A whole bunch of people have been telling me to get lost since I published the series about Ebor House.
“You need to get lost more often, Cynthia.”
“Get lost again, Cynthia.”
On and on it goes.
What no-one asked is: “How come you got so lost?”
It all started with an earlier wrong turn.
And a good-looking man.
I’d decided to drive home from my appointment using a country road – a back road – instead of the highway.
By now you know that I could get lost in a room. So before I knew it, I was lost.
Turning around in a driveway, I was either thinking a swearword or saying it out loud, when suddenly I saw a man.
A tall, handsome man.
So being a gracious person, I said a most gracious thing:
“I didn’t know Black people lived around here.”
Time stopped as I realized what I’d just said.
He stared at me, speechless.
I stared back, horrified at myself. The fact that I’m also Black did not excuse my careless words.
Then – thank God – he laughed.
“Nice homes in this area,” I said, desperately trying to get my foot out of my mouth.
“Some nicer ones on your way south,“ he said. “Beautiful new homes. Just keep going. You can’t miss them.”
Remember I told you this, folks:
Words can get a person into trouble.
Those crazy words I blurted, for example.
But these ones too: “You can’t miss them.”
Because some of us can. We’re programmed that way. And it gets worse when we’re flustered from having said entirely the wrong thing to a stranger.
The neighborhood I ended up in was not where he meant. Worse, I ended up going in entirely the wrong direction to get to my home.
And ended up in front of Ebor House.
So I could blame that lovely gentleman for all of this. But really, I thank him.
For not being offended at my ungracious remark.
And for being a crucial link in a chain of otherwise ridiculous events that landed me first in front of Ebor House, then, inside Ebor House…
… having coffee in Ron’s kitchen.
Next, I could blame all you readers who encouraged me to keep posting the series, which eventually led to bloggers and other people from around the world telling me to “Get lost, Cynthia.”
This is, of course, my strange way of thanking that unknown man, the mysterious chain of events, and everyone who followed the series and encouraged me to keep going. THANK YOU.
I still don’t know what mysterious force led me to Ebor House. Was it all serendipity? Did the house call me there?
Did John and Jane, who lost their sons in one day – did they want their story to be told, after being in the shadows for so many decades? And if so, are they disappointed that I didn’t tell the whole story?
I don’t know. I won’t even guess.
I’m exhausted now, and astonished at myself for accomplishing this series. But I’m also grateful. So much so, that just now I nearly wrote:
“I’d have been lost without you.”
The problem is that it would probably have been true!
Click here to find out how I ended up at Ebor House again – this time as a published author and amateur historian.