Love is Patient - Kay P. Dawson Page 0,1

her eyes, it all looked perfect. It was everything she’d dreamed about since the first time she’d come to visit her aunt and uncle so many years ago.

The wheels bounced loudly over the wooden bridge leading into the town. Everything looked the same from her last visit here, except for a few new buildings, and it seemed like there were more people who came out to wave at the passing stagecoach.

With a cloud of dust wrapping around them, they lurched to a stop in front of her aunt’s boardinghouse where passengers would get to rest a bit before continuing on their journey. However, Kathryn was the only one arriving today, and as the driver opened the door and offered his hand, she stepped onto the wooden walkway. Before she even had time to take in the view around her, she was grabbed into a tight embrace.

“Kathryn! Oh, my goodness child, you look exactly the same as you did the last time I saw you. What has it been? It must be over eight years ago by now. You were just a young girl then.”

She laughed and hugged her beloved aunt back tightly. “I was almost thirteen and I remember being so excited to be here, but my father complained about everything, so it didn’t make it much fun.”

Her aunt pulled back, still holding onto her arms as she looked her up and down. “Well, now you’re here on your own and you can have the chance to enjoy life in the country. I know you’re going to love it here. There are so many young women around your age to be friends with, and the school we’ve fixed up will just be a wonderful place for your first teaching job.”

“Lucy, step back and let the poor girl have a chance to catch her breath.” Her uncle Martin walked over and helped the driver lift her trunk down. He smiled warmly at her, then came over to give her a hug. Her heart tugged slightly at how much he looked like her father. “It’s good to see you, Kathryn. Once your aunt here is finished fussing over you, we’ve got a nice warm meal ready for you inside.”

Her aunt looped her arm into hers to lead her up the boardinghouse steps while her uncle and the driver followed, talking about the weather and the trip here from Brookings.

“We’ll let you get cleaned up and rested here tonight, then tomorrow we’ll run you out to the Hammond farm to meet the owners of the property the school sits on. Mrs. Hammond has spent the past few days scrubbing the cabin you’ll be living in from top to bottom, making it all ready for you. And we’ll let you see inside the school you’ll be teaching in.”

Kathryn wasn’t sure it was possible for anyone to be any more excited than she was, but her aunt Lucy was certainly coming close. Since they’d never had children of their own, Kathryn figured this was her chance to dote on someone, even if she was a grown woman.

Before she was pulled inside the door, Kathryn quickly let her eyes move around the town she would now call home. The mercantile across the street stood proudly in the center, and the church behind it sat with the door open and inviting. A few townsfolk mingled around, shouting greetings to passing wagons.

In her heart, Kathryn knew this was the place she was meant to be. And she couldn’t wait to prove it to her father, herself, and anyone else who might doubt it.

Chapter 2

Colt reached up and pushed his hat back to wipe at the sweat on his forehead. The heat from the sun was already scorching and it wasn’t even midday. But he was almost finished putting in the last of his crop for this year, so he was determined to keep going, even if he did fall from heat exhaustion. The past few years had been difficult for the farmers in the area, so he was hopeful this year he’d have a good crop. The sooner it was in the ground, the better chance he had.

His gaze moved around the field he stood in, with the dust swirling up around his face from the slight breeze that blew over the land. The leather of the harness holding the horses to the plow squeaked with the movement of the animals as they waited for the signal to start moving again. But otherwise there was blessed silence.

He’d grown