Home :: Where My Heart Stays

August this year will be seven years since I left home and ventured as far west as I could go. Every summer I go home because it’s my saving grace. A time to remember my roots, soak in family & friends, clear my mind; wide open space does wonders for your soul!

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This year I went home a little earlier than usual, in the Spring, which is a heck of a lot better than the middle of summer when it’s 100°+! (I get cranky in the heat) Last summer was hot and dry, I was home for a couple of the fires that destroyed acres and acres surrounding my hometown. The fire in August almost claimed my Mother and husband’s home outside of town. Thanks to neighbors and the amazing efforts of the hundreds of firefighters it was saved, burning up to their fence line to a fire road. The new grass where the fire blazed is greener than I have ever seen. It would be picture perfect if it weren’t for the  blackened trees.

One morning I walked behind their house to photograph the burn, it gave me a scary perspective of how close the flames came to their home.IMG_2170 IMG_2145 IMG_2098 IMG_2100 IMG_2101 IMG_2104 IMG_2105 IMG_2120 IMG_2122

On a lighter note, the Nebraska sky didn’t fail me; amazing sunsets, beautiful soft light, vibrant rainbows, and threatening clouds. None of which get old.

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Speaking of old, ok not THAT old, but we do go as far back as middle school; my best friend Cathy was kind enough to take me out on their Gator (like a four-wheeler) to photograph their ranch.

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Just like old times we mobbed around for hours, she is a much better driver than I remember, only having to hold on for dear life twice.

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Protecting my camera from the dust settling all over us was next to impossible. We were covered in it, eating it at times.

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Nebraska facial 😉

She fed me lunch then we went back out to visit her calf Little Licker, a bottle fed calf with the best eyelashes. I must say I questioned eating beef again 😦 With a soft spot in my heart, we took off through another pasture to find her horses, her pride and joy. Growing up with horses, even after getting bit and bucked off, I love ’em, would love to have one of my own. Suppose that’s like a little kid wanting a puppy, because I have no idea how I would take care of one! With the Gator loaded with cake(for you city slickers: no, it’s not real cake like at birthday parties, it’s pretty much a horse treat) for the horses, it was no chore to get their attention. A little nervous at first, all their big heads, curious mouths, and heavy hooved feet, it took me a little bit to trust them. Specially since a few had a particular interest in my camera lens. It was really neat to see all their different personality, some a little more awnry than sweet. All beautiful, I just can’t help but feel a certain way around such powerful animals. I can see why Cathy loves them.

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The heat and dust started to get to us so we headed home for some Crystal-light and caught up on life. The day really could not have been any better.

Another must while I am home is driving those back roads. My dad and I tried our luck at chasing some thunderheads just outside of town, but they were on to us.

IMG_1489 IMG_1484  IMG_1486Not much luck that night so we made a plan to hit the open road on his Harley later on that week.

Our hangovers from the night out before got the best of us so we settled for a quick loop through town.

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One could say my family is legit!

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So good seeing this beauty! Glad we meet up!

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We both agreed that between our current condition and the chilly air that the truck was more appropriate for our road trip. So we loaded up and off into South Dakota.

IMG_2093 IMG_2090 IMG_2089My trip wasn’t all fun and games, ok it was. However my Mom and I had work to do! We also ventured to South Dakota for some shopping, good eats, and to see some very special friends!

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PIZZA RANCH!

 Home for Mother’s Day, I of course put her to work, after a picnic lunch  🙂

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Pardon the crappy cell phone pics!

Our shopping had a target; Antique glass bottles. We were successful! However, it came with some, well, old antique dirt as well. So we set up camp on the porch to clean, dry, record, and pack all 100+ bottles.

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In the hunt for bottles, I was able to start my antique camera collection as well! CHAAAA!

Pardon the crappy cell phone pics!

The highlight of this trip was a visit to the Cross 5 Ranch my Great-Great Grandfather settled. But that deserves its own blog so keep an eye out for that post soon!

And like all good things, they must come to end. Scratch that, I dislike the word end. It’s so final and I always come home. It’s where my heart stays, no matter what. Too much good stuff has happened in this little corner of nowhere. I hold it all very close to me and have it and the people I grew up with to thank for the person I am today.

Until next time Chadron.

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