Tomorrow morning, the door closes forever on a piece of my childhood. My parents are flying away from the Oregon home they just sold and heading to their new life in Massachusetts near my brother.
We didn't live there on those 80 acres near that tiny Oregon town. But my grandparents did, and the generation before theirs (I have to admit I'm not sure on which side!) homesteaded it. It was part of growing up, to take that long drive, to stop and eat in Weed or Willows, to sing the "We're almost there!" song in Dutch--to spend time at what Grandma called her "Peaceful Haven."
We often came up during Easter, Christmas, or the summertime to spend time with my beloved Grandma and Grandpa. We would play in "Grandpa's Forest" and build forts, boats, pirate ships--whatever we could imagine. We'd walk to the river that runs through the property, and we'd go to the little church where Grandpa even preached sometimes. Blackberries we'd picked were eaten over vanilla ice cream. We spent hours reading old magazines. Grandma's dolls and carnival glass, plates and teacups added beauty, but more than that, it was Grandma and Grandpa's love and heart that we enjoyed. Even after Grandpa passed away, Grandma stayed on her land till very near the end of her life, and her warm spirit never failed. The peaceful, beautifully natural cemetery near the town holds them and many relatives.
When my parents retired from California to Oregon, they had their house built next to Grandma's old house (which my aunt now owns on her 40 acres of the divided 80.) It was beautiful and spacious, and they named it Pfefferle Pines. They spent 15 happy years there, and I still loved coming up--for Mom's Eastern Star events (how often does one woman get to be a Grand Officer AND a Grand Representative within 10 years of moving to a new state!), for Christmas, for lots of other things. Even Little Man got to see it last summer, and was as enchanted by the deer drinking from the birdbath as he was by the pinball machine at the town's ice cream parlor!
Someone new will make memories there now--but I won't soon forget all of mine. The Folks are making the right decision for many reasons--but I know they will feel a pang as well.
Farewell 5280 & 5550-- I will miss you.