Authors: Ann Graham
|Tales of a Trail of Life|
“This is one of my favorite Ann Graham books. If you love drama, romance, comedy this book is for you! "-------By familyguy
"Well Ann Graham has done it again. This book is about one of life's challenges and fate. It is filled with hope, love and faith. Well written and really good"----By MichelleReyolds
Based on true stories everywhere.
High School sweethearts Dwayne and Ashley reunite after 50 years while bicycling on their hometown trails. Their careers behind them, their internet business interests add to their fun times and the law of attraction, Universal laws are very evident in making the daily manifestations possible.
This will be relaxing read family drama, romance and mystery from best seller author Ann Graham
of a Trail of Life
Table of Contents
Tales of a Trail of Life
has been written as a nonfiction /
fiction eBook. A lot of actual events that could and did happen in many lives
and told here in such a way that you the reader can relate to yourself or you
possibly know of someone that experienced a similar life.
As an author of short stories
and a weekly column for a small
weekly newspaper, I enjoy submissions that I can include in my ‘Tales of a
Trail of Life’ column. There was a large envelope on my desk one morning last
week that I didn’t get a chance to open until later in the afternoon. I took
the time to lean back in my chair with a fresh cup of coffee while the office
was closed and began reading. The warmth of her words and the story thread was
so interesting that I asked for her permission to share it in its entirety. It
was granted and thus this story unfolds.
The time frame for the story goes
back to the late 50’s to the current year of this writing, 2012. Romance is
the theme but nostalgic values of past and present can be adjusted for any time
span that would incorporate your own personal fantasy or similar facts in
The hand written submission was a
standout in an age where everything is in a word document digital template.
This story is compiled from Ashley Biggly’s daily journals during a special
time period and we get to enter her personal life and live the humor, drama,
excitement and nostalgia that she shares.
I must confess that when I opened
the envelope I did hold it up to my nose for a tell tale whiff of perfume but
there was none. Back in the day when snail mail was our form of romantic
communication, letters arrived with an aroma of a favorite perfume. I never
gave it much thought until now. How did all the mail carriers enjoy those
scented communications where hearts were opened up one to another?
Keeping in mind that it’s not a
letter but pages of a personal diary that I’m sharing with you and adding my
author’s license to blend it together, enjoy the read. Cry when she cries,
laugh when she laughs, hurt when she hurts, rejoice when she…..you get the
The story setting is a small town
and its rural surroundings with an old railroad bed converted into a
recreational hiking and biking trail. The fictional town of Myers, PA has a
very special history and is very instrumental in making this story possible. As
you will learn, Ashley has an almost fairy tale story to share spanning over
In my weekly column I always encourage the
readers to share a snippet of their ‘
Tales of a Trail
of Life.’ When appropriate I edit for content that may not be appropriate, real
town character names have been changed and places mentioned are altered to keep
their lives private when put to book form yet I keep the actual names that they
submit in article form.
As we continue
in chapter two, you are going to feel a special inspiration and a very real
desire to take on Ashley’s life because it now seems so perfect. Some of you
will have a strong urge to read the last chapter first to make sure this story
has an ending of happiness and not a cliff hanger or death. In this story,
there is no death, only renewed life and it is in abundance and so richly
Ashley completed her Journal entry
for her day March 1
2010. It is her first entry into her new
Journal, marking a return to her past. Just two years ago she lost her husband
of many years. Last week she returned to her home town of Myers, PA. A decision
she and her husband talked about when he was in failing health. He encouraged
her to return to her roots that he uprooted her from over 50 years ago.
She thought about it for two years
and one morning in January she made the decision and set it in concrete by
calling the realtor who had a buyer already lined up for her home when she made
the decision to sell. Less than two months and she not only located and
purchased a home in her hometown, she moved back and today she and her newly
purchased bicycle are beginning a new trail in her life. She and Mother Nature
are going to get to know each other once again. Ashley was a tomboy in her
youth and now a tom senior in her early senior years.
The Myers Historical Society
restoration of the local train depot is Ashley’s departure point and since this
is her first ride on the old railroad bed, she will only venture a few miles
out before turning around for the return trip. From the very first mile she saw
her hometown in a way she never has before. Walking the rails as a youth was
forbidden and now the vistas are breathtaking.
Three miles from town the Valley
Viaduct loomed into view. How many thousands of times did her parents and later
herself behind the wheel drive under that large cement and steel structure? It
offered a spectacular view of the narrow gorge and of the roadway below. Ashley
leaned her bicycle over on its kickstand and reminisced about her old bicycle
left behind on the farm over a half century ago. She was feeling so
accomplished on her first day on the trail and three miles on her bicycle
odometer so far.
Standing there, Ashley’s mind was
reminiscing while looking down into the gorge and rock strewn river below. She
was one with nature and her memories of her youth and teen years. “Hello, great
day,” a voice boomed. Ashley was so startled she couldn’t acknowledge a reply.
The man apologized for scaring her and in her embarrassment she foolishly
concocted a story about hearing a noise below and possibly seeing a bear in the
undergrowth and that he didn’t scare her.
He didn’t have time to continue with
a conversation. Ashley mounted her bike and began riding to her intended goal
of 4 miles out before returning to Myers. Once out of view she began hissing
at herself for such a childish story she made up. Why not just admit that he
startled her. What’s the big deal? Obviously it was her stubborn pride.
When she reached the graded crossing
not too much further she began her return journey hoping that the fellow was
long gone. There was something about that fellow’s voice that sounded familiar
but she couldn’t place it. Maybe it was a store owner in town. Thankfully he
was nowhere to be found. After pulling into the depot she quickly mounted her
bicycle on the special rack she purchased for the back of her SUV and sat down
on a bench and reviewed her special first day on the trail.
Later that evening March 2
she entered congratulatory comments in her journal on her milestone she
achieved that day. An eight mile bicycle ride and a little notation about a
fellow trail rider startling her on the bridge and causing her to act like an
immature teenager. Plus she jotted a notation about his familiar voice.
Weather kept Ashley off the trail for
a few days but a sunshine morning greeted her and before you could count your bicycle
spokes she and her new friend met up again. The trail was a little damp but her
spirit was soaring high and dry. Today she wants to increase her distance to
the next trail head at Chance. Chance is just before the long tunnel that was
cut through the mountain in the early 1900’s to allow rail passage.
The tires on the dampened trail sang a
soft message and within an hour she was at the Chance trailhead and a welcomed
sight of a large his/hers porta potty. The echo chamber of the porta potty
persuaded her to sing a verse of an old 50’s rock tune. It was a good hearty
version and she was once again embarrassed by a voice on the men’s side of the
potty singing his version. She quickly headed toward her bike to make a quick
getaway but it was too late.
The male singer exited the potty while
still adjusting his trousers. “It’s you,” he said. I didn’t know if I would
ever see you again. Please forgive me for the other day when I startled you.”
Ashley was forced to have some kind of dialogue before riding off. “That’s ok,
I do admit that you gave me a fright and that it wasn’t a bear and by the way,
your rendition sounded a lot better than mine.” With that she was peddling away
toward the tunnel. The man yelled after her. “I love that song, my girl and I sang
it together back in high school.”
Ashley was overcome with an emotional
seizure. Her vision clouded and grew darker from a rushing blood surge that
swept over her. The wobbling bicycle left the trail and deposited her in a
swampy marsh. Her helmet took the brunt of the fall when her head landed near a
rotting log. She heard the dropping of a bike and a man’s voice telling her not
to move, just lay still Ashley Elizabeth.
A shadow straddled her and Old Spice
after shave scent swirled around her head. Her dad’s aftershave smell and
Dwayne’s. Oh my god! It’s Dwayne, it really is Dwayne. Nobody ever called her
Ashley Elizabeth but Dwayne and her mother. Another embarrassing moment. She
opened her eyes, squinting into the bright sunlight and the man, Dwayne’s
“Dwayne, it really is you.” “It’s ok,
you are going to be ok, just let me remove your helmet Ashley, easy does it.”
She is soaked and this April morning is making her wet and cold condition very
noticeable. “Try sitting up Ash, don’t move too fast.” Ashley already knows
she is ok but she does what he says. How nice it is to follow directions from a
Once she sat up, Dwayne noticed how
wet she was and helped her to stand up and to get back onto the trail where it was
dry. He had her sit down while he retrieved her unharmed bicycle. Thankfully
Dwayne decided to start his trail morning at the Chance trail head and the next
order of business was to get her into the parking lot and into his sun warmed