A Journey by Boat – Friday Fictioneers – 09/13/13

This week’s Friday Fictioneers is based on the story of my grandparents, whom I never met. My father is the youngest in this story.

Thank you Rochelle for leading our group. Find more stories from the Fictioneers here.

Biography: 100 words

Copyright – Jan Wayne Field

A Journey by Boat

Melchior, a carpenter, couldn’t have known his fate the day he walked into the church of St. Francis. He saw a smile in her eyes and heard his mother tongue of German Swiss once again. It was here that he met Elizabeth, a stranger in this foreign land, but a neighbor who had lived only twenty miles away in their native Switzerland. Six months later, in this same church, they married.

Their twelve children taught them English. Seven left to fight in the war. Melchior played the accordion with his youngest, Michael, while Blackie the dog howled at their feet.

59 thoughts on “A Journey by Boat – Friday Fictioneers – 09/13/13

    1. Dear Rochelle,
      I think Blackie didn’t know how to distinguish good from bad from what I understand. He liked the sound of his own howl. Maybe he thought he was participating! My dad mentioned my grandpa never got upset with the dog for howling, so he howled a lot. Thanks.


      1. It sounds like your younger daughter just may be a writer. I wonder where she gets that? Ah, that’s a great way to expand on a character, to see an actual photograph. Thanks for sharing.


    1. Thanks, Guapo! I think this could be potentially expanded into volumes with so many lives. I can’t imagine, personally. Plus, she had lost three children in childbirth. I didn’t have enough space for that. Thanks for the kind words.


    1. Oh, thank you, Honie! I do believe they achieved the American Dream, although they had to live differently than most with so many mouths to feed. But, of course, that was more common back then. I think they had like 4-5 kids in a bedroom because they lived in a small house. Wow!!


  1. Hi Amy,
    Your story intrigued me. I wasn’t sure how much interpretation to put into that part about the dog howling, but it was just vague and suggestive enough for my imagination to run wild. Don’t know if that’s how you intended it, but I like how you let the reader finish the story in words that don’t count against the hundred. Very creative. Ron


    1. Thank you, Ron, for your most thoughtful comments. I so enjoy your comments every week. I did want to end it this way with kind of an open-ended picture, with life continuing past the children who left for war. Even though it was a lot quieter and they had more space, there was still five at home, and things had changed. Thanks! Amy


    1. Ah, thanks Bjorn. It think it was pretty tough at times, but their family was very close. My grandpa went to night school too, but learned English most from his kids. I imagine the chatter was non-stop!


  2. I’m reminded of the Rod Stewart song, “Every Picture Tells a Story, Don’t It?” Thanks for sharing your family story with us. My ancestors came from southern Germany as well.


    1. As it does every week with FF. Indeed, it does! Have you ever been back to visit your relatives there? I still relatives . in Switzerland, but still haven’t made the journey. I met them over here once. That was fun!


  3. Amy,
    A touching story told from your heart and those are my absolute favorites. 12 kids my god! Travel all the way across the world to find the love of your life who lived not far from your hometown. It is a great love story…6 months later… today people would call you crazy for acting so fast. Thanks for sharing. I really enjoyed this!


    1. Tom,
      Thank you so much. I know, 12 kids! Y’gads!! She actually lost her first three in childbirth as well. I agree it was a wonderful love story, which is why I wanted to tell it. I’m happy you enjoyed it!


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