Memories flood back to me as I look out my kitchen window…from a baby on my Mama’s shoulder looking out…to a young wife looking for Wild Bill to come in for dinner…watching the children that we grew together, drive off in the car the first time down the driveway without me…looking next door to see if my parents had a light on in their house…so many memorable views, emotions and heartfelt life has been lived here…looking out my simple window of time.
The quiet peace of solitude that you see in this view is filled with incredible beauty as it is what you know and what you have lived. Sometimes when I ride my horses out in the fields…I can close my eyes and hear the teams of horses farming the land from long ago…or hear the laughter of two brothers riding bareback on their Dad’s work horses. My Dad and his older brother rode all the way down Juniper Canyon, about 15 miles, to the Columbia River to swim, this would have been in the 1920′s…can you imagine?
Before we chose to make this our forever home here…Wild Bill and I pursued our cowboy lifestyle for many years. He grew up on the edge of the Owyhee Desert…which is pretty much Buckaroo Country…Jordan Valley…Big Loop Contest…The Alvord…The Crowley Ranch…Hole In One Ranch.
When we lived outside of Jordan Valley, I rode horseback with a BLM crew a couple times, while WB taught a welding class at the school in Jordan Valley.
We moved several head of cows on the high desert several miles out of Rome, OR. The Steen Mountains had my attention all day long…they were incredible jutting out of the desert floor. I was in awe of the vast cowboy country…but mainly I was in love with WB:)
I grew up on my parent’s isolated cattle ranch in the Blue Mountains…about 100 miles from our home here…the ranch encompassed 50,000 acres with 800 head of Black Angus mother cows. We had one of the last cattle drives in Oregon as we drove our mama cows 100 miles down from the mountains to our winter pasture.
The cattle drive would last about 10 days but when we first began the tradition it took a good two weeks…the cows began to learn the trail and their way in later years.
Because of our history together with owning and running cattle and doing this cowboy life…we were asked to manage and run two cattle operations away from here…we went through some incredible times on both ranches.
We loved living in Wyoming at 7200′ elevation on the Continental Divide…this was my view…we lived in the log house to the left of the picture…my kitchen window looked out at the divide.
We also ran a ranch in Central Oregon on the Crooked River…we lived through a 100 year flash flood on the ranch with God’s grace…however we lost one life in the flood…and one horse.
The life lessons we learned in both places were profound…with both hard times and good times in our lives. When it was time to come home to the Juniper T, we were thankful to come down the long hill, into Juniper Canyon, rounding the corner and seeing “home”…with the big yellow barn and big yellow house.
Moving home from Wyoming in the spring was not easy as I found it hard to leave the incredible never boring Rockies…yet it was time for us to move back.
We had been home about two months, when in the dark before dawn…the phone rang and woke us up…Mom was calling us as my Dad was quite ill…we called 911 and waited for the ambulance to come.
I was scared to death…I felt so very helpless…I did not know how to do this medical thing of life and death with your parents and it was a shock to grasp it.
Dad was like John Wayne to me…rough and tough…full of life with tremendous strength of heart.
Once the ambulance arrived and the paramedics had Dad settled…I stood with Dad at the back door of the ambulance…Dad was on a gurney propped up so he could see me and thankfully the sunrise, which was beautiful…it was truly radiant that dark cold morning…and then Dad asked me…
“So…where and what place are you and Wild Bill going to call home? Where will you put down your roots? Roots and family…a place to call home, is important.”
Then his eyes shifted above my head and he looked up to the hill behind me where he planted the trees when I was little and he said “I hope I see this place again…it means the world to me Marcy…it is home to me.”
Dad thankfully came home but his health began to deteriorate from that time on…I was then thankful that God moved us home from Wyoming so that as an only child I was here and able to take care of both my parents…while it was hard at times, it has been one of the treasured blessings of my life.