The Wind Blows Free
Homesteading in the 1890’s: The Texas Panhandle was only just beginning to be homesteaded by farmers—called “nesters.” Forced to give up his store in East Texas, Mr. Pierce introduces his family to the daunting challenge of life in a sod hut on the windswept plain. While the move offers a prospect of something new to irrepressible little Carolyn and unending adventure to the lively twins, Bert and Dick, it promises to be an ordeal of labor and isolation for Mama, Melinda and timid Katie. 14-year-old Melinda Pierce, the oldest child and most reluctant pioneer, is especially dismayed. She has given up her friends and happy town life, for this? She clings tightly to her grandmother’s promise that when Melinda is 16 she may return to East Texas and join her friends at Lewisville Academy for Young Females. It is this hope, and her mother’s dauntless example, which get Melinda through the first difficult weeks. Before long, however, Melinda is caught up in the compelling beauty of this land of wind and wide horizons, with its adventures and with its gift of new friendship. She finds herself joining wholeheartedly with the other members of her family in their determination to answer the challenge of the Panhandle and make it home. This is the first of three stories about the Texas Panhandle, each highlighting one of the Pierce family daughters.