Patricia PacJac Carroll: Tribute to Women Pioneers

 

You’re flustered and in a rush. Stop. Take a sip of your favorite Starbucks drink and imagine it’s 1850. You are comfortable in your home in Boston. Women are protected. You have your women friends, sisters, mothers, aunts around you. Life is good.

 

And then Harry, your husband, comes home from the store where he works. He has a wild look in his eye. No, not that wild look! He’s got a map in his hands. A piece of paper with words you may or may not be able to read depending on your status and upbringing.

 

Back to Happy Harry. He’s excited. His hands are trembling. (Remember, it’s not that wild look.) He sits down at his desk, scribbles out figures, and jumps out of the chair. “We can go.”

 

Your heart perks up. Maybe a party. You’ll need a new dress. “Yes, dear. Where?”

 

“To Oregon. No more working in a dark store. I can farm my own land. Realize my dream.”

 

You don’t want to go. Why leave? You have your friends. Family. Status.

 

Handsome Harry rushes to you, sweeps you off your feet, and yes, now he has that look in his eye. “Together, we’ll conquer a new land. Adam and Eve in a faraway paradise.” And he smothers your words of protest with a kiss.

 

Ah, well, you never could resist his kisses.

 

And you’re off. All your possessions whittled down into one, let me repeat that, one wagon. After tearful good-byes to loved ones you will probably never see again, you are already worn out.

 

On top of that, you are soon in the chaos of fifty wagons. Some of your fellow travelers are new arrivals to the United States and their different languages add to the chaos. What’s more, men are everywhere, and you are not used to being around other men. But now you are seemingly in the trenches with dirty, smelly, men.

 

Speaking of smelly, soon after you start on the trail, odors assault your dainty senses. What’s worse – you own them. Oh, the disgrace. It doesn’t take long into the journey and you are walking behind the wagon, suffering long hot days of slow miles and stinging flies.

 

You wince and cry when a shriek erupts from a wagon behind. A small child has been run over by the big wheels. Or cholera has claimed another life to be buried along the trail with the graves of those who died from other wagon trains that passed by years ago. You wonder if you or your husband will be next.

 

Water becomes scarce, the sun blazes, and the dust chokes what little air is left. Maybe you cringe at the small kick of the little one letting you know that yes, you are with child.  You can only pray you’ll reach Oregon before it comes.

 

Harry? He’s on his adventure. His dream.

 

Then you top the majestic mountains and see the green valleys. Your breath whooshes. You look east. Miles and miles of wagon ruts mark the land. Badges of honor to those who made the sacrifice. You look at your hands. Worn and callused. But you are strong. The little one inside you is strong too.

 

You gaze at Harry. He’s no longer the pale storekeeper. His body is sculpted bronze sinew forged out of the hard county. His eyes mirror the excitement and adventure you feel. Together you will tame a wild land, make a new life, and help build a new state. You realize you are home. You are a pioneer.

 

Now you’re back in the 21st century. It’s not really that bad. Take another sip of your drink and then whisper a quiet thank you to those brave women who made the trek west and civilized this nation.

 

Don’t forget them, draw on their courage, and go after

your dreams.

 

Golden Dreams blurb

Sometimes you have to go through your past to reach your dreams.

The civil war ends, leaving, Katy Gilbreth with nothing but a wounded heart and scarred face. Vowing not to give up, she sets her sights on California where she can get away from the hauntings of her past and start over in a land full of golden dreams. With her faith shattered and hopes fading, Katy trusts no man yet needs one to take her west.

 

Revelation Tarver has left California and is traveling east. He’s called to preach. A hard thing to do with a reputation as a fast gun. Going to reconcile with his father in Virginia, he believes he can outrun his past. Then he has those visions of asking a woman to marry him, but he definitely has no plans to fall in love again. Until he stops for supplies in a nowhere town and sees the woman in his dreams. Because of her past, Rev shuts his heart to Katy. After all, he’s been called by the Lord to preach, and he is headed east.

 

Until a killer, land grant, and a tornado throw them together on the California trail. Katy and Rev embark on a journey where their dreams collide as they face the wild land, a wicked outlaw, and their own pasts.

 

Leave a comment to get your name in the hat for either Liberty Belle (which is available now) or Golden Dreams when it comes out in April.

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35 thoughts on “Patricia PacJac Carroll: Tribute to Women Pioneers”

  1. Every time I drive through Northern Nevada, I wonder how those people survived the wagon train trip across that desert. And then going over the Sierra. It’s hard enough with the car. Just north of my home is a very long hill that has ruts made from wagons. The hill is steep and every one had to get out and walk while the wagons were tied to heavy poles to help break to slow them down. Probably made the ruts worse. It is creepy to stand there and imagine the ride and being able to see where you will end up and back up the hill to where you’ve been.
    We were doing that one day and being quiet and just soaking up the world when all of a sudden two F15 jets came over the hill and scared the cr$%^ out of us. My husband and I actually hit the ground on our stomachs it scared us so bad.
    So much for reliving the ‘old west’.
    Thanks for taking us back. Your books sound like winners to me.

  2. I enjoyed your post this morning. When my husband and I take trips from state to state we try to imagine what things were like back before freeways, highways and even just a simple paved road. When we drive through Kentucky we think about Daniel Boone. We think about the American Indian that roamed the area on foot. Can you imagine walking everywhere you wanted to go or riding there on horseback? Wow, and we complain when we are delayed by traffic. 🙂

    I would love to be entered to win one of your books.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

  3. Welcome to the Junction, Patricia. Loved your post. I can’t imagine the fortitude and courage it took to make that trip. If (and that’s a big, fat IF) I’d been coaxed into a wagon train I probably wouldn’t have made it past Nebraska. That’s it. We’re settling right HERE!

  4. Thanks for stopping by Mary, Cindy, and Renee,
    I admit, I love the freedom of the old west but I like the ease of living in this century. I would like to think I would have been one of those brave adventurous women.

  5. Loved the post, Patty. Oh for the good ol’ days–not. 🙂 Maybe simpler times, but I’m not up to toting and walking behind a wagon train in others’ dust. Loved the look back.

  6. That was a very enjoyable post, Patty. I AM grateful for the luxuries we have today…but then we wouldn’t have known the difference back then, would we?

  7. Thanks for introducing me to the Old West. Hardships and difficulties abounded, but reading about it would be wonderful.

  8. My sister and I are starting a western trek next week. No it will not be slow and arduous. We will travel by car at 60-80 miles an hour from Northeast Nebraskan to Parump, Nevada. We will spend one night in a soft, comfortable,warm house and trek on, stopping for food made and ready when we stop. We will feed the beast (car) and use the necessary spending only minutes. Yep we are soft and spoiled. We would probably stay home rather than go through what the pioneers wnt through!

    Your books sound great! Looking forward to reading them!

  9. love the post,,very interesting,I love this type of story line,,,my husband sorta did that to us,,we moved from TN to VT…was so hard so I can only imagine going by a wagon,,,hard enought to drive far

  10. Enjoyed reading the comments. I marvel at the strength of the women that settled the West. And to think they did it a without fast transportation, a dishwasher and microwave, and a washer and drier. No cell phone either. That would make a good time travel story to set someone in a past era and they have their cell phone with them and it worked .. might get them into and out of trouble.
    Your book sounds really good.

  11. We often travel through Texas, Oklahoma and into Kansas to visit grandchildren. I never pass through those hills that I don’t envision a tribe of Comanches topping the ridge or a line of wagons making their way West. I had the privilege of seeing the old wagon tracks preserved at Ft. Leavenworth Kansas, part of the Old Chisom Trial I believe.

    Compared to those courageous women we are wimps.

    With the plunge into depravity many television shows are beyond my ability to endure. My husband and I watch the inspiration channel with Bonanza, The Virginian, Little House on the Prairie and so many others.

    Can’t wait for Golden Dreams. Thank you for keeping that part of our history alive missy.

    DiAne Gates

  12. What a great post! I can’t imagine what those women went through. I haven’t had an easy life but a whole lot better then what they had. I think I will stick to modern times myself and just visit those time through books. Your book sounds really good and I would love to read it.

  13. Welcome to the Junction, PacJac! When I see the mountains, or the vast forests where I live, I wonder how on earth someone could top a rise and say, “yes, I can build a life here.” Thanks for the visuals!

  14. I really, really enjoyed this post. I love to read about the pioneers and the settling of the west. Thank you so much for taking us along for the ride today.

  15. Thank you all for your comments. I just got home from a mini-road trip. BY car. : ) It would be hard to go back in time to the past without our conveniences. What would we do without the Internet? Cell phones? I love writing about the old West but am glad I live in this century.
    God Bless everyone
    Have a wonderful Resurrection Day

  16. My husband and I lived in a little, old, sieve of a rental house out in the country for ten years. He used to tell me that at least I didn’t have dirt floors, trying to drag some gratefulness out of me. I was the unhappy “pioneer” woman living in an adventure house who had so much to be thankful for compared to the real pioneer women. Since that time, I am happy to say, my thankfulness has increased tenfold. Life is good. Would love to read your book. Thank you!

  17. My favorite, historical romance! I know times were hard way back then, but I would have loved to live back then! Thanks for the giveaway!

  18. My husband often introduces me to others as “a real pioneer woman” because of our years in 6 foreign countries. That’s so not true! As tough as it got in Third World countries, I usually had modern toilets, electricity, and running water–not not always running drinkable water. I admire the pioneers of our nation.

  19. I love reading about the Old West, but I prefer to read more about life after the trail. Life on a wagon train was just so hard. My dh and I watched all the Wagon Train TV shows and he’s now watching them in reruns. Thanks for the wonderful info. Since your book cover and mine are alike, I’d love to add your book to my collection.
    marthalrogers(at)sbcglobal(dot)com

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