Jacob and I have been traveling for what seems years but we have finally made it to the small town of Cut Bank in Montana. We left South Carolina about a year ago by wagon train but left the wagon train two months ago because the wagon train was not traveling the way we wanted to go. Jacob has this dream of owning a small ranch on the outskirts of this little town. He does not want to be a farmer like a lot of people coming west and I support him in his decisions. Our parents were not thrilled with us leaving but understood what we were wanting to do. We had been married for a few years before Jacob had told me what he wanted to do. He was not happy with what he was doing at the mercantile and wanted to make a life for us elsewhere. So we made arrangements to sell what stuff we had and find a wagon train willing to take us close to where we wanted to go.
Jacob had heard from the talk going around the mercantile that there was land in Montana to be had if one was strong and able to withstand the horrible winters. We knew a little about ranching and so forth and were willing to do what was necessary. We knew Montana was known as “Big Sky Country” and dreamed of a life out there. We both had went to the small library in the town that we had grew up in and read everything that there was on Montana, so we were both educated enough on what this state was all about. I know there are a number of people who had gone west with no information about where they were going. Jacob and I wanted to know what there was to know, so we could know what we were getting ourselves into.
As Jacob pulled into the town, we both looked for a mercantile, hotel, and a place to eat. It was a nice little town and it had what we needed. So we decided to go to the hotel and get a place for the night before heading out to where we were going to live. Jacob had contacted some people who had lived in the area and they had went ahead to build a small house for us built by Jacob’s specifications. We know we are different than some people when they make plans and such when moving. Jacob knows what he wants and he wanted a home for me. He did not want to be living in a lean-to or one of those houses that were built in the ground. So we headed to the hotel and got a room for the night. Then we headed to the local restaurant and had dinner since it was close to the time that one usually had dinner. We were tired but happy that we finally had made it to our destination. We knew it was going to be hard getting started but were were a determined couple. We may have been from the South but struggling and determination were in our blood. We would make it.
A year later.
We had indeed made it. We have a small but very prosperous ranch going. We made the decision to go ahead and breed horses instead of becoming a cattle ranch. There was more money in raising and breeding horses than cattle these days. We are very well known now as raising and breeding only the best horses. It was hard the first few months that we had it going but once we did; word got around and our reputation grew. It may have been only a year but once Jacob knew what he wanted; there was no stopping him. That is why I love him so much. As I look over the land that we have; I see Jacob on his horse with our son in front of him. Our son. Jake is just a year old now but he loves horses just as much as we do. Once we had settled down and all, I was able to get pregnant. I am not sure why I was not able to when we were first married but I am thrilled that we have a son. And I have a secret to tell Jacob later, as I lay my hands on my stomach. Little Jake is going to have a brother or sister soon. My gaze soon turns to what is going on in the distance. I see Jacob’s gaze also head that way as we watch a whole herd of our horses being herded toward the ranch. These are more horses that Jacob was able to buy at a reasonable price and we are going to breed them. Jacob heads towards me and hands Little Jake to me so he can meet up with them and help. As I watch him ride away, I am thinking about the past, the present, and the future. We did what we set out to do and I am so proud of the way we have accomplished everything that we had set out to do.
“Emily!” Jacob shouts as he comes closer and I look up.
Jacob smiles at me, knowing just what I am thinking and winks. He gets off the horse, gives me a kiss, and heads for the corral where they had put the horses. I am happy and that is what matters. I give one last look to what we have and head inside, compete.