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Blackburn Castle

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Son, Father, Husband, Brother and life long adventurer. Having fun telling stories.

Blackburn Castle as id like to imagine it.

Blackburn Castle as id like to imagine it.

A Stormy Night at Blackburn Castle

After a long day of getting into trouble, exploring the woods, and riding my bike around my neighborhood, my sisters and I always looked forward to story time with dad. It was especially exciting to be wrangled up after dinner and taken to mom and dads room. My dad would put on his storytelling shorts, a pair of plain white cotton shorts that we wrote all our favorite stories on, and he would let us pick a story.

Once the blankets and pillows were arranged in the most comfortable setting he would start. we had the typical story beginnings. Once upon a time, Long ago there was a boy..., there once was a small dog. The usual ones but, there was one in particular I remember. It always began with "It was a stormy night at Blackburn Castle" and went on to any number of different stories. Some were mildly scary and some were very funny. I can remember laughing till I fell asleep and partially waking up and finding myself in my bed, the perfect ending to an eventful day.

After a long shift at the fire department, it was always great to see my dad walk through the doors of our country home safe from putting out fires and helping to save lives. Our few acres were the perfect getaway from the tumultuous events of working as a Fireman. Regularly, a small group of deer or maybe a fox or two would venture into our yard, this was our paradise. He was stationed at his firehouse for 24 hours and then was home for 48 hours. We maximized his time at home, and one of my favorite ways was storytelling, Stories like "Terry the Milk Carton Dog" and how he raised pet owls for a time kept us captivated with the life he had lived when young. Living in Oklahoma we did not get much in the way of true Winter but in Ohio where he grew up, they had snow for months and months. Amazed that his snow stayed around for more than 2 days was beyond our comprehension.

Essence of Storytelling

These stories were more than bonding time with our parents, it was a way to share history and family stories memorably. Stories are a huge part of my family tradition. My Aunt Cleo is an amazing storyteller. She used to record stories on cassette tape I wore those tapes out listening to her stories over and over. Stories are how elders teach about struggle, virtues, and adventures. My family has always had an affinity for telling stories, not just fictional stories but stories from their childhood. I remember stories my dad told about running around in the woods, hunting, fishing, and cultivating a love for nature. This was he felt so much at peace, and later where he would make memories with his kids, and little did they know this love for the outdoors would inspire us to get outside and create our own stories to tell our children. I remember distinctly going out in the backyard during lunch and me and my sisters would make our way across the creek and into our fort. Built out of fallen trees and logs lashed between other trees we made an area with everything we needed, mainly a hammock and some mason jars to catch bugs. As I progressed through Boy Scouts, I would spend more and more time outside. Once, we had a special campout where no one brought tents you were allowed a tarp and sleeping bag alongside your clothes and such. When we had found a spot to camp that's when the work started, time to gather materials like limbs, leaves, and pine needles and we all constructed our survival shelters.

My sister Emily in our backyard fort!

My sister Emily in our backyard fort!

Its moments like those that I will tell my little one and also take him on his own adventures. What I have learned from storytelling is that the entire process does not only include good plots, interesting characters, and a great ending.

My storytelling continues from my adventures with my dad into the new adventures ill have with my son and so on. My dad was not the only storyteller in my family, Aunt Cleo was such an amazing storyteller that she recorded her stories of growing up on cassette tape and I wore that tape out. It always interested me how people lived in such a different time. Between family, friends, Boy Scouts, and the adventure of becoming a parent I will have no issue coming up with stories. Initially, I started writing to save stories for my son thinking, "there is no way I can remember all these details and things iv done accurately", that's the beauty of writing, the ability to review stories, correct details, and put pictures with them makes them that much more authentic. The effort you put into writing comes out years later, though I have just started I would like to think it's like planting a fruit tree. Yes, you put in the effort growing it and keeping the deer from eating it as a sapling, and years down the road receiving your reward. The essence of storytelling is not for you but for those that listen.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Noah

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