Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Leaving On A Jet Plane


Today is my last day at home. Tomorrow, as the title says, "I'm leavin' on a jet plane" - though I know when I'll be back again. *wink*

I spent a lot of the day yesterday washing clothes and trying to get it all fitted into my suitcase. I need to be sure it isn't over the fifty pound limit. It's embarrassing how much I want to bring with.
Two weeks is a along time though! Isn't it?

I'll be flying with cousin Shiloh to which I am extremely thankful! I am nervous about going through security and finding my our gates, but not as bad as I thought I would be.

No, what I'm mostly nervous about is spending two weeks away from home, three thousand miles away. I have this problem where I get the terrible fear I'm a burden and people just put up with me, though secretly they sigh a sigh of relief when I'm gone. That isn't something good to think, I know.
Some moments I get panicky and think "why am I going? This is just silly!". But, I really do want to see my family and after living with my parents for twenty years, it's probably time I started to fly above the nest.

Our flight leaves at 6:07 a.m. and we need to be there by 4:00. We'll be leaving the house by 3:00 tomorrow morning! It's going to be one long day.

If you think of it, could you just say a little prayer for me? For safety in flight, airport, and New York City. For my nerves to not get the best of me. That I can relax and enjoy myself. And that I have a blessed trip with lots of wonderful memories!

I think my Mom could use some prayers too. *wink wink*. She's super nervous about letting me venture out, but she's been very good and encouraging about it all!

And so let the adventure begin!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Mountains Called

I feel the happiest when I'm in the mountains. Like I was born for them. My Grandma loved them, as well as my Grandpa, and that love was passed down to their children and grandchildren.



No cell phones to worry about checking. Service can only be found in a select few places and even then it won't be the best. Need to talk to someone? Use the house phone! But make sure they call you right back! No long distance you know.
No Facebook that is just filled with others lives that can make you envious or some more politics and world death you don't want to hear about.
No worries about tomorrow. Let's just live in today, in this moment.
No money worries!

I also just realized, I ran around bare foot or flip-flops the entire time. Even walked on cold tile flooring, and never once got a leg ache! Now that is huge for me! I mean, how cool is that?!
At home I can't even be on my feet for more than a couple hours baking or cooking without a severe leg ache (or two) coming and making walking even difficult.

For a time life slows down and you feel you can breathe and think again.

"The Ranch" is a place where I have some of my very best memories as a young girl. Those were the days. Four wheelers and dust. Hot dogs and ketchup. Family and laughter. For a time, the Ranch was my second home. I am ever so thankful I was blessed with such a childhood as mine.

When Grandma passed away, the days at the Ranch become fewer and far between. Until months would turn into years between trips. Still, those memories and feelings are there. Still that love for the house in the woods burns inside all of us.

For the first time in our lives, "the gang" headed to the Ranch without parents or Grandpa. What started out as a small group turned into a rather large one. Nineteen of us in all between the ages of twenty-four and fourteen. Some of us were nervous at how it would all go, teenage boys running loose and us learning how to use the propane and battery power (Thank you Colten!). But it all went well and was a blessed trip.

First on the list was the groceries. Twelve of us went in on it together and split the cost. I don't have much experience when it comes to grocery shopping for such a large amount but, we did it!


I was quite ashamed of our organization skills but like I said, we are learning. It was getting late and we were all tired and ready to go home. Someday we'll figure it out!

That night I went to bed not feeling very well. Burning eyes, aches, and chills. (I feel like I'm always sick with something. *Sigh*)  It wasn't a very good night. In the morning I awoke early feeling miserable. I took my temperature and it ended up I had a fever of 100.8*. I was so disappointed. But thankfully with Advil inside me I felt "almost" normal.

I had an ortho appointment in Portland so our pick-up of the group had to wait until I was done with that. Inside our pick-up was Roger (the driver! Thank you Roger!) Kaysha, Marissa, Marita, and Dustin. Along with me of course.
 
Finally around 11:30 we left Portland and officially were "on the road again"!
The Ranch is approximately a six hour drive from home. I don't know how we use to do it every few weeks in those early years! But for myself I love driving (ok. I like riding) on the road. Quietly watching the world go by in a flash, listening to your favorite music. If you ride with me sometime and find I don't talk much, it isn't because I am upset, I just like being quiet.
So the drive was relaxing! Gave me plenty of time to just sit back and rest, getting myself well.

Of course the most exciting moment is when you pull onto "the driveway" as we have always called it. Open yellow hills rolling as far as the eye can see. A gravel road with cattle guards to keep the cows from roaming where they shouldn't. The seat belts come off and everyone gets comfortable.
The driveway is about seven miles long but takes approximately a half hour to drive down. (or is it up?)


We seen a fairly large herd of pronghorn (I've always called them antelope. I don't know their proper name) while driving and was exciting to watch them run in front of us. I was hoping for a bear or cougar (I have never seen one there!) but never did. Shucks! Next time right?

When you reach "the flat spot" and see the tin roof shimmering in the sun, you get excited and starting pointing. "I see it! There's the house!" Around the corner you go, down, then straight up. The barn to your left, the house to your right. A sight for sore eyes!

"It's good to be home."

We unloaded when we got there and found that most of the cleaning was complete. We got organized and then everyone headed off to do their own thing. Kaysha hadn't been there in years so we took a walk to the barn and showed her around. After a bit we went on a short four wheeler ride.

I didn't want to be in the sun too much so that first day was taken easy. Since it was around 5:00 when we arrived, we soon made supper. Canned stew and buttered bread. Everything always taste better in the mountains! And the only time store bought canned stew tastes good is there!
That night I started feeling quite "poopy" and just quietly sat with Kaysha and watched the others play games.
Later we all went onto the porch and us girls crawled into our beds. The guys hauled the couch out and everyone watched the meteor shower. I was so tired my eyes were rolling in my head! I seen a few stars fall but always missed the big ones and finally just let myself go to sleep.

I'll admit, there is absolutely nothing like waking up outside! It's cool and crisp and the birds are chirping. That mountain air does wonders because when I awoke I felt like a new person!


And as I have said before, there is nothing like the morning sun!
 


We made breakfast (eggs and sausage) and did the usual hand washing of dishes. Then the fun began.

By Noon the last load of people arrived and we were all finally there! We packed lunches and all headed down to the river. Since I was still somewhat sick I, for the most part, stayed out of the river and in the shade. But the boys had fun in the "swimming hole".

By the next day I felt much better and was able to do some wading in the river and even washed my hair! Felt good.

The days were spent on four wheelers, walking, swimming, playing games, eating, and talking.

The first night we had some music which I very much enjoyed! I miss my younger days where there was a lot more singing and music playing.
Lando had a guitar and Roger gave him pointers on playing. Gavin took out his fiddle! Which for me, the violin/fiddle has always been my favorite instrument! Next would be the guitar.

They played some hymns like Amazing Grace, Be Thou My Vision, and Come Thou Fount (some of my favorites!) and then they spent hours learning the country song "Seminole Wind". It was beautiful when they finally got it down.

Though at times I felt a little stressed, it was a relaxing time. I'm sure the boys did not appreciate my "be careful!" so often but, hey, I wanted them to stay alive! Thanks!

I am thankful I was able to make the trip with them all for it very well may be my last time seeing my favorite place on earth.

I took over 400 pictures on the trip! Here are just a few for you to, I hope, enjoy!

Filling up on air before we head out!

 


Last stop! Bathroom break in Pendleton. It was HOT!
 
 




Boys getting the four wheelers in shape.
 
Inside!
 
The Porch

On a walk to the barn
 


 





First night it was just twelve of us, others would come the next day
 

Where us girls spent the nights. Felt really nice! Although in the mornings
we were attacked by mosquitos


Breakfast time
 









The boys "playing". Making bow and arrows or something?
 
The river!






Riding back up to the house!
 
The "river house"
 
I love this place
 




Colten and Kirsten making burgers for supper
 
Listening to music
 
I realized after I didn't take any pictures of the boys playing!
Just plenty of video. Lando, Roger, Gavin, and Gabrien all played
 

 

 

We had plenty of coffee being made around the clock

I mean come on, nothing gets better than that does it?
 





Us girls went down to the river on the third day and washed our hair!
 


This is what we came back to! Lots and Lots of boys!
 




 
Beautiful sunset on the last night
 
 
The gals! I didn't get one of the boys together. Shucks!



C.A.W May 23 98
Uncle Clint's initials from years ago
 
This girl! She's a ball of energy, laughs, and good times!
I love her! She makes life better.
 
Too top it off, she's cute! (Don't know if she appreciates me saying that LOL)
Can't wait to make more memories with her in a couple weeks!
 

Loading up!
 
 

Long Creek
 

 

 The mountains called, and we went...