The Road We Traveled By Jane Kirkpatrick

I have never read a book of Ms. Kirkpatrick’s I did not enjoy – a lot! It isn’t just her outstanding skills as a writer that draws me, but the fact that all her books are based on real people and events. Most I had never heard of.
Tabitha Brown lived during the 1840’s and became known as the Mother of Oregon. She founded the Oregon Orphans’ Asylum and School at Tualatin Plains. It was a boarding house, had a teacher from the east. Children were fed, clothed educated and loved. Eventually it became the Tualatin Academy. She did all this with very limited funds, in her senior years and in a newly settled area. The diary she kept along the journey was a great source of information for the author.
All this is quite amazing, but there was much more to Tabitha than that. She was a widowed pastor’s wife, a spunky, outspoken, independent woman. When her family decides to move to Oregon from Missouri, her son announces it is best for to stay behind! He cites her age, 65, and a lame leg that makes it difficult to get around. She is hurt and stunned.
With her usual determination she buys her own wagon, supplies and animals, announcing she is going. The trip is treacherous and dangerous, testing her in ways she had never been challenged. In the 1840’s such trips were trying even for the young. Not only did she face every peril, but actually helped her family in different crisis’s.
I related to Tabitha in several ways. I am in my 60’s also a widowed pastor’s wife. How would I feel if my children announced they were all moving away and leaving me behind? What if I lived in that era and the trip would not mean jumping in a car and being there in a few hours. Would I have the courage and strength?
Her strong faith in God is what carried her. I admired that as with all the discomfort, opposition, and hazards she faced it showed she had true trust in God. It would have been so easy to give up. No matter how difficult the experiences were, she continued to think of and care for others. What an inspiring woman! Six stars to Ms. Kirkpatrick for another outstanding book!
I received this book free from Baker Publishing

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