10 years. It's been 10 years since we eased the Holiday Rambler Imperial motorhome we'd been living in since May into our driveway for the first time - taking out a fence post with the side of it - and parked it in front of the house for the first time.
We met our very good friend Don for the first time shortly thereafter. A well-used Ford SuperDuty rolled past the house, screeched to a halt, backed up, roared into the driveway, and an older gent stormed out of the truck, tire iron in hand, and demanded to know just who the hell we were.
It was the beginning of a fabulous friendship that continues to this very day. We got him back by giving him, as a gift, the most expensive free dog he's ever had, sweet little Calamity Jan, Sybil's sister. Our realtor and very good friend Tanya, the one who tried so very hard to show us the ranch in spite of our complete and total resistance to doing so - too old, too big, two stories, none of which was on our 'want' list - came by with the keys on that scorching July evening, and a goodie basket that was our first introduction to Oregon Pinot Noir wine. So I can blame her for my little wine habit. She too ended up with a puppy, Sybil's younger brother Tazz. Guess I got my revenge there too.
In those ten years, there's been more than enough blood, sweat, tears and four letter words shed. This is a 'short' pictorial history of some of the adventures we've been on in the course of those 10 years.
We've met some truly awesome people that we are so blessed and proud to call our friends. We've entertained friends and family from all over the world. Heck, Shelly from SoCal practically lives up here! We drag everyone who visits all over Western Oregon, from Tillamook in the north, to the King Estate Winery southwest of Eugene and everywhere in between. Wine tours, with Dale as the DD, are our most popular attraction at the ranch, along with eating. We do a lot of that too.
We do miss our long time friends back in the San Diego area, and are always so very glad when they make it up for a visit. We miss the San Diego of old, the San Diego we remember from the late 70's on up until we left California for good in May of 2006.
There have been cows, and sheep; goats, chickens and the ancient horse, Pony. We've lost dogs and gained dogs. There's been absolute joy, and crushing heartache.
Through it all, we've had each other, and our close circle of friends, and of course, the ranch itself, with it's rich history, starting when it was built in 1879.
Today, to beat the heat (not nearly as bad as that day 10 years ago, but bad enough), we took a long, scenic drive to the coast for lunch. On the drive, we reflected back on these past years. Hard to believe, but that was a full year before Apple introduced the iPhone! The housing market was about to go belly up, along with the economy. The first half African American would be elected president, and a businessman and a woman would secure their party nominations for president for the first time. The market dived to the bottom of the ocean, then resurfaced and reached for the sky. Chevrolet changed the looks of the Corvette, and then did it again. 'American Idol' ended. Digicams became popular, then became really good, then became passé because cell phone cameras went from not worth having to out-performing them by miles.
One word - Pokémon Go. I don't get it, but millions do.
The world just kept on going those 10 years. Bad things, good things, things in general, all the things that make up people's lives. And we just kept on going too, because our lives since we moved here have changed so much, and for the better, mostly. Being responsible for all our livestock, and dogs, and each other, means we are always busy, and in a good way.
Here's to the next 10 years!!
The moving van arrives!!
Wow. It used to look like that?
Chaos in the kitchen. The refrigerator didn't fit, so we had to move a big cabinet
The dining room wall, before the water feature went up
13 year old Jazzee in the front yard, looking towards Bellfountain
With the help of Big Red, a shovel and a chain, the mighty hunter slays the ugly, nasty shrubs
A true test of friendship is when your best pals John and Jane tow your trailer and Viper 1000 miles, stay 2 days and go home again. If we didn't say thanks, guys, THANKS!!!
Not long before we lost that giant oak tree
Repainting the old red barn
Dale shovels snows for the first time, 2008
6 month old Gem, Dale's Border Collie puppy, 2009
With our good friend and top notch contractor, rebuilding the inside of the old red barn, 2009
Gary repainted the house for us, 2010
He did a great job!
We had twins
Jazzee celebrates her 14th birthday, 2007. We would lose her the following March
Ed and Laura gave us our first piece of Oregon yard art
2010, Cricket blesses us with our first Oregon born litter (and our first litter in 9 years)
We lose our first calf, and graft a goofy replacement onto Dawn
Lambs. Always lots of lambs
We baled hay with Ed's help, equipment and expertise
Took visitors (Jim and Pam, Massachusetts) everywhere
Rainbows. Lots of rainbows
April 1st, 2013, Ho's last ride in his beloved puttputt
The epic February 2014 snow
Just before Xmas 2011, we lost Gizmo to a great horned owl
Got a visit from Evelyn, who grew up here in the 1940's. She gave us tons of valuable information about how the house looked in those days!
Built a new dog room onto the back of the shop/garage
Visitors got to see Camp 18. In this case, it's just Shelly. She kinda lives here anyway
2014, we finally fenced and gated the last piece of the property to make it complete
2015, Dale finally gets his spa
And the Legacy Oregon White Oak literally explodes one morning, for no reason
January 2016, we added an new family member in Rosie from Texas
Sunsets and sunrises are epic here