Going “Home”!

This is my childhood home. The place where my parents still live. I love how it is tucked down in those trees.

It is such a beautiful place.

Every Farmgirl needs to go “home” sometimes. Even though my own home is almost 2000 miles from here, this is still home to me and that’s how I refer to it!

Do you do that? Do you still refer to that significant place in your childhood as “home”?

My Momma just had a full hip replacement surgery so I came home to help her and Dad for a month or so. Every time I come back to my childhood home in New Mexico there is something I’m eager to do the first day I’m back. I love to go out and walk the hills and let my mind wander back to my childhood.

Would you like to go with me this morning?

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My siblings and I used to ride (and push) our bicycles up this steep hill and then ride down as fast as we possibly could. Eventually the name of the hill became “bicycle hill” – we still refer to it that way today!

Oftentimes we crashed as we flew down that hill and we bragged about who got hurt the worst. It was usually the one that crashed into the Yucca Cactus.

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The Yucca is a beautiful plant, it is the New Mexico State Flower, and in the spring it puts on a beautiful display of white flowers on a very tall green stalk. When the flowers die and fall off, the middle stalk dries up and becomes the most awesome straight and stout stick. You can imagine the stick fights my brothers had!

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The yucca stick makes the perfect walking stick!

On the Ranch, my Grandmother always had her Yucca stick that she carried around when we were growing up. “You never know when you might need a good stick”, she would say. So of course we little kids had our Yucca sticks to carry with us too.

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I love the crooked oak trees in the huge sandy wash (referred to as “the wash”). These were the best climbing trees ever! We had more tree-houses scattered around the pasture than you can even imagine. I think we each had our own house one summer. We would drag every crazy thing out to “the wash” and drive our parents crazy. In the summer when these trees are fully leafed out they make a great canopy that creates a really fun house underneath.

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This is the land that I grew up riding horses on. It’s where I learned to ride… by grabbing my horse’s mane and pulling myself up and riding bareback all over the place. And those low hanging tree branches were the favorite of an ornery Shetland pony we had that loved to run under the limbs and knock us kids off. And we’d get back on and do it all over again.

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The windmill was always a fun place to play. Even though we were told over and over not to climb it, we usually pushed those boundaries and climbed a few rungs anyway.

And when we were older the water tank became our swimming pool!

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And of course the old barn. This old barn was falling down when we were children. I don’t know how it is still standing today. We played hide and go seek in this barn, hiding underneath and behind all the fun junk Dad stored in it.

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The old granary was the best place in the world to lock up our ornery brothers!

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Thanks for going along with me this morning as I walked the pasture with Rusty, my Dad’s little dog!

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This is the old Ranch house where my mother was raised; the place that she still calls “home”. She and my Dad spend about half their time there where they still have cattle. I don’t know that I will get to go to The Ranch on this trip as Mom is kind of home bound. Someday I’ll take you along when I go.

What I’ve realized the last few days is this:

“You can never go home again, but the truth is you never leave, so it’s all right.” ~ Maya Angelou

Until our gravel roads cross again… so long.
Dori

P.S. I’m hoping I can talk my very humble ranch Daddy into sharing a few of the things he’s learned and experienced in being a New Mexico Rancher. Any questions you’d like to ask him? Maybe that will convince him that my next blog post should be an interview! Let me know in the comments and I’ll get working on him!

Leave a comment 39 Comments

  1. Joan says:

    Great ‘out n about’! Yes ‘home’ is always ‘HOME’. Praying your Mom heals perfectly and quickly. God bless.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Joan, When I was a kid I used to think it was so strange when I would hear my Mom refer to going to visit her parents as “going home”. I remember when I was finally at the age where it made sense to me. – Dori –

  2. Denise Cooper says:

    Hello Dori, Was your dad a rancher’s son? If so what made him decide to make his livelyhood as a rancher. If he was not a rancher’s son what made him decide to take on the challange.

    The reason why I am asking is because my dad was the son of a Michigan dariyman/farmer. Dad is a Koreanen war vet. He went to college on the GI Bill and moved into the corporate world to raise his family.

  3. Martha McAlister says:

    Sounds like you had a wonderful childhood. Your childhood home is beautiful. Today’s blog reminded me of my childhood years spent in such pursuits on my grandparents’ farm, which the family still refers to as “The Place”. The terrain and vegetation of your home place reminds me very much of my beloved Place located in Erath County in Texas. Although I am 65 and have not lived in Texas since 1970, I still roam over The Place in my heart and mind. Thank you for sharing your walk.

    I would love to read more about your Home and what you father learned and experienced as a New Mexico rancher.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Martha, My sister and I were saying today that we had the BEST childhood and we really are so very thankful. It was such a fun place to grow up! I love what you said about roaming over The Place in your heart and mind. That is just beautiful. Thanks for writing. – Dori –

  4. Maria Reyes says:

    What a wonderful post, I trully enjoyed it. Thank you so much and enjoy your stay.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Maria, thank you. Although I’ve been so busy taking care of my Momma I do have several projects I’m enjoying working on while I’m here. Hoping Mom will feel up to some crafting in a few days. – Dori –

  5. diana henretty says:

    I too went home this past weekend to San Diego Calif. all by Google Earth.
    Stopped in to see the places I lived and loved growing up, where our first was
    born, I could see and smell the beauty of the Pacific ocean, and the roads I used to
    walk to high school on.
    It was wonderful, not quite as good as actually going home, but it surely did a good job of bringing back precious memories.
    Happy Fall, (early winter here in the Ozarks this week!!) Diana, Noel, Mo

  6. lanikyea says:

    Where in NM is an arroyo called a wash? —-and the yucca is sooo big? Our yucca is much shorter with more torch size sticks than walking size sticks….Bet yours has wonderfully big roots for washing your hair. Enjoy your blog and am looking forward to future posts.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Okay, so I talked to my Mom and Dad about the difference between an arroyo and a wash! Dad said an arroyo is usually steep walled with more of a gravel base, than sand. It usually only runs during the spring run-off. A wash has more subtle contours that allows water to “wash” from more elevated areas. It runs every time there is a good rain. :-) And Mom said there are so many different types of Yucca plants. Not sure what the name is of the ones in this area of New Mexico (near Silver city) but they have really long spines – like 2 to 3 feet and they are extremely sharp and very painful to touch. And sometimes the flowering stem can be as tall as 6 – 8 feet. Mom said down at the Ranch there are some Yuccas that are about 12 feet tall. I think I need to do some research on the Yucca plant. Your comment really got us all talking today about Yucca’s! :-) Thanks for writing! – Dori –

  7. Marcie says:

    Hi Dori,
    Love your ‘home’ place. Wishin’ your mom a speedy recovery and how sweet you are to go help your family.
    Your New Mexico homeland reminds me of the terrain around Terlingua TX, where we owned 40 acres, which we sold before moving to higher ground in the TN Smokies, which is ‘home’ to us now.
    The old barn probably has good bones, which is why it has lasted for so long and with a bit of upkeep it will last for many more years.
    Looking forward to your next blog Dori – always good reading.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Marcie, I’ve heard that this area of New Mexico is a lot like Texas. I bet you love the TN Smokies. That is a part of TN we haven’t seen yet and rea really eager to. I’m sure the old barn does have good bones – I wish so badly that it could be restored. – Dori –

  8. Sandy says:

    I loved the tut. My parents retired to Florida about 25years ago. Home to me is wherever my husband and I live. Please take us on more tours. Enjoy this time with your Momma.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Sandy, I so agree with what you said, home is wherever we are! We’ve only lived in Tennessee for a few years and it feels so much like home to me there now too. It’s all about just loving and being content with where are isn’t it? – Dori –

  9. Shelley Hatfield says:

    Thanks for sharing your “home place”. Thanks for sharing your life with the rest of us. I would also like to know what was the reason your parents decided to become ranchers? Hope your Mom has a speedy recovery and glad that you get to spend some “home” time!!!

  10. Charlyn says:

    i am also a country gal that lives in Oklahoma and I do enjoyed your story. Come again soon.

  11. Karen(old cowgirl) Montoya says:

    Hi Dori,
    Welcome home. Yes, I too have felt “Home” is always the place you grew up and had such found memories. As we get older the good things that happened to us get stronger in our memories and the bad, well they just start fading and that is the beauty of getting as old as 71, you barely even think about the bad ones.
    Ask your Dad what was the first thing he saw in your Mother that sparked the interest in him to keep seeing and eventually to marry her? Also, what kept him there besides your Mother? I know I am an old nosey but it always has interested me in how people meet.
    Where I grew up was mostly sagebrush and more sagebrush. Up further in the high hills there is old growth fir and pine and a lake or two. My Dad grew up in a small town just South of there and new the country around us well.
    Yes where ever your husband and or kids are is home and is special but not like “home”. That will be with you forever, no matter how the area changes. You can still see I your minds eye the way it was.
    Speedy recovery for your Mom. Tell her though not to rush it, time means better healing.
    Hugs and Thanksgiving wishes to you and your families,
    Kay

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Good morning Kay! I’ve not managed to convince my dad he’s interview worthy!!! My daughter says I need to get creative in how I convince him! Great questions – I added to the list! :-) – Dori –

  12. Debbie Sullivan says:

    I remember a crash into that very yucca! Your blog brought back my own memories. Thanks for sharing your morning walk.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Debbie, it’s funny because I thought of you a lot when I was writing it. We have so many amazing childhood memories together right here at Mom and Dad’s place. I’m thankful for them. – Dori –

  13. Angela says:

    Beautiful! Reminds me off my parent’s place in NM.

  14. Cathy R says:

    Thanks Dori for the morning walk and fond memories. I have a relative that has lived in Silver City all her life! She is 92 and still very active. My Aunt lived in Central. The last time I visited was in the 1990’s. Yes, where I grew up will always be ‘home’! I can’t think of any questions for your Dad but hoping he will share his ranching experiences with us. Blessings to all of you. Cathy in Idaho

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Cathy, it’s kind of a small world isn’t it? I’m thinking there have been a lot of changes in Silver city since 1990. :-) “Home” is about 20 miles from Silver City towards Cliff. – Dori –

  15. kim says:

    Love the trip down memory lane. This part of the country is so different from what I know. How fun to experience this through your child-hood memories. I don’t have a specific question for your dad – but would love to read his thoughts. Best, Kim

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Kim, I don’t know where you live, but I live in Tennessee now (for 3 years) and coming back to New Mexico it seems even more different than ever! I love the contrast to the green rolling hills of the South! Thanks for writing! – Dori –

  16. Laura Hill Parker says:

    Loved this story and the pictures. I can just imagine some of the things that you kids did. It is a beautiful place. Thank you for sharing it with us!

  17. Ya can’t interview an old cowboy without asking about some of his favorite wrecks.

  18. Heidi Brockman says:

    Love hearing from another NM girl! We are raising the 5th generation of New Mexico ranchers! We love our cows, windmills, blue sky,scenery and room to breathe!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Heidi, New Mexico certainly is a beautiful state. I’m thankful I can call it the home of my childhood and I love being able to go back and step right back in to being a New Mexico girl! – Dori –

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