Genealogy is one of my passions. I took this photo while exploring a creepy, neglected cemetery tracing my ancestry. The cemetery was in the woods next to a cow pasture. Wearing shorts, a summer top, and sandals, I emerged an hour later with 10 ticks on my skin. I had been looking for my great-great-grandparents graves, and despite many obstacles (including poisonous plants), found them.
Their names, laced with lichen, were nearly erased by time, but I was able to make out enough letters to identify the headstones of Edna Ann Neighbors Cardwell and Thomas Dixon Cardwell, who had died a few days apart in the 1800s.
Prior to this excursion, I had been working on a short story called “The Eastlake Clock” and needed inspiration to move forward. The photo of the cemetery, which I inserted into the text, advanced the plot.