The Early Years, a Memoir, is the life story of a southern Kentucky girl, born in1930, and her goals to go to college to become a teacher. Even though her father had been unable to acquire more than grade eight education for himself, he urged Rachel toward her goals. Rachel, his firstborn of eleven children, had begun to realize how impossible her choice of employment was as support for further education from her parents was impossible. Even though the job her father held on the railroad, one of the major employers locally, he could afford little beyond feeding and clothing his family. Realizing this, Rachel had started to look toward other local employment after graduation, as teaching now seemed unrealistic. She could still live at home, as her parents had hoped a teaching job would keep her local. Toward the end of her senior year, teaching, again, seemed a possibility with her opportunity to apply for a major, lucrative scholarship. When Rachel learned she was to be awarded the scholarship, she began to have second thoughts. She realized that the job opportunity would take her away from her local area, from her family and a returning veteran she had met who had stared to mean a lot to her. This fork in the road of life caused her to make difficult, but clear decisions, to give up the scholarship and follow her heart. The story continues as the young couple starts the struggle, first, to be together, then to work toward a better life for themselves and their future family.The story concentrates on their struggles and hardships yet, joys and achievement over hurdle after hurdle, but always moving forward toward goals set and while keeping their faith that God will see them through.
Rachel’s and Brad’s story is an example of what it takes to move toward a better life and the work and dedication it takes while trusting in God to be with you on your journey. As well as being a story of goals set, hard work required to reach goals, faith in, as well as love for each other, and trust in God, it is a story of faith, of a joyful multifaceted life, and can offer success toward a poverty to plenty lifestyle.