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Dawn Anita Diffie, a young naïve country girl from Oklahoma, runs away from home at the age of sixteen to marry her sweetheart, Jerry Plumlee. Boarding a bus bound for Seattle with only $5.00 to her name, she volunteers her story to total strangers. A smooth-talking Californian tells her, “You’re welcome to come to my apartment and freshen up since you have an eight-hour layover in LA.” Unwary, she happily relates the offer to Jerry by phone, and he informs her “You get back on that bus, sit behind the driver, and don’t talk to anyone until you get to Seattle.” A quick wedding before the justice of the peace leads to a long and lasting marriage filled with love and turmoil as they struggle to survive. They celebrate love, mourn loss, and share many victories and disappointments, but they are always there for each other through even the most turbulent times. Their adventurous spirit takes them from Seattle to a small, isolated log cabin in the mountains of Idaho where they are stranded in a snowstorm for more than two months with nothing to eat but the fourteen loaves of bread they baked in their wood stove. The small cabin becomes cramped after two months, and unrest leads to a fight. Desperate to make a point, Dawn Anita jumps into a snowbank stark naked while Jerry looks on laughing as she lies “sizzling in the snow.” They journey back to Oklahoma to a remote 1,700-acre ranch, facing the perils of snakes, scorpions, wasps, rats, and wild cows. Always willing to try the unknown, these two set out on a hazardous journey from Oklahoma to Idaho with their two-week-old son and wind up stranded in Idaho with no money, food, or shelter. Overcoming many obstacles, their journey leads them back to Oklahoma where Jerry is the foreman on a huge cattle ranch, and she finds a career as a secretary in a law firm. With a family whose heritage is richly steeped in music, she yearns to find her place in country music, only to discover that when the opportunity presents itself for her to sign a major recording contract with RCA, she cannot bear the thought of leaving her two children at home to pursue the stardom she desires. Many offers, which hold promise of her becoming a celebrity, elude her grasp, and when the couple finally takes the leap of faith and journeys to Nashville after their children graduate, they find that Music City USA welcomes an over-the-hill, forty-year-old female with closed minds and a cold heart. Never one to give up on her dreams, at the age of fifty, she and her husband take an unprecedented six-hundred-mile journey on horseback from Broken Bow, Oklahoma, to Nashville to pursue her music career after a shady business partner leaves them penniless. Along the way, they are amazed to find total strangers who open their hearts, their homes, and their pocketbooks to help them on their journey and realize their journey has given them hope for one more last chance to feel whole again.
- Xlibris US, January 2010
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