Some of the most well-known stories about the western territories include bandits, gamblers, saloons, and duels in the streets. They’re fun to read and they easily spark mental images of how things might have happened.
While I enjoy stories or movies about the rougher side of the wild west, I also love to read about families. Parents and children making a difference for each other and their neighbors. Working together to make life as good as possible. Parents raising their children with respect for others and appreciating the value of hard work.
I’ve read a few accounts of what life was like for farm families. Loneliness, isolation, and complete self-reliance is one scenario for the reality farmers faced. This opinion says that a family lived in misery and taught their children that community doesn’t matter. While it’s likely that this was the case for some, I don’t think it was the norm.
From what I’ve read, I’ve come to believe that a rich social network was part of the life of a pioneer farmer. They needed each other and were happy to lend helping hands. They appreciated each other and valued community.
Most of the organized events usually had three purposes—work, supper, and fun. Work needed to be done, so they’d get together and do it. Then they’d have something to eat. Of course, someone would bring a fiddle so they could sing and dance. Fellowship and good food were great rewards for jobs well done.
Children learned to work hard, but they also had fun. I’m certain life wasn’t perfect for all, but that’s the reality for some. I doubt that many children enjoyed a life of no chores or responsibilities, and that was the start of learning the importance of a job well done. This is how children were taught the value of hard work and being helpful to those who need it. I fully believe there was more than enough time for children to run through the fields and play and laugh together.
I imagine that most families enjoyed a life of fellowship and friendships along with the hard work. Little House on the Prairie is probably a romanticized view of what family life was like, but I think it's far more realistic than the idea of farm families choosing to be isolated and alone. God created us to come together as a community and the pioneer farm families believed that this was the way to success and happiness.
I love the Laura Ingalls Wilder stories. I choose to believe that life was hard, but fun and meaningful.
If you enjoy stories of family and children, you might enjoy my new release in the Colorado Matchmaker Series. Book One, Susannah and Lucas, tells the story of a couple who wanted children but found out they'd never be able to be parents. While this is a heartbreaking event for them - and probably readers, too! - they overcome it. Their marriage is greatly tested, but they don't pull into a shell. They reach out to others who need them. They change their plan and enrich their lives and marriage in the process. This is the story that sets the stage for the rest of the series - more happy couples who have babies and make beautiful families!
Annie Boone writes sweet western historical romance with a happy ending guaranteed in every single story. Inspiration comes in many forms and Annie finds more than one way to make her stories entertain and inspire.
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