MM you may just wind up writing a book....

Cheers,
Joanny

John's comments said...

Its a reminder that the generation before us, suffered the depression and a world war so that we could have the security of the 50's and the freedom of the 60's. Thanks for dropping by to hear or read my Friday 55

kavisionz said...

An awesome story to post, MM!!!! Wow... how scary AND thrilling it must have been... moving to an altogether new place, new life!! brrr..

Tina said...

Yes, yes. I want more more! I love to hear family stories. Really liked this 55, and then also the back story. Great way to write this.

Janna said...

Here I am, better late than never! :)

How interesting! My favorite line is the very first one... "Rolled up in an old mattress for warmth". That mental image stayed with me through the entire thing.

Nicely done.

My Friday 55 was posted here yesterday. I'm just now getting around to visiting everyone. :)

Green-Eyed Momster said...

Very interesting MM!!

I can't wait to read more!

jingleyanqiu said...

http://jingleyanqiu.wordpress.com/2010/08/29/sunday-160-this-is-how-ive-spent-my-saturday/

Sunday 160 is up!
Happy Weekend!

Prayer Girl said...

Hi Monkey Man,

I may be 45 minutes early, but my Sunday 160 is up. I'll read yours tomorrow.

PG

steveroni said...

You GOTTA finish what you started MM

PULEEEZE!

hope said...

I love stories of faith and hope.

More please. :)

Marla said...

Yes, please! Keep writing....

Scott said...

I've journeyed backwards, having discovered part V first... captivating, true American tale for sure!

Thanks for sharing this, I feel as if I've shared in the tiniest bit of her journey.