I visited the Deschutes County Historical Society Museum with my family today for the first time ever. I learned a lot just minutes after walking through the front door. My big sister Karen realized that she attended second grade in the museum building that was built as the Reid School. Five minutes later I learned that the Reid school building and the building next door, the Cascade school building, (which I attended as a child for a short time), was built by the Brosterhouse brothers. They were well known masonary contracters. Thirty seconds later I discovered that I was raised for the first 15 years of my life in the Brosterhouse family home. Henry Brosterhouse's chicken ranch. We raised horses there but I could see chickens running amuck. My father bought the modest two story house on five acres in 1963 for around $10,000.00. The house was small for the 60's but probably when it was constructed, one of the finer homes of it's time. I need to reserch the year it was built because I haven't learned that yet. Our property had a unique little stone garage building about 50 yards from the house. It had thick stone walls. I remember it was always warm in the winter and super cool in the heat of the summer in that garage. It was kind of dark and a little scary when I was a child but I have fond memories of family parties with a live band in that garage. My parents and my cousins had a country and western band. I also remember home movies of my favorite uncle sporting my dad's "ten gallon hat" (a huge "Hoss" style cowboy hat) and acting very silly at that party. I do remember alcohol being involved. Those were some good memories that I revisited due to our trip to the museum today.
The museum walls were covered with old photographs of the Brook-Scanlon logging trains that carried the logs from the forest of my sacred place (deer camp) into the mills at what we currently know as the Old Mill District. Old photo's of hunters dressed in vest, jacket and bow tie decorated the walls as did pictures of logging camps that housed hundred's of working families in the forest southwest of Bend. My dad lived in a logging camp for a time as a child with his family while his dad and other family members worked for the company. It was so cool seeing photos of the places my family has come from. It makes me want to dig deeper into local history, my history. This is who I am and where my family came from. My roots grow deep. I'm proud to have been raised here. Just strolling through the rooms today it's obvious how hunting was such an important part of the local history. The mule deer herds were abundant so harvesting meat was an easy task as long as you were a decent marksman. My book "A Sacred Place" is being considered for the book store. It tells of local history from a personal perscective. I recommend that you visit your local museum. It helped me to have a greater appreciation for my community and it's a place of great discovery.
This is a photo of me and my big sister Karen playing at what used to be a Brook-Scanlon Logging camp. No this picture isn't in the museum.
Here is the missing chapter from my book "A Sacred Place" that readers requested. An interest was sparked about how I met my husband and his connection to my sacred place (my family hunting camp), but in my book, I didn't satsify their curiosity. This chapter will be added to my book soon.
Summer of 1980- I parked in my usual spot in front of the design studio then climbed out of my sparkling metallic sports car. Horns honked as I unlocked and entered the front door of the paint department where I spent my days working, mixing custom colors for several of Central Oregon’s painting contractors. My sky blue 1969 Chevy Camaro drew a lot of attention in the busy roadside parking lot. Bob, my boss said it wasn’t the car that the passing motorists were honking at. They do honk often when I’m out watering flowers or washing the storefront windows, I thought. I did enjoy all the attention.
Later that afternoon, Wayne, one of the carpet layers opened the back showroom door and entered from the warehouse. He was of average height, fit and attractive with dark coffee brown hair and a thick mustache. A little flighty, but cute, I thought. Although he appeared to be much older than me, I was still interested in whatever he had to say
“I’m going flying with my buddy this week-end. Do you want to come?” Wayne asked. A little impressed at the thought of him knowing how to pilot a plane, I asked, “You fly?" “Ya, a little. Dennis is the pilot really. Do you want to go?” he quickly added, skirting the question. “Who’s Dennis?” I asked. “He’s the carpet layer with the beard and Kipper, the yellow lab.” “Oh,” I replied. I knew Kipper well from working in the warehouse—he always stole my role of tape to play fetch then returned it all chewed up and unusable, but I really couldn’t put a face on Dennis. “He’s a super nice responsible guy,” Wayne added.
Having never been in a plane in my life I was intrigued and really did want to go, but at the age of 18, I knew I needed to ask Daddy if he and Mom cared if I went. I thought for sure they would say no because it involved a plane flying high in the air, with a guy that I worked with but barely knew, and one they had never met. But it was worth the try.
“Let me think about it and I’ll let you know tomorrow,” I said before Wayne whirled and scurried out the door.
That evening after work, I told Daddy about the invitation and asked if he cared if I went. He said it was up to me. The following morning, I told Wayne yes, then we made plans for me to pick him up at his place since he lived near the airport.
On Saturday morning at 8:00 a.m. I arrived at Wayne’s house and rang the doorbell then waited for him to answer. It took him a long time to open the door. When he finally did, he stood in front of me wearing nothing but his underwear. “Oh, hi,” Wayne said rubbing his sleep filled puffy red eyes. “I over slept. I’ll be dressed in a minute...come on in,” “Uhh...that’s ok, I’ll wait in the car,” I said, shocked by the nearly naked stranger standing before me. What have I gotten myself into? I thought as I walked back to my car.
Thirty minutes later, we met Dennis and his girlfriend Debra at the tiny country airport in Bend. I recognized Dennis from seeing him a time or two in the warehouse, but I hadn’t ever spoken to him. He was tall and thin, too thin actually, with a rich deep voice and nice eyes. He needed a haircut and his beard was long, thin and straggly looking. I didn’t pay too much attention to him other then the fact that he thoroughly checked out the plane before we climbed in. That gave me some relief from the tension I was feeling. Debra was petite and soft spoken. She and I climbed into the backseat of the little Cessna 172. Wayne climbed in upfront by Dennis, and then after a final check of things; Dennis began to taxi the plane down the airstrip. The engine roared and the aircraft became weightless as we bounced down the narrow paved strip. I braced myself against the seat and inhaled a deep breath. Wayne turned and looked over his left shoulder at me with a grin on his face. “It’s just a Camaro with wings,” he said in an encouraging voice, just as we lifted off. I appreciated his concern and stared out the small side window watching the cows shrink into tiny black dots in a pasture of green. Then we headed south towards the National Forest, over the barbwire fence, narrowly missing a flock of blackbirds, leaving my stomach behind.
It was a sunny morning and the flight was calm. I enjoyed it much, especially flying over the forest where we deer hunt. I think I recognized some of the distant buttes but I was unsure having never seen them from the air before. Dennis and Wayne talked upfront but I couldn’t hear what they were saying due to the howl of the engine. Debra and I made small talk. She was 26 and a nurse, kind of plain looking without make-up and she wore wire-rimmed glasses. Her long straight basic brown hair was clean and shiny. She looked very whole wheat in a thin calico printed cotton shirt and khaki shorts. Glancing down at her flip-flops, I noticed her legs were covered with long brown peach fuzz. Wow, she doesn’t shave her legs... ever. That was a first for me. I had never seen a woman that didn’t shave her legs. I discovered later that she and Dennis were both vegetarians—another first for me. She was different, but nice and I enjoyed her company.
After landing in Sunriver for lunch we circled over the snowcapped Cascade Mountains then safely returned to the Bend airport. I later learned that Wayne had never flown a plane before in his life. Dad told me that evening that he and Mom didn’t want me to go and they thought for sure I would say no. Wayne turned out to be kind of a flake and his employment was terminated sometime thereafter and I never saw him again, which was all right with me.
By June of the following year, Dennis was single and we had become good friends. With my suggestion during a phone conversation he cut his hair and shaved off his nine-year-old beard to expose a beautiful face and smile. In September I put in for my vacation to go deer hunting for a week. I knew Dennis had hunted small game when he was young and loved camping and the outdoors so I asked him if he wanted to go with my family and me. He excitedly said yes. He didn’t own a rifle larger than a .22 caliber, so he bought a 30-06 bolt-action from our boss, purchased a deer tag and joined us at deer camp. One evening, Mom and I went out hunting while Daddy and Dennis stayed in camp. We returned a short time later with a buck in the back of the truck. I backed up to the game pole and Mom and I proceeded to hang the carcass and skin it. I think Dennis was surprised by our success and skill. I guess however it didn’t scare him away because he proposed to me two weeks later and we married the following February. Kipper attended our wedding. I didn’t fly again with Dennis until nineteen years later. * *
We soar over the same Forest as we did that morning in 1980. Only this time our daughter sits beside me in the back seat of the Cessna. This morning we flew from the very same airport in Bend as we did that day so long ago when Dennis and I first met. It seems like just yesterday, but this time it is for a much different reason then a casual lunch with new friends. This time I definitely recognize the area as we glide barely over the treetops directly above our deer camp.
You can read the rest of the story in my book "A Sacred Place". Available in my book store.
The tree branches creak and groan under the stressful weight and the burden of heavy snow until they can no longer bare the load. They snap and fall, littering the ground now encased in an icy coffin, awaiting their release with the arrival of warmth and a thaw.
A new thick heavy frosting of white covered the frozen branches this morning. I'm beginning to tire of this flavor and am impatiently waiting for a plain unfrosted treat...warm and fresh like buttery pastry right from the oven.
The trees bare scars from this winter's wrath which apparently hasn't yet settled. It will take days of trimming and mending to clean up the destruction and repair the broken trees to the best of our ability. Normally I would not look forward to such a dreaded task, but now I anxiously wait for the opportunity to put this month behind me and welcome the warmth and dryer conditions. Dreaming of spring.
My horses stand eagerly waiting to enter the barn where fresh hay and soft dry ground awaits them. Their breath white and frozen, coating long whiskers that cover their fuzzy noses. They limp gingerly along on the hard crusty surface as if walking barefoot on a gravel road. Anxiously waiting the arrival of sweet green shoots of grass to fill their stomachs and their days with hours of blissful gazing. Dreaming of spring.
Bright yellow crocus peak from beneath a blanket of fluffy white, rich purple neighbors stand at their sides. Daffadils fill the yards and brighten the landscape as deciduious trees form soft tender buds. Following closely behind are red and yellow tulips to prove it's arrival. Dreaming of spring.
After a long spell of unseasonably warm weather for February, mother nature unleashed her fury all in one night. I woke up to eight inches of fresh snow and it was still falling. My husband shoveled the walk and a path to the shop, knocked snow off the willow tree that was bent from the heavy burden of snow and blocking the driveway before he left for work. I dressed and fed my horses then reshoveled three fresh inches of snow that had fallen since Dennis had shoveled. I built a fire in the wood stove due to frequent power serges during my morning episode of the Today show. Finally the TV went off and stayed off. The power was out due to broken lines from falling tree branches. I sat around thumbing through a few magazines thinking it would resume shortly and I could finish my morning program. After a couple hours of texting my daughter who is away at college and texting Dennis interrupting his work with unnecessary information, I knew I was in for a long boring day...then a poem popped into my head, so in the dim light I scribbled it down on post-it notes...here it is.
No power, no shower, no coffee, no T.V.
Snowing hard in my yard, poor, poor, pitiful me.
Piling deep in the street, no power and no heat,
all alone in my home, poor, poor, pitiful me.
No computer for me to play so I guess at home I'll stay,
all alone in my home, poor, poor, pitiful me.
I would read if I could see, no power or no lights.
snow piling high to the sky on windows in my roof.
Safe at home I will stay... unlike so many others,
exposed and cold I will hold them in my prayers today.
Complain no more for I am warm in my house I'll say...
Thank you Lord for now I see, no more pitiful me.
I read an article yesterday written to assist new authors. The piece was full of seemingly helpful information on how to promote your new book. The author listed many ways to expose and stir interest through the internet like social networks and web-sites and one called Squidoo lenses, which if I understood it correctly is just a silly name for web pages. It's all very overwhelming to me. I have limited abiltiy and knowlegde of the internet. You have to realize that I am of the erra of the huge computor game called "Pong". Pong was a computer game wasn't it? I didn't learn how to use a computer until I was in my 30's. Plus I am a bit of a slow learner. I did however conquer "texting" last year and have become quite prolific at that task. U no ? I mean? TTYL about that.
While reading the article, I jotted down notes to refer back to when trying to create my Squidoo lens and link my web-site to my networking pages...it sounds like I know what I'm doing but honestly, I haven't got a clue how an RSS feed works and don't know the difference between a URL or SEO.
Once I got past all of the computer stuff, the author stated that as an Author one must be a salesman of themself. He went on to state that "who could sell yourself better than you?"
I am struggling with that part. I am NOT a salesman. Oh I could sell others but I'm having a really difficult time selling of myself. My friend and author Jame Kirkpatrick says I need to look in the mirror and say "I am a writer." I snickered when she told me that, and she scolded me for it. So she is a professional writer and trained mental health person so I will try and take her advice...here goes. "I am a writer." "I may never be a famous writer, and that dosen't really matter, but I am a writer." I added that last part myself. I really do want people to read my book and to "Like" it. So I guess I need to get busy and start selling of myself as a confident writer...man, I have my work cut out for me.
Growing up we always had a dog as the family pet. We had several horses too but never a cat. Our little terrier "Blackie" hated cats and would kill them if he got a hold of one. Thankfully the neighbors cats (and they always had several) feared Blackie and stayed on their own property. If they did venture over and Blackie caught wind of them they'd run up one of the many huge ponderosa pine trees until Blackie tired and came home. I never really liked cats, but to be fair, I never "knew" any cats. When I married my husband he suggested we get a cat to help control the mouse population on our acreage. I eagerly agreed when I opened up the sleeper sofa in my great room to discover a little mouse nest with several naked new borns.
Over the years I have adopted several cats, and with each one I have learned more about the species and grown to become very fond of each one of them. Unfortunately most of them didn't survive long living in the outdoors. With each unfortunate loss my knowledge increased and I gave in to more house time realizing that house cats live much longer than outdoor cats.
Otis was a throw away that my sister found wondering around town one afternoon. I told her to bring him on over and I'd find out who lost him. Well 12 years later, no one claimed him. During the time he lived with us, Otis traveled nearly all 48 states and two Providences of Canada. He loved to go deer hunting and camping with us in our travel trailer. When Otis died tragically, my heart was broken. Several years later we got Simon. He too went hunting with us in our little RV. Nine years later Simon was caught in a coyote snare that the Game Commition set on adjacent property and didn't post any signs of their existance. I was devistated. Years have passed and my daughter convinced me last July to let her adopt another kitten. She is a college student now, so I agreed. We selected Joey, a bingle mix from the humane society. Michelle pleaded that Joey be an indoor cat so he too wouldn't get snatched away from us. Well that lasted about four months. Once Michelle left for school, Joey got bord and began ripping and tearing up everything in sight so I did the unspeakable and started letting him outside. I'm too old to raise another youngang.
Joey is now 10 months old and goes outside every day. I check on him often and give him a treat each time I call him and he comes. That was working well until today. He was outside for a couple hours and I called him. No response. Tryed again an hour later, nothing. Finally, five hours later, when he didn't come when I called him, I went serching for him. My stomach churned with fear of what I might or might not find. I was so worried. Thoughts of Simon's discovery entered my mind. I tried to brush them aside. I prayed. After calling Joey for nearly twenty minutes and praying to Jesus that he be alright, I turned around to find him sitting looking up at me with his big gold eyes and dumb look on his face. Relief washed over me like a flood. I swooped him up and kissed his ears. Tears filled my eyes as I carried him.
Joey is back in the house, safe and warm. I am so fearful that something will happen to him when he's outside but I know my love for this little kitty will be short-lived when he rips his sharp claws through the delicate threads of my new sofa, or the next time I catch him cruising the kitchen counter top stealing a piece of venison that I laid out for dinner. Until then, I praise Jesus for his safe return. Tomorrow, I'll pray for his safetly...outside.
Sherrie Gant is a writer, photographer, and