I’ve always loved writing Mail Order Bride books. I often wonder if I would have had enough nerve to travel across the country to marry a stranger.
Many women did so out of necessity. The Civil War created not only an abundance of widows but also a shortage of men. Many women needed marriage just for survival. Single women had a hard time making it alone in the East. This was especially true of widows with young children to support.
Still, the thought of a woman traveling thousands of miles to an unknown future is hard to comprehend.
Would I have done it?
I like to think I was adventurous enough or at least brave enough to have done it. However, recently, I found myself in a situation that makes me now know I’m basically a coward at heart. Yep, I would have lived and died an old maid had I lived in the 1800s.
How do I know this? It all came about when a friend of mine insisted I sign up for one of those online dating sites. She said it was nothing more than a modern-day Mail Order Bride registry like they had in the Old West. After initially resisting, I finally gave in. I figured if nothing else I would get a story out of it.
Lo and behold, I was contacted by a man who was also a widow and lived locally. He suggested we meet for lunch at a nearby restaurant. He seemed nice enough, so I said okay. Writers will do almost anything for a story, right?
The restaurant happens to be one and a half miles from me, but it felt like a three-thousand-mile journey. A zillion thoughts went through my mind, mainly having to do with ax murderers.
I Almost Chickened Out
There were umpteen places to turn around and I considered every last one of them. By the time I reached the restaurant, my hands were glued to the steering wheel.
I was about to race for home when I spotted a nice-looking tall man waiting by the door. I opened the window and croaked, “Are you Jim?”
He said that he was and that was the beginning of an amazing whirlwind romance. Who would have ever thought such a thing possible? He is a wonderful man and I’m so lucky to have found him. We laughed because it turns out he had been just as nervous that first day as I had been.
Jim and I are getting married on June 5th and since we plan on doing a lot of traveling, this is my last blog. I’ll miss you all but will come back to visit. You can’t keep us fillies away from the barn for long.
Thank you so much for your great support through the years. Just for the fun of it, I’m giving away an eBook copy of my book, The Outlaw’s Daughter. Ah, but you’ve got to answer the following question to qualify for the drawing.
Have you or would you ever consider trying an online dating site?