Annabella lived in the middle of the bluegrass state of Kentucky with her older brother, Kyle, who was a horse trainer, and his wife, Stella, who was a stay at home mother to two year old twins, Darius and Emmett. Their home was old, built by pioneer ancestors in the late 1880s. Downstairs there was one large great room with a large chimney and hearth, and a smallish kitchen off to one side.
Kyle and Stella had a bedroom downstairs with two cribs for the twins and Annabella was upstairs in the loft. Although the loft was one big open space covering half the depth of the house, Annabella felt safe and there was a colorful crazy quilt hanging from the ceiling near her bed, which offered her some privacy.
Because the house was old, there was no central air conditioning or heat, but there were large ceiling fans in the great room, the bedroom and the loft. During the cold months, a cheery fire was always burning in the fireplace, giving adequate warmth to the family.
When Annabella stood on the wide tin covered front porch and looked around, she could see the thick, heavy woods on one side and the green open pastures on the other. About a dozen horses were roaming in the pasture and the large horse stable was visible in the distance.
The pastures had once resembled the woods, but many years of hard work by ancestors Annabella never knew had cleared away the trees and shrubs to allow grass to grow and sustain the livestock. The lumber from clearing the pastures was used to build the house, stable and barn, which was located behind the house. The lumber was also used to make miles and miles of fencing on the property.
Although she enjoyed watching the horses frolic in the fields, Annabella enjoyed the forest even better. There was always something to do or many treasures to find. Annabella was a collector of rocks, leaves and sometimes wildflowers.
The rocks were her favorite and she had many different kinds, from the native limestone to large round geodes to sparkling minerals that looked like jewels. Here favorite was a sparkly emerald about the size of a golf ball and Annabelle always carried this gem in a pocket of her faded jeans.