Contemporary stories focused on real-life struggles and challenges, told with compassion, grace, wit and authenticity.
Back to Adelaide Creek
Welcome to Adelaide Creek, Wyoming, a charming small town with one main street, Merchant Street, which has a small town hall at one end. Behind that building, the town had a cemetery and a war memorial, a small playground and a makeshift diamond for baseball games. Its popular Spring Fling festival attracts visitors from all over.
Two Moon Bay Series
Two Moon Bay has it all—it’s located on Wisconsin’s Lake Michigan shore. It has all the elements needed for a busy life in a small lakefront town—the Silver Moon Winery and the Half Moon Café to a yacht club that’s the perfect place for big gatherings. It has tour boats and waterfront paths and everyone enjoys coffee and at treat at the Bean Grinder.
Back to Bluestone River
A prairie town in Central Illinois, Bluestone River was once a lively, prosperous community of family farms and related small businesses. Then, as farms were sold or lost and food processing plants closed most of Bluestone River’s young people left for college or to find jobs elsewhere and fewer returned to make a life in their hometown. Twenty years ago, shrinking opportunities, love gone wrong, and family troubles, including two deaths that shocked the town, separated a group of high school graduates, most of whom walked —or ran—away. Now the town is struggling to redefine itself and one day could have a comeback story to tell. Maybe it’s time for those who once left Bluestone River behind to come home and be part of revitalizing their hometown.
Still a favorite gathering place, the Bluestone River Covered Bridge spans a shallow stretch of the river on the edge of town. Locals walk or bike on the nearby wooded trails, skate on the frozen river in the winter, and picnic in the park on summer weekends. For over one hundred years, the bridge has been the site of marriage proposals and outdoor weddings and even a few memorial services. In years past, local high school kids claimed the bridge and the river as their own. It’s where they hung out, had their arguments, confided their secrets, and spun their dreams. And sometimes, it’s where love happened and promises were whispered.
Allouez Lake was once the town’s main resort, but after a tragedy in the Allouez family, who owned the resort, the lake, and the surrounding land was turned over to a not-for-profit group who designated almost all the property as a bird sanctuary. So far, the semi-isolated sanctuary hasn’t proved to be much of a tourist attraction, but, like other features in Bluestone River, new energy and ideas might turn that around. Then, the last member of the Allouez family returns once again occupies the family home on the lake and discovers hope for his future and for Bluestone River, too.