My writing silence has been broken by an unexpected find—a subtle (and somewhat eerie) reminder to continue telling the unique stories of long ago residents of Penryn, California.
My middle daughter recently purchased a “fixer-upper” in the nearby town of Newcastle. She was given the keys on a Friday morning. By Friday night she and my youngest daughter had removed the kitchen cabinet doors along with the hardware.
I worked alone in the bedrooms, washing down the walls, preparing them for painting.
“Mom! Come here!”
“What’s up?” I was on a roll and didn’t want to stop in the middle of my project.
“We want to show you something!”
As I walked into the kitchen area, the girls held up a wooden key holder they had removed from the utility closet.
“Can you tell what’s written on the back? I looks like Spanish.”
I turned the key holder over. “Oh, wow!” is all I could say at the moment. I looked up at my daughters, a little shaken, a little surprised. I traced the faded hand-printed lettering with my fingertips. “I know exactly what this says.”
I hesitated a bit before launching into my “translation,” trying to find the right words to explain my wonder over a simple homemade tchotchke.
“It’s not Spanish. It’s Sicilian. It’s a last name. This family immigrated from Sicily to America in the late 1890s and eventually settled in the Penryn-Newcastle area.”
They eyed me with skepticism. “Okay, Mom. How do you know that?”
I smiled a bit before answering. “Because the main character in my second book married into this family.”
I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living.