By Beverly Clinkingbeard

Whether we always realize it or not, our lives are often segmented by what occurs to a family, such as births, marriages, deaths, changes of job or location, sickness, etc. On one side of my family lineage, the siblings often asked of each other, “Was that before or after Oakdale?”

Oakdale. What was it about Oakdale?

It became a real place to author Jeannie Edwards (aka Beverly Clinkingbeard), when old letters from a daughter and a diary were among some of the keepsakes of her grandmother. The letters and diary echoed each other. Perusing old newspapers of the era corroborated place and fact, as did the grandmother who remembered what it was like to spend two years in a hospital always with the hope of healing and returning to her family.

As for the family at home, those years were keenly remembered. Though they weren’t exactly home alone, they remembered being expected to handle the day-to-day tasks of a farm home at a time when today’s conveniences were not yet available. Always, they were grateful for a father who made every effort to keep his family together, perhaps better understood in their adult life than at the time. Thus, the memories all roll into a fictional story entitled, “Oakdale.”

“Chore Boy” was published earlier and is still available. It is a compilation of tales from old farmers who remembered what it was like to hire out as a boy, often expected to do tasks beyond their ability and knowledge, but they pulled it off anyway.

“Oakdale” and “Chore Boy” are written for the younger reader, but can be enjoyed by adults, too. The books are available locally at The Flower Mill and Avalanche in Tarkio, Missouri. Otherwise, they can be purchased online through or Barnes & It will soon be available as an e-reader at both places.

‘Til next time . . .