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A Writing Challenge: The Lone Sentinel

Credit Where Credit Is Due

My good buddy Mike (Mr. Archer from HubPages) wrote to me the other day. He had an idea for a writing challenge and he passed it along to me. Here it is:


“Bill, hope this finds you well this morning. I had a thought this weekend (strange as that may be). We were traveling the interstate between Joplin and Springfield and I spied a fireplace not far from the road. It is a sight I look for every trip and have seen it many times over the years. But his time I wondered: what is its story? Then I thought of you and your challenges and wondered if you could inspire others to create such a story. It is a lonely fireplace, standing aloof and solitary beside a fence separating the highway from an empty field. In past years there has been a wreath hung on one side of it during the holiday season, but not this past one. Makes me wonder if the person who was placing it there has passed and no one remembers the reason for it anymore. Anyway, there you go. What do you think? A good challenge for others to spin a yarn about?”

So there you have it.

Mike didn’t have a picture of this fireplace, so I found one online that is basically the image we need for this challenge. Use it for your challenge, write your response to the challenge and send me a link so I can link it to this one. And that’s all you have to do! Let’s see if your creative juices are flowing today, shall we?

And now, if you don’t mind, I think I’ll give it a try.

The Lone Sentinel

The year was 1845.

Ezekiel and Sarah Miller loaded the last of their belongings onto the Prairie Schooner and prepared to leave their home. They were Oregon-bound. It was late-March, and soon the grasses would grow on the open plains, and they needed to be in St. Joseph in two weeks. There they would sell their horses and hopefully find a good team of oxen, the noble creatures that would pull them, carry them, and lead them westward over the desolate lands and unforgiving mountains.

Their log home with its massive stone fireplace had served them well for five years. It sat on fifty acres just outside the small village of Joplin, Missouri. Lead had been discovered in the valley, and people were trickling in hoping to cash in on that metal, but there were war drums in the distance. Already the small village was divided, north and south, and sooner rather than later those whispers of division would become angry shouts, and the Millers wanted no part of that dispute.

So they had sold their home to a young couple, the Paxtons, said goodbye to family and friends, and now they climbed aboard the wagon, encouraged the horses with a flick of the reins, and they were off for lands unknown.

a-writing-challenge-the-lone-sentinel

The Paxtons Work the Land

Fifty acres of prime farming land in the Joplin Valley, and Sam and Delores Paxton were determined to make it work. Sun up to sun down they worked the land, planting corn, nursing those seedlings, caressing the young stalks with love, and cursing the weather at every turn. It was back-breaking, thankless work, but eventually they harvested their first crop, and that gave them money for supplies over the winter, and the gods of weather cooperated, smiled upon them, and gave them hope for the future.

But as so often happens, hope is ground under the boots of outside influences, and so it was for those living in Joplin as the 1860s unfolded and the sounds of war echoed from the rolling hills. Gray uniforms came a’callin’, and right on their heels the blue-bellies were in hot pursuit, and homes soon had bullet wounds that matched the wounded psyches of those just trying to make a living.

The Paxtons, mom, dad, and two fine sons, eventually found themselves casualties of the war, and the west called to them after twenty-five years of tilling the soil, and they said goodbye to family and friends, loaded their wagon, and followed the sun to an uncertain future. The last of their fires produced smoke, and that smoke billowed from the grand chimney, beckoning to a minister and his wife, and soon Reverend Holland and Mrs. Holland took ownership of that cabin and made it their own.

a-writing-challenge-the-lone-sentinel

Pray to the Lord

The Hollands erected a fine barn on the property, and raised a cross to sit upon it, and soon the growing city of Joplin had a Baptist church to worship at. The country nursed the wounds of war, the economy turned robust, and throngs of easterners moved to the valley in search of a quieter life. The church congregation grew, peace and prosperity spread along the riverbank, and the smoke of tranquility rose from the great stone chimney once again.

And so it was for a number of years, the calendar pages turned and a new century dawned upon Joplin. Families came and families left, the constant evolution of life in a Midwest town. The log cabin grew in size, rooms were added, but the stone fireplace remained, standing guard over the property, a sign of continuity in an ever-changing landscape. The dirt road was paved, then re-paved, and horses were replaced by horseless carriages, then trucks carrying the fruits of commerce, and Joplin grew to a good-sized city.

The End of an Era

Then one night, it must have been 1958 or ’59, a fire swept through the home. The family, luckily, escaped, but by dawn the home was ash and all that remained of that 1840’s cabin was the chimney, now covered with soot and looking her age. The property was sold once again, this time to an absentee farmer, and the fifty acres were devoured by surrounding property until an agribusiness emerged totaling two-thousand acres with steroid-corn and all the personality of a doorknob.

The two-lane road was widened and an interstate replaced the quaint dirt road of years gone by, and progress rolled by at faster speeds, rendering the countryside as just one constant blur, but to a discerning eye, to an eye intent on seeing that which is important, that chimney stood as a reminder of days gone by, traditions lost and a slower, happier time.

The lone sentinel standing guard for history.

And Now It’s Your Turn

Do with it as you please. I look forward to your creativity, and I know my friend Mike does as well. You do not have to use the same title, The Lone Sentinel. All you have to use is the picture. Remember to let me know when you write your response so I can link it to the original article.

And now, in the words of my high school teacher, let’s do it to it like Sonny Pruitt.

Have fun and good luck!

2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

From MIke

  • All That Remains... The Story Of A Fireplace
    It was once the center of a home, built many years before. Its hearth warmed those within, its focus on heat and cooking, not ambiance as those of today. It had purpose. All that remain are memories.

From Audrey

From Bill

  • The Lone Sentinel - a Bill Holland Challenge
    This story is my response to a Bill Holland Challenge creative writing project based on the image and title provided - The Lone Sentinel. It was also created within the context of "The Homeplace Saga"

From Marilyn

  • The Lone Sentinel Challenge
    “There is no death, daughter. People die only when we forget them,' my mother explained shortly before she left me. 'If you can remember me, I will be with you always.” ― Isabel Allende, Eva Luna

From Chris

From Sara

From Debra

From Ruby

From Sally

  • Heaven is not really that far away
    On Sunday May 22, 2011, late in the afternoon a catastrophic EF5 multiple-vortex tornado struck Joplin, Missouri. An elderly grandfather returns to the site where he and his family once lived.

From Dahoglund

From Ann

From Alan

  • STORYLINE - 17: Like A Sentinel
    Another reply to a Bill Holland challenge: A mining accident is the last straw for a lead working on its chinstraps. The owners sell up, the smelt mill, chimney and hushes are abandoned. But then...

From Pete

From John

  • The Lone Sentinel (Guardian of the Past)
    This is my response to another Hub Challenge. This challenge involved writing something creative about an abandoned solitary fireplace. Bill provided a photo prompt and background for the request.

From Venkatacharim

From Randy

From Genna

  • The Silent Sentinel: An Answer to Bill Holland’s Challenge
    I wrote this brief poem in answer to Bill Holland’s writing challenge and in honor of poetry month. (My apologies, Bill, for being so late in participating in this wonderful writing exercise.) Bill's (billybuc's) challenge can be read by...

From Shyron

Comments

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 30, 2020:

Thank you Clarence! I appreciate you taking part in the challenge.

clarence turpin from newport on November 29, 2020:

Here is mine https://hubpages.com/literature/The-wolf-and-the-m... Your story is good too.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 21, 2015:

Thank you Bill! I've got some steroid-free corn growing right now, so relief is on the way. LOL

Bill Russo from Cape Cod on April 20, 2015:

Great story Bill. We are all here for a short time and I think that's why I like a story that takes generations to tell - even if the ending is gloomy and tastes as bad as 'steroid-corn'.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 22, 2015:

Thank you vkwok!

Victor W. Kwok from Hawaii on February 22, 2015:

Awesome story, Bill!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 22, 2015:

It really would be, Deb, one I would gladly live. Thank you and Happy Sunday to you.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 22, 2015:

Genna, you can contribute any old time you finish. No worries about time, my friend.

Thank you and I look forward to it.

bill

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on February 22, 2015:

I could smell those fires, pull the kettle from the fire, and have my stew in quiet after another hard day at tending the farm. What a wonderful life it would be.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on February 21, 2015:

I love this challenge, Bill, and your moving story of the "lone sentinel standing guard for history." I started to write a poem in answer to this but have been flummoxed with time constraints, recently, and life in general. Is it too late to contribute?

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 17, 2015:

Thank you Randy! I appreciate it.

Randy Horizon from Philadelphia on February 17, 2015:

Hi Bill, Below is the link to the story I wrote about the Lone Sentinel.

Thanks.

http://hub.me/aje62

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 17, 2015:

Well, Nadine, thank you for spending some of your loadshedding hours with me. It is greatly appreciated.

Nadine May from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on February 16, 2015:

With great fascination have i read your story around the stone chimney. If time would allow me i would join in the challenge, and one day i will. I loved reading the history you included. I.m on my tablet with battery power that i,m replying to you as well as replying to the comment you left under my article...the hanging gardens. Due to the loadshedding hours we have less time on the internet.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 16, 2015:

Finally found it and I'm glad I did, John! Thank you!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 16, 2015:

Thanks, John. I'll go look at it now.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on February 16, 2015:

Hi Bill, just letting you know my response has finally been cleared...what a long weekend that was.. :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 16, 2015:

Thank you Pete. I appreciate you stopping by.

Pete Fanning from Virginia on February 16, 2015:

Another great one, Bill. Thanks for the inspiration!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 16, 2015:

I will indeed, Alan. Thanks for taking the challenge.

Alan R Lancaster from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) on February 16, 2015:

(This feels like being a coal miner, burrowing down here...)

Right Billy Boy, here's another one, eyes down again;

'alancaster149.hubpages.com/hub/STORYLINE-17-Like-a-Sentinel'

Enjoy the read.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 15, 2015:

I will do that, Ruchira. Thank you!

Ruchira from United States on February 15, 2015:

Wow!

Loved reading all the ideas from my prolific writer mates :)

Bill, I am not much active on HP...could ya please tag me so that I do not miss out on this interesting event, next time?

Thanks!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 15, 2015:

Kailey, that's sweet of you to say. Thank you! I hope you do give it a try. I'd be interested in seeing some creative writing from you.

social thoughts from New York on February 15, 2015:

I love what you did with the idea and the photo. I'm a fan of abandoned places, and taking something like this to write creatively. I may do something with it or it may inspire me to write an article on an abandoned place, since they fascinate me so. Your writing takes us on an adventure, every time. Thank you!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 15, 2015:

You are very welcome, Sally, and I'm so happy to hear that.

Happy Sunday to you, my friend.

bill

Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on February 15, 2015:

Thank you Billy, writing fiction at school was the only thing which brought me any joy and the challenges which you have set recently have re-awakened my interest, for that I thank you.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 14, 2015:

Sally, I was pleased with your entry. I was going to say pleasantly surprised, but that wouldn't be accurate. I've always known you were a good writer.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 14, 2015:

I think you're right, John. I'll check on it again Monday....of course that's a holiday here in the States. :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 14, 2015:

Thank you PS and Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours. I hope it was a special memory, my friend.

blessings and hugs are yours

Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on February 14, 2015:

Billy, a link to mine, thanks for your help with the images.

https://hubpages.com/literature/Heaven-is-not-real...

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on February 14, 2015:

I suppose the problem is that HP doesn't review hubs on the weekend Bill. I have done all I can for now. Just have to be patient and wait until Monday I suppose.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 14, 2015:

Still waiting for it, John. Thanks my friend. It will work out eventually.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 14, 2015:

I've been waiting all day, John, for the editors to release it. I'll keep trying.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on February 14, 2015:

Many of those very same

'lone sentinels' dot the land as we travel through from one place to another.

An interesting read and begs to have more told ....waiting to hear what comes next...I know the words are there.

Happy Valentine's Day blessings and love to you and yours ..

Angels are winging their way to you today ps

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on February 13, 2015:

My hub was up long enough to get one comment, then unpublished due to "duplication" because I included your introduction Bill. I have deleted some of it but the "editing tool" is acting up so I couldn't remove as much as I wanted. Hope it's enough to get published again.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on February 13, 2015:

A link to mine: https://hubpages.com/literature/The-Lone-Sentinel-...

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on February 13, 2015:

This was another great challenge Bill. Once again it slipped past me. I only found out about it by reading Chris' response. Better late than never but mine is done "The Lone Sentinel (Guardian of the Past). Loved your story by the way.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 13, 2015:

I'm glad you are taking the challenge, Debra, and you've come to the right place...I love stories that are "out there." LOL

Debra Allen from West By God on February 13, 2015:

I am writing for this challenge also. I need to go take some more pictures to add to my hub. Thanks for this challenge! I wasn't going to take it because I had a brain fog when I first looked at the chimney, but after a night of rest my brain could not shut up.

It is not as "out there" as my other one was using the door to nowhere. LOL

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 13, 2015:

I'll get to it shortly, Debra. Thank you!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 13, 2015:

Chris, thanks for taking the challenge. I've already read it and was duly impresses.

I know for sure I would have been on the Oregon Trail if I'd been alive then. There is just something about that journey that calls to me.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 13, 2015:

Thank you Frank. The responses are coming in and as always, they are very well-done.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 13, 2015:

Marilyn, I saw it and commented, but I'll say it again...you did a yeoman's job on this challenge. You should like fiction; you do it quite well.

Debra Allen from West By God on February 13, 2015:

Okay I just published it:

https://ladyguinevere.hubpages.com/hub/A-Bill-Holl...

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 13, 2015:

It really is my pleasure, Anna. I love to see writers who are excited about their craft. How could I not want the best for them?

Thank you!

bill

Anna Haven from Scotland on February 13, 2015:

You encourage, coach and challenge Mr Holland.

Your tale was cinematic and conjured up the sights and odours of the period. Interestingly the photograph brought up a supernatural slant for me.

Thank you for encouraging our differences, celebrating and encouraging them.

Chris Mills from Traverse City, MI on February 13, 2015:

Bill, I read your story, which of course means mine is published now as well. Missouri Homestead awaits for your reading pleasure.

Your story reminds me that I am most certainly an accident of history, born in the wrong century. I connected immediately with your characters, wanting to join them on their journey to a new life away from......PHILADELPHIA.....please get me out of this city soon....ahem, sorry about that. I'll be leaving at the end of May. Thanks for the story and for the challenge.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on February 13, 2015:

the end of an era.. the lone fireplace.. that was an amazing write and I am sure it will fuel the fires of other hubbers who will produce ( I have no doubt ) a wonder tale, poem.. or flash giving this lone fireplace breath.. bravo my friend

Marilyn L Davis from Georgia on February 13, 2015:

Good evening, Bill; took the challenge. https://hubpages.com/literature/The-Lone-Sentinel-... I'm beginning to like that fiction stuff....she smiles.

Would value your comments. Thanks. ~Marilyn

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 13, 2015:

Oh, Audrey, there was, and it was beautiful. Thank you my talented friend.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 13, 2015:

Thank you Catherine. In truth, writing fiction has always been easy for me. The trick now is to take it to the next level and write exquisite fiction. :)

Audrey Howitt from California on February 12, 2015:

Oh there must be a poem in there somewhere!

Catherine Giordano from Orlando Florida on February 12, 2015:

You always amaze me with your writing talent. Your ability to spin a yarn. Yu make it seem so effortless. I don't do much fiction. I can never think of plots. You inspire so many to take your writing challenges. Voting up.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 12, 2015:

Ann, I had no doubt you would pick up that gauntlet and run with it. I look forward to your story, as I always do.

As I wipe the raindrops from my glasses, I prepare for a day of writing. How lucky can a man be?

Have a wonderful Thursday!

bill

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 12, 2015:

Venkatachari M, thank you for your kind words. How do you climb a mountain? One step at a time, my friend.

breakfastpop on February 12, 2015:

Oh no! Now I am two challenges behind everyone!

Ann Carr from SW England on February 12, 2015:

Well, bill, just when I think I've caught up you go and issue another challenge! How can I resist? Impossible. When someone lays down the gauntlet, I have to respond. It'll take me a while this time but I will do it.

I like how you've gone through the history this fireplace has seen; it's always good when there's a focal point for such things.

Have a great day!

Ann

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on February 12, 2015:

Very great story. You have wonderful talent to spin such awesome content around a picture or sentence. This is what makes me too much attracted towards you. I think it is a mountain for me.

Voted up and awesome, beautiful, interesting.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 12, 2015:

Faith, I'm a big fan of history and love to look at old structures...and I'm a big fan of you, and that has nothing to do with old structures. :) More like modern architecture. :) Blessings and thanks, always.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 11, 2015:

Fantastic, Chris. I thank you for giving it a go. I like that you don't read my story before you write yours. Very good approach.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on February 11, 2015:

I have always wondered about the history of what was when I happen to see an old fireplace standing alone or other structures. What would it say if it could tell its story ...love your historical account here.

This year is off to another great start with the challenges, which always do produce many creative and interesting stories, each so unique.

Peace and blessings always

Chris Mills from Traverse City, MI on February 11, 2015:

I'm writing away for this challenge, Bill. My thanks to you and Mike (Mr. Archer) for providing this excellent opportunity. I don't know if I will finish tonight, it's already nearly 6pm here in Philly. But I'll get it up ASAP. I haven't read your story yet. I like to wait until I've written my own before reading the stories of other participants. But I'm looking forward to some awesome tales of the old days.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 11, 2015:

Thank you Marlene! The history teacher in me greatly enjoyed writing it.

Marlene Bertrand from USA on February 11, 2015:

I really enjoyed reading this story. I feel like I have just read a "historical" account of a precious journey.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 11, 2015:

Bill, this is right in your wheelhouse. I felt like I was writing one of your chapters. :) Let's see what you can do.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 11, 2015:

Mike, your wish is my command. I was glad to do it and now I'm looking forward to the responses. Thank you, buddy.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 11, 2015:

Well Sally, we don't want you losing beauty sleep over this. Sleep well my friend and thanks for stopping by.

bill

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 11, 2015:

Thank you Lyric...pretty country, northern Virginia. I wish you well in that decision.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 11, 2015:

Thank you Roberta and it's nice to see you again. I appreciate the visit.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 11, 2015:

DJ, you are a riot. What a great calendar it would be...probably sell millions. LOL

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 11, 2015:

Thank you Buildreps! Challenges really are great practice for a creative writer.

William Leverne Smith from Hollister, MO on February 11, 2015:

Thank you, Mike, and thank you, Bill. Excellent suggestion, excellent story to set the pace for this challenge. It will be hard to pass by. Love the image! ;-)

Mr Archer from Missouri on February 11, 2015:

Well, Sir William, you took me at my word! I love your story and look forward to reading others insight into this old fireplace. Heck, I may even give it a shot! Thanks old friend, I am glad you are back in the saddle again!!

Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on February 11, 2015:

Some food for thought, hope this challenge does not keep me awake at night, sigh! Thanks to Mr Archer and yourself.

Richard Ricky Hale from West Virginia on February 11, 2015:

Got to love the history of these beautiful buildings, they all hold a history that's interesting. My wife and I are thinking about moving to the farm lands in northern Virginia. Very beautiful place. Voting up!! Thank you.

Roberta Kyle from Central New Jersey on February 11, 2015:

Great idea and love your story.... I've so often wondered about the ruined buildings one passes on the highway.... it is sort of like a collision of two worlds.

DJ Anderson on February 11, 2015:

What a great story, Bill.

I have always loved the sight of old abandon barns, bending under their load of the centuries. And, chimneys standing along, where once stood an old home place; these are memorable sights. We see many of these as we travel in the car. Always thought it would be nice to take photos of these old places and make a calendar. But, that would involve stopping the car, and with my husband driving, that is simply not going to happen. I feel lucky when I get a tinkle stop! Maybe, I can make a calendar of pictures of all the rest stops.

I could call it "Relief Pictures". LOL

DJ.

Buildreps from Europe on February 11, 2015:

You have a true writers heart, Bill. Great story. Please continue this great idea. One day I might join the challenge :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 11, 2015:

You are very welcome, Dora, and I thank you as well. Have a superb Wednesday.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on February 11, 2015:

Thanks for your story example in response to this challenge. Got some thinking to do.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 11, 2015:

Thank you, Sandra, and best of luck with that new book. I certainly understand about shortage of time.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 11, 2015:

MizB, thanks for stopping by. Mike wanted to take a picture, but he said there wasn't a place to pull off the freeway. I remember that tornado well, and Mike filled me in on the devastation it caused. Horrible event for sure.

Sandra Joy Eastman from Robbinsdale MN on February 11, 2015:

Bill enjoyed the story as always. Wish I had more time to work up my own but I'm on a roll for my 4th book in my Rubies series. I'll be lucky if I get a few hubs out this month. Take care and many blessings.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on February 11, 2015:

Bill, I used to drive that road between Joplin and Springfield to get home to North Arkansas. I wish Mr. Archer had included a photo of that chimney. Joplin had a tragic tornado a few years ago and was nearly wiped out. This brings tears to my eyes just to think of it. I hope I get time to answer your challenge. Thanks, my friend.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 11, 2015:

I do too, Sha! There are always some fantastic stories from some very creative minds out there.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 11, 2015:

Thanks Ruby! Wake that girl up and tell her you need some words and inspiration NOW!!!!!

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on February 11, 2015:

Mike's idea is a good one. I'm sure that lone fireplace has many stories to tell, if it could.

I look forward to what turns this challenge takes.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on February 11, 2015:

Sounds interesting. I've been to Joplin many times. My sister lived there for years. My muse has been asleep all week, I'll see if she's awake and see if we can come up with a story. I loved your story...

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 11, 2015:

Thanks, Mary. I love old structures like that. I love to imagine what history has passed by them over the years. Besides, Mike asked me to do it and that's enough reason. :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 11, 2015:

Thank you Janine. Happy Wednesday to you. Stay warm and dry, my friend. Spring is coming!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 11, 2015:

Thank you Mary. I could write historical fiction all day, I enjoy it so much. I hope you take on the challenge.

Mary Craig from New York on February 11, 2015:

What a fantastic way to start a challenge Bill! The story of that lone fireplace as it stood through the sorrowful times of the prairie. Families coming and going with growth and sorrow. If a fireplace could talk I think this is what it would say. You are certainly a hard act to follow!

Voted all but funny. Shared too.

Janine Huldie from New York, New York on February 11, 2015:

Loved that you took this challenge and also passed along to us today. Thanks so much Bill and wishing you a great Wednesday once again, too!! ;)

Mary Hyatt from Florida on February 11, 2015:

This should give us some great ideas to meet this challenge! I won't promise, but it sure sounds like a good one. I like your photos; they remind me of where I grew up in the country.

Your story was a very good read this morning!

Voted UP, and shared to get the word out of your new challenge.

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