My family is currently in the middle of what I’m beginning to call the “horrendous move of the century.” I’m sure that’s probably not true, but it’s seeming like that to me at the moment — we are 18 days into it and are still in boxes…
But one of the good things about the move is that I’ve had to look at most every book I have as I put them back onto bookshelves and I ran across a book called “Land of Enchantment,” which are the memoirs of Marian Russell — along the Santa Fe Trail. One of my books, THE ANGEL AND THE WARRIOR, was set on the Santa Fe Trail and so I had the opportunity to research it — and to go there and travel it just a little. To this end, I thought I’d write a little of her memoirs from this book, as I found them very impressionable. Imagine yourself back in the 1850’s — traveling the Santa Fe Trail:
“Minute impressions flash before me; the sun-bonnetted women, the woolen-trousered men, little mother in her flounced gingham, brother Will walking in long strides by our driver, voices of the lonely and homeless singing around blazing campfires. Because I was the youngest, I may today be the only onen left of that band to tell of the old, old, trail that, like a rainbow, led us westward.
Picture on the right is of Montana, but it is also a picture of the prairie — there wouldn’t be any snow-covered mountains in Kansas, Oklahoma areas. But let’s continue with Marian Russell’s impressions:
“Our trail often led among herds of buffalo so numerous that at times we were afraid. The vast open country that is gone from us forever rippled like a silver sea in the sunshine. Tunning across that sea of grass were the buffalo trails; narrow parths worn deep into the earth. They were seldom more than eight inches across, and always ran north and south. A buffalo is a wise animal and knows instinctively that water flows eastward away from the Rocky Mountains and that the nearest way to running water was always north or south..”
“Scattered along the buffalo trails were the buffalo wallows, small lagoons of rain water. They were like turquoise beads strung on the dark-brown string. The buffalo wallows, they told us, were made by buffalo bulls fighting. They would put their heads together and slowly walk round and round making a depression that caught the rain water.”
And before I leave the subject, here’s another passage: “I remember so clearly the beauty of the earth, and how, as we bore westward, the deer and the antelope bounded away from us. There were miles and miles of buffalo grass, blue lagoons and blood-red sunsets and, once in a while, a little sod house on the lonely prairie — home of some hunter or trapper.”
Doesn’t it make you feel as though you are there?
And here’s a little bit about the book, LAKOTA SURRENDER, my first published book:
As she heads west to join her cavalry officer father at hisKansasoutpost, Kristina Bogard eagerly anticipates new adventures—and her first glimpse of wild Indians. She has long dreamed of flashing black eyes, skin-covered lodges and buckskin and leather.
What she finds inFortLeavenworth, though, is a far cry from her Indian nanny’s thrilling stories. What few natives are left are crushed, brokenhearted shadows of their proud past. Except for one, a handsome warrior who stirs up a whole new set of dreams.
Tahiska can’t take his eyes off the green-eyed beauty whose graceful hands are fluent in his native sign language. Except he can’t afford to let anything distract him from avenging his father, who was killed by two white soldiers.
Though anger fills his mind, Kristina steals into his heart, igniting a wildfire passion that must remain their desperate secret. For soon comes the day of reckoning, when justice will be served…or a travesty will shatter their love.
Coming soon — December 11, 2011 from Samhain Publishing.
Well, I’m off to unpack more boxes — and more boxes…and more boxes… So come on in and let’s talk — about the book, about moving — your thoughts — or about the beautiful prairie — did it come alive for you?