Not a single other famous person was born on the exact same day as me…at least that is what Google tells me. There are lots of famous people born on the same day but a different year…most of them I’ve never heard of, but Gene Kelly is apparently my birthday buddy just 61 years earlier than me.
I’m pretty sure this is where I get my dancing skills from. Gene Kelly infused all his birthday buddies. Of course this post isn’t really about my birthday…its about where I was born. You see, I like to think of myself as a small town girl despite spending the majority of my life in cities. My heart longs for the simple life…
I was born in eastern Oregon. Yes, I’m a proud Oregon Native. I was raised on a non-working farm. Non-working meaning my parents aren’t farmers…but we had an orchard, fields of hay, a great ditch full of leeches, the occasional animal like rabbits, a pig, a horse and a pile of farm cats thanks to our “get around girl” Mama Kitty.
My childhood is full of wonderful memories of running around all day playing in the dirt until sunset when we knew it was dinner time and headed home. We built forts and swam with the leeches – pulling them off each other when we were done. In the winter we ice skated on the top of that frozen ditch and made snowmen and just in general enjoyed life. I mean really…..this high desert dirt family photo cannot be beat. Plus we have one extra kid in there that I have no idea who he is…(red shirt) and my mom is pregnant with my second to youngest sister. I’ve got two siblings missing…
Or me in my pompom shoes and crepe paper skirt for the local parade as a baton twirling girl…
Or one of my favorite photos of me in my Easter dress made by my mother. It was so twirly! I was 9 years old and twirly was life!
After leaving Africa, we had the extreme fortune to spend just over 4 months with my in-laws on their farm in western Oregon.
There are a whole pile of jokes about living with in-laws that I could make about my stay with them, however, the truth is they were fantastic house mates. Our time there was much longer than we expected and I’m forever grateful for their kindness, generosity and general all around great grand-parenting time my kids had with them.
Plus…after two years there was SNOW!
Their farm is also “non-working” but they have a great big garden and neighbors with miniature horses and a field full of mouse holes. The dogs ran wild. The kids ran wild. and it gave my kids just a taste of living on a farm.
They loved it.
On our way from Oregon to Texas we stayed a few days with my sister that lives on an actual working farm. It sits in a valley surrounded by those beautiful Utah mountains. It is an absolutely stunning location and reminds me of the way any Louis L’amour book describes the wide open plains and the blue sky that goes on forever…
Now my sister isn’t a farmer, but with their business they use equine therapy so there is a woman who cares for all the animals in exchange for boarding her horses. Talk about a cool experience.
First of all….Donkey. Also knows as Boulder because he’s so stubborn.
And a brand new baby sheep that is so cute! Very shy and the mama goat did NOT like us coming near her baby.
Baby Chick…and baby chicks that will remain eggs forever!
Of course the horses. Munchkin rode for the first time and loved it!
Someday I’ll have my own big plot of land and have no idea what to do with it. I can’t wait!