by Misty ©
 
It was a cold, damp, rainy day and not nice at all.  This was also pretty much the exact way Ty Sterling felt as well.  If one could liken their feelings to the weather conditions.
 
He was a Marine vet of the Vietnam War, spent a lot of time in Da Nang, and by the end of his hitch Ty was also a much decorated one as well. Yet, since his coming home he had found as many other vets did, he just somehow never quite fit in.
 
He had tried, lord knows he did his damndest too, but after all these years he finally decided to leave.  His wife Laurie had past away several years ago, and she was the only one who still saw in Ty all his fine qualities.
 
Now that she was gone, having died of cancer, and his kids grown and scattered.  Ty now 57 yrs. old had decided to just get up and leave Arizona.  No reason to stay anymore where he was neither happy, nor really wanted by neighbours, or friends of the past.
 
So duffel bag packed and dressed for the rainy weather he left town on a bus headed as far away as he could get.  He had studied maps, and information on different areas now for months and had decided on a place called McLeod in Montana.  It was beautiful, scenic, high in the mountainous area and away from nosey neighbours.  Also, where a man could draw breath and do pretty much as he pleased.
 
Ty had been born in San Diego, then met his wife while on holidays in Phoenix, and within less than a year they were married.  Laurie had been a good wife, sweet, gentle and always loving to this big mountain of a man.  They had both been very happy and proud parents of a son and a daughter, before it came time for him to leave home and go off to Vietnam.
 
Even through the ups and downs the one thing Ty held ever close to his heart was Laurie, and the deep love they had shared.  She had always been there for him and helped him though the adjustment period upon his return from Nam.  But, that was all in the past, and now time to get on with his life as it was in the here and now.
 
He had sold the house in Phoenix and gotten a good price for it, and with this money he planned to build his own large log cabin on a large piece of land in McLeod and live out the rest of his days there.
 
As the dreary day drifted into nightfall, Ty slouched down in his seat and tipped his stetson down over his eyes and drifted off to sleep, as there were yet still many miles ahead to go.
 
As trips go, the whole journey by bus across the various states had not seemed too long at all.  And before he knew it, Ty was now in Montana and almost at McLeod where he would make his new home.  Soon at his final destination Ty was met at the bus depot by the Real Estate Agent he had spoken with and hired a couple of months back. 
 
Mr. Sterling so good to finally meet you in person, as you know I'm Jeff Robertson your agent, and I am pretty sure I have got a piece of property for you to look at which will suit your specifications down to the last letter.  But, first how be you hop on in my car, and we go and get a good cuppa java and you some breakfast, as I am sure you could use a good bite to eat.
 
Pleased to meet you Jeff, and I surely could use both some food and a coffee as we made no stop for breakfast.  After a good meal and pleasant talk both Ty and Jeff were now on the way to the property which Jeff had found on the outskirts of McLeod.  It is about 3 mi. from town Mr.Sterling, and on a reasonably good road year round too.
 
Please Jeff, call me Ty and the piece of property your speaking of sounds just great, I can't wait to see it.  In no time at all they pulled up and swung a left hand turn into a off road lane, which had rough gravel on it for easy winter driving if needed.  This Ty noticed and liked, it was about a quarter of a mile up the lane before they reached the general area to view the prospective property.
 
Well what do you think of it Ty, isn't this a piece of heaven, you got the beautiful mountains in the far distance behind you, and your very own lake to the south of you.  What's the total acreage exactly Jeff?  Let see now have it written down here, ah yes you own exactly 50 acres clear title to all land, trees, artesian well, and lake on your property Ty.  And I have a little bonus for you, if you will follow me just up the hill behind those trees.
 
Both men walked up the hill and to Ty's amazement there stood a reasonable lean too shack, which is all honesty was in not too bad a shape.  Well I'll be damned Ty laughed, now doesn't that beat all.  I thought you'd like it Ty, it will put you up while waiting for your cabin to be built.  Now inside the shack, it was a fairly sturdy lean too and had just about all Ty would need in a pinch.
 
There was a large main room complete with cast iron stove both for cooking on and warming the place, a conclave where one could put a bowl to wash dishes in, and a bedroom with an overflow pipe to blow warm air in and help keep it cozy.  There were cupboards over the conclave for storing ones supplies in too.
 
Well you did real good Jeff, now down to the business side of all this good news, how much Ty inquired?  Well I am afraid that also isn't bad either as the family who inherited this property just want quick disposal of it, as they live in the heart of New York City.
 
That sounds like music to my ears Ty laughed.  With all that I spoke of before and clear title this will cost you exactly the sum of $285,000. Sounds doable Jeff and the sooner the better Ty laughed.
It didn't take any time at all as Jeff was good at his job and a very astute businessman.
 
Time seemed to fly by, Ty had worked hard along side of his hired men and now the last few touches were being put on his new home.  He would move in before fall set in, and this pleased Ty greatly.  The log cabin was solid, well built, and once more it was huge and had a rustic beauty both inside and out.
 
Ty had made a lot of new friends here in McLeod much to his chagrin, not like the ones back home, who just judged the war and those who were lucky enough to come back.
 
Damn, forget it old boy, that's the past and this is the here and now, a whole new beginning in a real friendly town.  With your own hand built home, and not too shabby either he smiled, it was a happy smile he'd not shown in a long time and it felt good.
 
Now a few years had passed and found Ty happy, a real member of the local community, involved in many aspects to make it better for all.  But, the biggest change in Ty's life had been about the last thing he ever expected to happen.
 
She seemed to walk into his life when he least expected it, she was tall, with a confident way about her, her hair now silver, and an inner beauty and grace that shone from within her.  She had been born in Washington State, but came with her parents when just a young teen to settle in Montana.  She was divorced with a grown son who just happened to be stationed at Camp Pendleton Marine Base.
 
God, who'd have thought it Ty laughed inwardly to himself, I came here to get away from the world, and found my world was here all the time waiting for me.  Her name was Rachel and she and Ty had been married now for almost one year, and both found in each other that which neither of them at their age ever imagined possible.  But, yet it had and neither of them regretted one moment of their loving union.
 
So, it just goes to show one, that sometimes when you think life is so unfair, and there is nothing or no one out there for you and you will be alone forever.  Remember this story about a man who left to escape into the wilderness and found his real true home, loyal friends, love, and most of all he found himself.
 
Who said life is ever really over at any age, as in this story it may just be the beginning.  Even for any of you who read this tale.
 
 
 
THE END