Love is Patient - Kay P. Dawson
The long prairie grass blew in the wind outside the window of the passing stagecoach like waves on the ocean. Kathryn couldn’t tear her gaze away from the beauty of the open countryside as they bounced over the rough dirt road. As far as her eyes could see, open fields stretched for miles with only a few trees dotting the landscape between.
She lifted her head to breathe deeply of the fresh, warm air just as the coach hit a bump in the road, knocking her back against her seat. The wheels creaked and groaned beneath her, and she wrapped her arms over her chest as she let herself enjoy the excitement of the new adventure ahead of her.
The name of the town in the Dakota Territory had called to her ever since she was a little girl. She’d come to visit her aunt and uncle a few times over the years while growing up, but her father hated everything about small town country life, so they’d never stayed long.
Now, Kathryn was able to make this her home and stay as long as she wanted.
She cringed inwardly at the memory of telling her father about her decision. When her aunt had written to her about a job teaching at the old country school they’d fixed up, Kathryn had known it was meant for her. She’d just completed her teacher’s training and had hoped for a position outside the city where she’d grown up.
Kathryn had never felt at home in Boston. She believed her roots were in the country, where her father’s family had come from. He’d tried to persuade her away from her “silly notions,” as he’d called them, saying that life in the country wasn’t for the weak.
Growing up, her father had moved many times while his family tried to survive life on the frontier. He said they’d had nothing, and at times had barely managed to find enough food to live. That’s why he’d left as soon as he could to make a life for himself away from the poverty he’d known. He’d worked hard to become a lawyer so he could live in the city where his own family would never have to know the hardships he’d grown up with.
So, when she’d told him she was moving out west, to the Dakota Territory where his brother lived, he’d been angry. He’d spent days trying to talk her out of it but had finally relented enough to say he would support her decision. Then added, he’d welcome her back home once she came to her senses and realized life on the frontier wasn’t as romantic as she was imagining.
“We’re just outside of Promise now, Miss. If you look out the window on your right-hand side, you’ll see that schoolhouse you’ll be teaching at.” The driver called down to her, startling her from her thoughts.
Before they’d left Brookings this morning, she’d been so excited, so she’d eagerly told the kind older man everything about what she was coming out here to do. He’d said he’d let her know as soon as they were close enough for her to see the schoolhouse.
She leaned against the side of the coach once more, not even caring about the jarring her body was taking with every bump. The small building she could see in the distance had her heart racing with joy. The few times she’d visited Promise as a child, she’d never paid much attention to the school outside of town.
It sat in the middle of a field, with just a few trees nearby, painted the same color as the barn she could see up the road. Her aunt had told her all about how the community had come together to bring the old schoolhouse back into working order, fixing it up and painting it with leftover red paint some of the farmers in the area had donated.
And now, this was going to be her schoolhouse. The small tower over the door housed a bell that she could already picture herself ringing to announce the start and end of the school day. The sound would alert the families that the children were on their way home so they would know to watch for them.
Off to the side, she could see the small cabin where she would be staying, nestled among the trees on the property. She smiled as she imagined how mortified her father would be right now if he was looking at the same scene out the window as she was.