|This is the scarf I finished at the knitting group.|
I did happen to be the youngest woman in the room by and average of maybe forty years. I think the ladies were a little surprised to see me plop down in a recliner to join their group. A couple of the ladies knew who I was but the others I had never met before. So I gave a short run down of who's place I had bought and that my knitting was strictly out of fleece from my own little fuzzy critters. Then I just listened mostly....
One lady in particular had me fascinated. Her name is Katie and she has lived all of her life right here in Chouteau County. I believe she said she was 83 years young. She grew up on a homestead up in the Highwood Mountains, on Shonkin Creek.
Her dad was an immigrant from England and her mom had immigrated from Scotland. She told me how her dad came here, homesteaded the place and was raising sheep up on the Shonkin. Until the wolves, (yes wolves!) the coyotes and the harsh winters decimated the sheep. Then he became a sheep shearer and would travel around each spring, shearing hundreds of sheep by hand, in a time before electric clippers. Anything to help make ends meet.
|Geraldine in it's early years.|
Katie's mother was one of 10 children back in Scotland. When one of her siblings came here to Geraldine, she ended up following. Her sister's children had both died within three days of each other, during the scarlet fever epidemic. The sister was just six weeks from delivering a new baby when she lost her children and sent for Katie's mother to come help with the baby and also work in the general store they ran here in Geraldine. She was here for a couple of years before Katie's dad came into the store one day.
A friend had told him, "There's a young lass down at the store you outta meet." So he made the trip to town with the excuse if needing to buy a bar of soap, just so he could meet the "lass". They met and then courted for about a year before getting married. He was 47 and she was 28 when they married. He moved her to the homestead where sometimes it was six months before she even saw another woman. But Katie says they loved each other and were the happiest couple on Shonkin Creek for all of their marriage.
I don't know about you, but their story just tugs at my heart. What a legacy of love to have! Now Katie's son runs his cows on the homestead place. They are one of the families that have been here in Geraldine since the very beginning of this place. All because two people fell in love....
I warned the ladies at the knitting group that they might end up on my blog. I have their blessing and it is my hope I retold Katie's story without errors.
Bye for now,