“Incredible Western Women” series continues!
For those of you just joining us, here’s a little background…
Born in Colville, WA, and raised in the Spokane suburbs, my husband and I moved to rural America a little over three decades ago. Country life has been a wonderful place to raise our sons and grandkids. Here on the Colville Reservation, lakes, rivers, and creeks offer fishing and swimming. Hills and mountains spread out for miles give us horseback riding and hiking trails. There is plenty of space to enjoy our families.
Four generations have grown up and enjoyed this land and all it provides.
I’d like to share rural America with you through the words and photos of incredible western women.
And if you are a western woman or have someone in mind who can share their stories with us, please pass on their name and contact information to me. I’d love to include them on this journey.
So now, let’s open the corral gate and hear from one of this month’s western women ~ PJ Gover!
I met PJ through a Jerry B. Jenkins Novel Writing program and have recently gotten to know her better through social media and the JJ novel-writing private Facebook group. She is one of the most encouraging women I know.
Let’s hear from PJ.
My heart calms and my thoughts settle when surrounded by green expanse, towering trees, and flowing water. Growing up I felt freedom from pain and loss when I was in the pine-covered mountains riding a horse or exploring the woods or sharing an outdoor picnic with my sister. But I was born into city life in far west Texas and those outings were rare. Brick, asphalt, and belts of bumper-to-bumper traffic were not. Work and family kept me tethered to big cities.
But recent years brought change when I moved full-time to a patch of Texas forest, rolling hills, and broad fields. It’s a whole other world, but one I welcome. The quiet and solitude under the canopies of cedar elms and post oaks, and beside the still waters of the ranch ponds, suits me like a well-worn pair of leather cowboy boots. And offers a chance to continue my healing journey begun so long ago.
Moving lock, stock, and barrel allowed me to toss old clothes, furniture, and papers. Change is hard, even good change, but I took a chance. For me, that involved trusting God and accepting change to move my life story forward.
A ranch became home.
The neighbor runs his Black Angus on our property, but there’s still plenty to do. Mostly, it’s the Hub mending the barbwire, repairing the spillway, managing the pastures, and mostly me writing suspense novels.
The land and cattle, changing seasons, and dramatic Texas skies appear in all four of my inspirational novels. They present ordinary women overcoming extraordinary circumstances.
Each time I drive up to the ranch, the creak and groan of the low metal gate offers welcome. Gravel crunches under the tires, and the songs of the Eastern Bluebirds filter through the open windows. They join the symphony of the crows’ caw and the bovine dialogue between mamas and calves. Scissor-tales dip and dart through vast skies while hawks hold sentry in the high places. Breezes rustle through the leaves of the red oaks and hackberries, and tickle my face before swooping through fields of tall grass.
Nestled deep within the ranch’s pastures rest narrow trails worn clean of vegetation. The paths start in the upper pastures, wind down and around, and end at the pond in the lower northwest corner. Angus carved and claimed these ancient ways long before I walked this ground. Even as cows move to market and new ones join the herd, all continue to follow these proven pathways to the source of water and satisfaction of quenched thirst.
The world is a confusing place. It seems as if the right path through life is often hidden within the world’s shifting values and views. What was once right is now considered wrong. What was true is now false. What was up is decidedly down. Little girls suffer abuse and big girls cry. Our souls beg for clarity.
The natural wonder of the ranch and the gentle ways of God’s creatures help make life clear. As the cattle find their way to life-sustaining water, I find my way to the source of Living Water and healing.
The more I grow accustomed to country life, the more I realize embracing the challenge of change is what I needed.
I’m just an ordinary woman working through extraordinary circumstances by the grace of the Good Lord and the lessons of a few lowly cows. For that, this city girl going country is forever grateful.
Connect with PJ Gover
PJ Gover encourages her readers to live the thrill one story at a time. She wrote her first thriller at age nine, all of six pages, but only returned to creating suspense/thrillers years later after unearthing her deceased father’s secret work designing missiles for the government. After thirteen writing awards, including five for first place, her high school English teacher must be shaking her head in disbelief. A ranch in Texas serves as home base. Offer her well-crafted chili rellenos or anything gluten-free and you’ll have a friend for life. Jim Hart of Hartline Literary represents PJ.
Jim Hart of Hartline Literary represents PJ. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org