A Place Called Paradise
The Story Behind The Story

 

 

 

To learn more about the author, visit website: 

 

www.shirleyhutchins.com

Writers will always say there is a story behind every story.  Well, the truth is, there are years of stories behind A Place Called Paradise.

We will start where the stories all came together in 1999. 

At the time I had no reason to believe it would be a year that would change my life.  Although, looking back, I certainly needed something to change my life.  It had been a pretty tough year.  I had injured my hip. I am not sure how or when, but I knew too well how badly. Weeks of physical therapy and cortisone injections into my spine had me emotionally drained.  I was very near saying: Living this way is not worth it.  You can always bet when you are down to nothing, God is UP to something!

Daylight was breaking through the trees, April 13, 1999, as I headed out for another early morning treatment.  I was awe struck with the beauty of the image of the road before me.  I stopped my car in the middle of the road, got out and snapped a photo of that early morning foggy road.

I printed the photo later in the week and placed a copy beside my computer.  The photo began talking to me, telling me its story: No matter how foggy the road before us, God is always there.  Even if we cannot see Him, He is there.  The song Just Beyond The Shadows was born out of that photo.

That was just enough "spark" of creativity to keep me going.

After months of doing absolutely nothing fun, my husband, Darrell, and I headed out early Saturday morning, July 16, 1999.  Friends had suggested we explore Bell Buckle, Tennessee, a small community about 75 miles from our home.  The little town is known for its antique stores and seasonal festivals like Daffodilly Days and the RC Cola/Moon Pie Festival. Who could resist a place like that?

The drive was pretty and the little town was everything we had been told, plus a little more.  After spending the morning in and out of the little shops, we were eating lunch in what had been at the town’s general store now converted into a cafe.  There was a TV suspended from the ceiling in one corner and the breaking news caught every one by surprise.  A plane piloted by JFK Jr. had gone down and the sad news, no survivors were found.  There is no doubt in my mind that it where the line People fly into Paradise all the time was planted.

Bell Buckle played a big part in the remainder of the story, too.  Darrell and I sat on the curb and watched a parade going by later that afternoon.  We ate ice cream cones like a couple of kids.  For a brief period of time, neither of us could have told you what year we were in, we were so taken back in time.
 
On the drive home Darrell commented, "I have never quite understood going to heaven, walking around on streets made of gold.  To me, a little town like that: that would be paradise for me."

What an intriguing idea!  That’s all is takes for a "writing bug" to take over.
              
Can you find the difference in these two photos? 
Find the difference in the photo and win free music.
The old Post Office stands guard on the street into Paradise.