Friday, August 12, 2011
Who I am
Born in San Jose, California, my dad moved us to NE Oregon when I was two. There had been a rape in the park next to our house and having grown up in the rural areas of Texas and Nebraska he didn’t want us to live in fear.
We arrived in Wallowa Valley an isolated county rimmed by mountains. It's beautiful and has been called "Little Switzerland". There is one road in from La Grande, OR and if you aren't faint of heart one road out to Lewiston, Idaho. My daughter took my mother-in-law on this road when her older sister was in college in Wyoming. My daughter said she found it hard to drive with her grandmother in her lap. The road is very narrow and clings to the side of the cliffs with a sheer drop.
Growing up I spent my days doing chores on our 200 acres, riding my horse, reading along the river, and swimming in the river. It was an ideal setting to grow up in, but I found the small town gossip and nosiness wasn't for me.
I headed to college in Klamath Falls, after working my butt off to stay in the program one professor who insisted when I started I should do the three year program graded my lab reports so low I couldn't have passed with a C unless I scored a 99 on the final. I scored 98 and ended up leaving the program all together. It had been my dad's idea for me to be an x-ray technician and not mine. I wanted to go to an art school.
A high school friend had moved to Bend and was looking for a roommate. I moved in with her, learned she'd changed considerably when "men" showed up at the duplex at all hours of the night and she'd dress up and go out.
I met my husband at an Under 21 club. A girl I worked with talked me into going with her. I was 19 at the time and all the boys there looked to be 15 & 16. When a male walked in who looked my age, I strolled over to him and asked him to dance. He had laughing eyes, curly blonde hair and muscles. We danced and he said his buddies were supposed to meet him. As the night wore on his friends didn't show and my friend had to leave. My future husband said he could take me home. We walked to his pickup, an old flat black International. He had to unlock the passenger side because the driver's side lock didn't work. He slid through and then I got in. It smelled of cow manure. He was working at a feedlot. At the duplex, he came in and we kissed until he tried to put his hands under my shirt. I told him it was time for him to leave. I figured I'd never see him again. The next night someone knocked on the door. I answered and there stood my husband grinning like a fool and asking if I'd like to go to a movie. He later told me it was my sending him away when he got fresh that impressed him.
We married when we were both twenty-one and within nine months our first daughter was born. We lived in a couple of mouse infested houses as he started his trucking business and added two more biological children. The last one came after we purchased a new house. Later we adopted a boy through children's services.
While we both decided early on in our marriage we didn't want to farm any more, we ended up purchasing a 69 acre piece or property and started raising cattle and hay. Now that the kids are gone and return occasionally with our eight grandchildren we now own 350 acres and raise alfalfa hay as well as the cattle.
During all of this my husband learned I'm not happy unless I'm writing whether for pleasure or for profit. He supports my writing and I support his tractor addiction. ;)