The Ranch in my book is a real place. There, now you know. (Just in case you were wondering.) It had to be The real Ranch, after all, without The Ranch there wouldn’t have been an idea for the book. 🙂 I have imagination, but it does best when prompted by something real. The real “something” that prompted my book was The Ranch and specifically, our time there as children.
Generally in the summer we would go visit The Ranch for a week or two. There were a couple summers when our trip coincided with some of the cousins. Those were the most fabulous summer. We rode horses, cut muskthistles, picked berries, and went to the county fair in Broken Bow.
When my Grandparents moved into town from The Ranch in 1983 we all went to The Ranch for the sale. It was a sad time, but we were all glad Grandpa and Grandma would be able to enjoy living in town since life on The Ranch was harder and harder for them.
Now, you may wonder why I keep capitalizing the words, The Ranch. There is a reason. It sets it off as an Important Place. You see, The Ranch was very important to me. I can’t speak for any of my cousins or my siblings but I can say it was home base for me.
When I was in kindergarten we moved back from California and actually lived on The Ranch for a couple of months while my parents sought the Lord’s will as to where we should start a church. When we moved it was to North Platte, less than two hours from The Ranch. For the next 8 years we lived there, going to The Ranch several times a year. It was a short enough drive that if we needed a quick “get away place” on a Friday evening, we could drive up and come back Saturday.
When I was going into 8th grade we spent a few more months at The Ranch when my dad was between churches. We ended up moving to California again. We were there three years and when we came home to visit, home was The Ranch. Wherever we went, from there on, going back to The Ranch always felt like home. It was that stable place, the unchanging in the midst of change. Even after Grandpa and Grandma moved to town, we all were thrilled when one of the cousins bought the old place. And when Grandma had to go to the nursing home and they emptied out her house, the picture of The Ranch (available for you to see on my website doublecousins.net) was returned to The Ranch where it hangs today. It belonged there because The Ranch was home. Just as it has been for as long as I remember.