June’s Game Day!


Yeehaw! It’s another game day. 

Today, we’re playing a game of What if… As a writer, I do this all the time, especially when I get stuck in a story. Now you get to try your hand at what if. Post your answers in the comment section. 

One lucky random winner will receive the cactus ring holder above and a digital copy of To Tame A Texas Cowboy.

What if you woke up one morning in the Old West? Where would you be, and what would you be doing?

Here’s my answer.

I had trouble with this, except for knowing I’d be in Texas as I am now. Give me too many choices and my brain shuts down. My first thought was I”d be on a ranch. But doubts crept in. Could I hack working that hard? I turned to other options. Maybe I’d be a teacher, because I had just received my teaching certification when I sold my first two books to Harlequin in 2011. I thought about making lesson plans and not having an adult to talk to all day, and said maybe not. I considered being a Hurdy-Gurdy girl, (shout out to our guest blogger Jo Noelle for that idea) but I’m a lousy dancer and being on my feet that much didn’t sound fantastic. Would I maybe be running a boarding house? I ruled that out. Too much cooking and cleaning. Could I run a restaurant? Standing over a hot stove rated right up there with on my feet all day. I decided I’d be on a ranch. Hopefully with the four strong men in my family–my husband and my three sons. We’d be working the land. I’d have a huge garden similar to the one my Grandma Walter had. I’d be taking care of chickens and out helping care for whatever other stock and crops we raised. Best of all, I’d have horses, something I’ve always craved. 

Now it’s your turn. In the comments, tell me where you’d be in the Old West and what you’d be up to.

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Julie Benson has written five novels for Harlequin American, and her Wishing, Texas series is available from Tule Publishing. Now that her three sons have left the nest in Dallas, when she isn't writing, Julie spends her time working on home improvement projects, rescuing dogs, and visiting Texas wineries with her husband. Visit her at www.juliebenson.net.

48 thoughts on “June’s Game Day!”

    • Kim, it would be great to have the freedom to teach children in ways that made it fun to learn. We aren’t as able to do that now with all the emphasis on standardized testing. I imagine teaching such a wide range of ages would be challenging. But, if the older ones helped the younger, it’s a good example of community. Thanks for stopping by today. Stay safe.

  1. What if I woke up in the old West. I’d be in the foothills of the Rockies in what was once Kansas, but now is known as Colorado. I’d be In A small log cabin with my husband trying to start a small spread. The rush of gold found in Little towns such as Leadville & Cripple Creek would keep us on guard as those traveling to go in search of a claim, traveled through. With the peaceful Cheyenne around our area and our spread not far from Fort Bents, we would be a prime place for fur traders roaming to cause problems. I’d definitely try to make friends and let the Cheyenne know we respect their land and are peaceful homesteaders. Denver to our north and the population growing up there would be Another problem with others trying to claim
    Land around us.
    Oh my mind is just going crazy with all types of ideas.

    • Tonya, sounds like you’ve got an idea for a story! Thanks for sharing this with us. I didn’t know Kansas once contained what is now Colorado! It must’ve been huge! Sounds like where you’d be you’d have a lot to keep an eye on, but then you’re a strong woman who wouldn’t let some challenges scare her off! If you decide to make this into a story, let me know. I’d love to read it! Take care and stay safe!

    • Debra, I’ve never been to Wyoming, but I hope to some day visit that state and Montana. I hear it’s absolutely beautiful there. It would definitely be a great place to have a ranch. Thank you for playing today and stay safe.

    • Janine, I loved my grandmother’s barn cats! I have this image of my Grandma Walter walking down to the barn with the cats clustered around her, all their tails crooked like a hook. She always dropped scraps into a big pan and added fresh milk once they’d milked the cows to feed them. The image always makes me smile. I wish I had a picture of her with them! Thanks for stopping by and stay safe.

  2. I would be in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming along the Tongue River. I would live in a log home with big windows to view the mountains, River, wildlife, and flowers. I would play the guitar and sing my heart out. Always a campfire, coffee, and dancing would entice the evenings. I can’t dance … but I would anyway. Oh, and horses would graze freely. Of course a few dogs would hang out under the front porch. A hitching post would welcome friends to rein in their horse for a visit and Arbuckle coffee. I would bake too. Who wants to come with me?

    • Kathy, count me in! Your place sounds wonderful, a really peaceful getaway. That’s what I miss about my grandparents’ Iowa farm. It was such a peaceful place. Life slowed down and I could always catch my breath there. I miss having a place to go that does that for me now.

      With all the folks who’ve said they would be in Wyoming, I had got to take a vacation there. What I’d like to do is see if there’s a ranch where I could stay…

      Kathy, thanks for sharing your getaway with us today, and stay safe!

    • Kathy I’m coming to homestead with you. I love WY., I nearly put that, but since I live closer to the foothills in CO., I went with what I’m familiar with. Have a blessed day.

    • Teresa, I considered the boarding house, but I raised three boys. In those days most boarders were men. I couldn’t imagine taking care of a houseful! Thanks for stopping by today. Stay safe!

  3. I can see myself on a ranch cooking meal for the hands, raising a garden and would love to have some chickens.

    • That’s exactly what I saw for me, too! I wish I had more land and could have some chickens now. Next spring I’m going to figure out a way to keep the dogs out of my garden. I miss having one. Stay safe and thanks for stopping by today!

  4. I would be in a smallish town in Wyoming, and on a ranch or with a boardinghouse. Or, possibly being a Pinkerton agent.

    • Melanie, it would be fun teaching back then without all the standardized tests. A teacher had the opportunity to teach what she wanted and could make learning fun. Over the years with my kids in school and then substitute teaching, I’ve seen school districts take the fun and excitement out of learning. So much of elementary school now involves taking notes. Not fun for the kids or for teachers to teach. Having freedom to really teach would be wonderful! Thanks for playing today. Stay safe!

    • Charlene, I’ve never been to Wyoming, but I hear it’s beautiful. It’s on my bucket list to visit there and Montana. Thanks for stopping by today. Stay safe!

  5. If I woke up in the Old West…

    I would live on a sprawling cattle empire on acreage that was near the Colorado, Utah and Wyoming boarders. (I mind as well dream big and cattle is what I grew up with) Our acreage would have its own little town of sorts. We would have a large main house for our children to grow up in. We would have quarters for the hired hands with their own dining hall and kitchen. Our place would have a stagecoach stop just outside the main gate. We would have a telegraph on site. We would have many cabins throughout our spread for hands to stay in when they were out at the far reaches working cattle, fencing, hunting or for the family or hands to have some well needed downtime. We would have our own equivalent to a country store that had a mail stop. We would have a large outside pavilion for dances and large picnics. Our place would have the Green River, as well as other streams, ponds and lakes. In other words, being in the middle of nowhere at the time, we would have absolutely everything we would need! Our place would be called Big Country Ranch, possibly since I have no idea what my last name would be.

    • Stephanie, when you dream, you do dream big! Your spread sounds amazing. Like you said almost a small town unto itself. Sounds beautiful and bustling. It would be famous throughout the region. Thanks for sharing it with us today. Stay safe!

    • Stephanie, If I ever get over the mountains of the Rockies from the East, I’ll come visit you. You certainly have me wanting to visit.

  6. I’d like to be a nurse in a small town in Montana. I have always wanted to go to Montana and I wanted to be a nurse once so I could at least do two things I always wanted to do

  7. I would be living in a small town in Colorado and own a thriving business. A general store and encounter fascinating individuals who need to purchase supplies and pass through the town regularly.

    • Anne, I think owning a general store would be fun. My dad’s mom owned one in a tiny Illinois town. When we visited we’d get to go there and explore. Thanks for stopping by and stay safe.

  8. I would live on a ranch in Montana where the buffalo and cattle roam and the skies are blue and clear and the life is tough but gives us hope and a beautiful future.

  9. My interest and life takes place in the West where I could be the town librarian and give the children the books and literature that would be fulfilling and shape their lives.

  10. I would like to wake up on the Colorado Front Range. It would be on a ranch running cattle. Mine will sound much like yours. A big garden so we would have fresh vegetables all summer and enough to can for over the winter or put in the root cellar. Chickens for eggs and meat. Pigs for fall slaughter for fresh and smoked meat. A couple dairy cattle for milk and butter. A husband, 2 daughters and 3 sons would make a good sized family. A nice 2 story log house with a stone fireplace and a big kitchen with both a full sized wood cook stove and a smaller box style one to use in summer.

    When we lived out there, we passed a place I fell in love with. From the road, you could see a gap in the mountains that opened into a beautiful, large, mountain valley. There was a small cabin at the mouth of the split. I remember thinking it would be a wonderful place for a summer pasture. So I would include that in my “What if” only my valley would have a nice lake towards the center. And since we are making this all up, between the summer pasture valley and the main ranch, there would be a hot spring with a nice pool to soak off the aches and pains of the day.

    I hope your summer has started well. Take good care of yourself and stay healthy.

    • Patricia, your ranch sounds heavenly. A wonderful place for a family and relaxing after a long day of ranch work. The older I get, the less I feel like a city girl and wish I could be on a ranch or farm. Take care, thanks for sharing your special place with us and stay safe!

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