This was written by me in late September of 2016. No real computer access means this is only now getting put up here.
I just reread The Cherokee Trail , by Louis L'Amour.
It's set in the middle of the War Between the States/U.S. Civil War.
The protagonist is Mary Breydon, a widow with a small daughter.
Heading West with her husband to start over, he is suddenly gunned down. She decides to go on, and do the job her husband was hired for. A stage stop and station. Rough, brutal work for anyone.
The American frontier towards the end of the Civil War was still raw, untamed, wild.
Into this desolate land, came refined Mary Breydon, who knew the finest things in life. Torn away from them in horrific style, she proves the grit inherited from her ancestors is still strong.
Once Mary takes over the running of the station, she gathers a widely varied cast of people around her. Each one with their own talent to help.
An Irish girl, a born fighter. A young orphan boy, wily beyond his years. A man, deadly with a gun, yet with a kindness in him. The tough old man, worth ten regular men in a frontier fight. A wealthy neighbor.
There are many more, including the enemy who had murdered Mary's husband in cold blood on a town street on their Westward journey.
Even though I only grabbed this book because it was one of L. L.'s I'd not yet read,; in a single reading it became a "must have" for my bookshelf.
Read a wide range of topics, read about things you are passionate about.
Gracious - read the dictionary! I did that growing up. Buy good dictionaries and when a child asks "What does this mean?" Tell, show and help them learn to use the dictionary. Personally, I would use a real one, as I think it helps with learning words.
Pick a subject at random, learn all you can about it. You truly never know when it can come in handy.
Top picture is part of my book collection several years ago. The 2nd is from my visit to the library this morning.