The Coppersmith Farmhouse

By: Devney Perry

To Kaitlyn

For the countless hours you’ve spent giving me constant support and encouragement, thank you.

This book would not exist without you.





Gigi,

The lawyer should have told you by now that you’ll be getting my estate. It includes a farmhouse in Prescott, Montana, that I lived in years ago. I loved that house and never could let it go. I was happy there.

I want you to move there. Be happy there too.

I know it’s a big ask but it’s time for you to start a new life. For you and Roe. Spokane has nothing left for you but memories and tombstones.

A man named Brick has been watching over the farmhouse for me since I moved. Nineteen years, he’s taken care of it. I’d like you to give him $50,000 from the estate proceeds. He’s always taken good care of the place. My guess, it’s in better condition today than it was when I left. If it wasn’t for him, I would have had to sell that house and then my girls wouldn’t have a place to start their new life. So, Georgia, you get him to take the money. It will give me peace to know I’ve made it right by him.

Love you, my Gigi girl. Love my Roe too. With all my heart. Thank God every day you came into my hospital room.



See you on the other side,

Ben





New town. New house. New car. New job.

New life.

That’s what Ben had asked me to do. To start a new life for my four-year-old daughter, Rowen, and a new life for me.

And as much as I would have liked to explain that a major life change was completely unnecessary, it was tough to argue with a dead man.

So here we were in Prescott, Montana. Starting a new life.

Rowen and I had made the trip from Spokane to Prescott today, pulling into town late in the hot summer evening.

I had no clue what to expect, having just uprooted our life to move to a town where I had never been and knew not one person. As we passed a sign reading, “Welcome to Prescott! Population 823,” my anxiety peaked.

Prescott wasn’t a town, it was a small town.

Correction. It was a very small town.

Prescott was close to Yellowstone National Park and located in the southwestern corner of Montana. Bordered by mountain ranges, the town sat at the base of the Jamison River Valley.

Buildings started popping up along the highway as I drove toward Prescott. At the farthest edge was the hospital where I’d be working, followed by an auto parts store, a taxidermist and a police station. I doubted I’d ever set foot in one of the latter buildings. I did make a mental note when I spotted the grocery store though. Past the motel, the road veered to the left and the speed limit dropped.

I crept down Main Street to take in as much as I could. Shops and offices filled the downtown street from one end to the other. Interspersed between them were two bars, a bank, a handful of restaurants and the hardware store. Overflowing flower baskets hung from old-fashioned lampposts. Clean and tidy windows featured Western apparel and paraphernalia.

I was looking forward to spending a day wandering the street and exploring the shops. I dreamed of how it would feel to walk into a store and have the owner greet me by name. I longed to be a part of this small community. To feel like I was a part of something, not just on my own and left behind.

“Mommy, look! Ice cream!” Rowen screeched from the back seat, kicking her legs wildly.

“Uh-huh,” I muttered automatically.

After we passed the ice cream store and a community fishing pond, I stopped looking around and focused on the directions in my hand, trying to navigate to our new house that was so country I couldn’t use GPS to find it.

“Can we stop? Please?” she begged.

I glanced quickly over my shoulder. “Sorry, Roe. Not today. But we’ll stop a different day. Sometime soon, I promise. I really just want to get to Ben’s farmhouse and get settled for the night. The moving truck gets here in the morning and we need to be ready.”

She let out a frustrated “humph,” the first grumble she’d given me all day. She’d been a trooper on the seven-hour trip, keeping me company while I drove and quietly watching a couple of movies. But I knew she was totally over this long drive. Way over it. So was I.

“When we get to the farmhouse, you get to pick out your new room,” I said into the rearview mirror. “Won’t that be fun? And if you want, we can set the air mattress up in there tonight. Okay?”

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