Selma made the decision. She would leave her parents and two of her five children in Sweden and follow her husband Johan to America. The year was 1904, a year and a half since Johan’s departure. She would bravely cross the vast ocean to follow their dream of acquiring wealth in North Dakota. But the black dirt did not produce gold, as the propaganda had promised. Homesteading led to naturalization, building a home, fencing the acreage, digging a well, and numerous hidden requirements. Their temporary residence was morphing into a permanent one, making it difficult to return to the Old Country. Hard work and backbreaking labor were not new to Selma and Johan. Side by side they worked together, but weather disasters, taxes, sicknesses, government surprises, death, and utter poverty were at every turn. One hurdle after another crossed their path. Could their faith and determination keep them going? Would they ever see the two children they left behind? Could they succeed and fulfill their dream? Or had God abandoned them and dropped them into a God-forsaken land?
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