The Pioneers of Oak Gulch

The Woodland family outside their first soddie north of Clark, South Dakota
The Woodland family outside their first soddie north of Clark, South Dakota

Fine, white snow whipped against the tent flap that cold, blustery day. The sky was dark and foreboding, but the Deans thought it was nothing more than another snowstorm. Tom Dean searched for a way to prevent the snow’s intrusion into their hole in the hill. Their little dug-out was dark –except for light from their fire burning towards the back of the cave. It worked to keep them dry while plenty of coverings kept them warm. They curled up by their small fire pit and settled in for the night.

Sometime during the night, the wind changed. Ominous snow-filled clouds and bitter cold ravaged from the north. By morning, Tom could barely push the door open in order to fetch wood for the fire. The blinding snow masked the wood pile only a few yards from their dwelling. He wrapped his knitted scarf tightly around his face and ventured out to get enough armloads to last a few days. Continue reading The Pioneers of Oak Gulch


Inside Ballerina – Written from Z to A

ballerinaZealous in her love of dance, she pushed ardently through one more pirouette, delicately balancing on one toe.

Young, graceful, beautiful, her chiseled body spun weightlessly on the toe of her yellow satin slipper, then knee buckling, she relinquished to the pain of another cramp.

X-rays revealed a different plan: new life was developing inside her – a message she embraced, but didn’t want to hear; she clutched her belly and thought of Victor.

What she would tell him was a problem she didn’t want to face; she feared his reaction and his temper…and she was right. Victor was not happy at her news and demanded she get back to work immediately; they would talk later.

Under pasty makeup and scant clothing, she regretted the fact that her living had to be made another way than her love of dancing. Tears trickled down her cheeks as she headed back to work; things didn’t go as planned and she had gotten careless, but she had to eat too. Continue reading Inside Ballerina – Written from Z to A