It started with a day off of work and a morning Skype call, but quickly became huge smiles and frantic packing. College years bring people together. Then suddenly graduation comes and we are spit out into the world, only to live in different cities, states, and countries. So when things like your average “extra day off” arises you jump at the opportunity to make the gap smaller. Seattle to Madras is about a 5 and a half hour drive give or take…usually more give than take. If you leave at one meal you know you will get there around the time the next one starts. So we left at lunch and made it sometime around dinner.
A town in central Oregon, which to most seems like the middle of nowhere. Nothing comes from Madras right? Well, I do. At least, my family does. It is where my family settled over 100 years ago. I have only had the pleasure of walking around the homestead, and take in the historical and familial significance a few times, but each time I feel like I am playing an old film reel through my head. I imagine my great great grandparents sitting out on the porch at the end of a long day. Guns above a fireplace, and my grandparents working the land and making the ranch run right. I drive by old towns, see old buildings, and wonder if they had seen them or been in them too.
I am unashamed of the fact that I am a sentimental person. Jeff can back me up on this. If you look around our house you will find “knick knacks” all over…but tastefully placed. My silver baby soon, old family pictures, and a butter churn on a bookshelf that came off this very farm that I am talking about. My Nana would tell me stories of how my great great grandmother used that butter churn to makes the world’s best oatmeal. She said it always had just the right amount of sugar, and that she would make a little nest in the center for a large spoonful of freshly made butter. I eyed the butter churn as a child and my Nana knew my love for it. So on our wedding day she gave it to us. I know that was hard for her, because like me, she cherished items with sentimental meaning.
Today Madras is home to our very good friends Brandon and Megan. Megan studied Elementary Education at WSU and quickly found a job as a Kindergarten teacher. Brandon I often feel was born in the wrong time. He is a cowboy, has a knack for fixing things, and enjoys the ranch life. So Madras was a good place to start. Their hope is to one day own and run their own cattle ranch, and we know they will do it. If any two people could make it work, it is these two.
Jeff and I showed up in the dark and cold, but the house was full of light and warmth. Not just because the fire was going but because when the door swung open we were immediately welcomed with open arms. Megan and I got to catch up as we made dinner and the boys got to bond over hunting and tools. It was like no time had passed. It was something we desperately needed. Time with old friends, laughter, the great outdoors, and a break from the city. Here are some of the highlights.