Familiar Roads

Dear Sisters,
Oh my goodness, do we have some catching up to do! I missed our visit from the shorelines two weeks ago, but there’s a good reason for my absence. It’s been seven years since I’ve traveled the familiar roads of my hometown, “THE BIGGEST LITTLE CITY IN THE WORLD” (and the outskirts) and boy was I overdue. So, I planned a week long get away for my family and off we went to Reno, Nevada. It’s nothing new that people have been traveling away from their homelands and loved ones for centuries. Destiny calls to those of us with a bit of wanderlust in our blood, but, there’s nothing like going home after a long time away. It’ll fill your soul with things you didn’t even know you were missing and then some! We’re still flying high from our trip west! Put on your traveling shoes and fasten your seatbelt for a trip to Western Nevada with Deb and the gang!
City lights, dirt roads, sagebrush, mountains, and mustangs! Oh my!


How many of you live 2, 3 or more thousands of miles from your hometown? It’s not always easy is it? I’m a firm believer in that old saying, “Home is Where the Heart is “and for me that is certainly true. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, New England and the life we have made for ourselves here since moving here 12 years ago but I will always be a Nevadan first. My roots are there AND so are my people whom I miss dearly. It was important to the handsome Yankee, the kids and I (and my sweet mom who traveled back home with us) to see as many of our ‘ kin ‘ as we could and to trample around some of our old stomping grounds. We got our bellies full of eating, laughing, hugging, talking, eating, laughing, reminiscing, eating, hugging, and kissing, (did I say eating?) to hold us over for a while.

All flights were smooth and on time thank goodness. My handsome Yankee and I snuck out at first light on day one ( while everyone else snoozed away ) to catch the sunrise, get a good whiff of the mountain sage and see an old friend up the hill from where we were staying.

The snow covered mountains and crisp morning air was so invigorating. I had forgotten how fresh and clear mountain air is. We climbed the hill (in our rented Ford Explorer) oohing and awing at every turn. We traveled the Mount Rose Highway together hundreds of times while we still lived in Nevada. There were many summer days (before the little darlings were born) spent canoeing close to the shorelines of beautiful Lake Tahoe. In winter we went cross country skiing in the flat meadows on sunny winter days, hot coco and power bars in tow. As we rode along we couldn’t help but notice that the scenery felt very familiar and UN familiar at the same time. I guess that’s what time away does to a persons memory. It plays tricks on you. When you are away for long periods of time, somehow the memory becomes more familiar than the actual place.

” The Meadows ” on Mt. Rose Highway on the Nevada side of the Sierra Mountain Range.

Tahoe National Forest is a U.S. National Forest located in the state of California, northwest of Lake Tahoe. It includes the 8,587-foot peak of Sierra Buttes, near Sierra City, which has views of Mount Lassen and Mount Shasta. It is located in parts of six counties. In descending order of forestland area they are Sierra, Placer, Nevada, Yuba, Plumas, and El Dorado counties. The forest has a total area of 871,495 acres. Its headquarters is in Nevada City, California. There are local ranger district offices in Camptonville, Foresthill, Sierraville, and Truckee.

Mark Twain sees the Sierra’s sapphire lake:

“…at last the Lake burst upon us—a noble sheet of blue water lifted six thousand three hundred feet above the level of the sea, and walled in by a rim of snow-clad mountain peaks that towered aloft full three thousand feet higher still! … As it lay there with the shadows of the mountains brilliantly photographed upon its still surface I thought it must surely be the fairest picture the whole earth affords.” —from Roughing It

The old friend I mentioned earlier is Lake Tahoe. This view from one of the scenic overlooks is imbedded in my memory along with the strong scent of pine trees and a sense of being very small by comparison to such a grand view from so high up in the mountains. Standing in this spot again, looking out at that sparkling mountain gem felt just like seeing an old friend after a long, long time. We were both exhilarated! So many memories came rushing back… like the time my hubbies wallet was stolen during one of our Sunday beach days at the lake but was found and returned later that same day. How could we forget the time we went canoeing and pulled up on shore to have lunch only to discover we were at one of the nude beaches? We paddled out of there in a hurry! Then there was the time the time we took my mom cross country skiing and she broke a bone in her foot! We got back to the hotel in time for breakfast but we made sure we got up the mountain one more time with the rest of the family. There’s mom breathing in the beauty of the moment!

It had been over five years since we saw my youngest brother. He drove over from California to spend some time with us while we were in Reno. FYI… That ponytail is GONE! Sister Deb packed her scissors for the hair cut of the year. I had the honor of giving him a new do the morning he left for home. But he has all the photos on his phone so just imagine him even more handsome!

Both of our children were born in Reno and we were so excited to show them around places we knew so well once upon a time. Places they’ve heard us speak of over the years came to life for them and now they’ll have their memories to live on too. We went to Reno to reminisce, re-connect with our family and friends, make new memories together, AND to share in a very special celebration! My cousin and her husband became new adoptive parents in March to a brand new baby boy named Benjamin! They held his baby shower during our stay so we could attend!  Don’t you just want to kiss his cute little cheeks?

Proud parents John and my cousin Cindy!

Cousin Cindy with nieces Emerson and Mikayla and her mom ( my Aunt Nan ) in the middle photo below.

My cousin Teri made a special baby shower banner to welcome Master Benjamin into the family inspired by an article in a recent issue of MaryJanesFarm for baby shower decor! She was so tickled with her banner! I think baby Benny (he already has a nickname) is off to a great start don’t you!

As we visited and got caught up I could hardly keep my eyes off of all the clever farmgirl touches hostess Kelly ( my new junkin friend ) had sprinkled about her home inside and out. Kelly made this darling sign for the baby from scrap wood and milk paint.

Bunches of FRESH flowers and her beautiful blooming bathtub caught my wondering eye for starters!

Go here to see more of Kelly’s recycled garden art!
Don’t take off your traveling shoes yet sisters. We’ve got more ground to cover!
The following day we headed south of Reno to the capitol city of Nevada, Carson City, and on to Genoa. We wanted to show the kids where we got hitched! We found the church in fine shape and the doors were unlocked so we let ourselves in.

We fell in love with this quaint country church 22 years ago for the simple reason, that it IS so simple. We wanted a wedding that reflected us, where we would be surrounded by family and friends and still feel like we were all together for our special day. This church gave us that and so much more! As soon as we stepped inside we felt the same magic we did on the day we said I do. There is something very special about that church. I get the feeling that many long lasting happy unions just like ours started there with blessings from above.

One thing that was different is the piano at the front of the church. It wasn’t there 22 years ago. Nicolette gravitated to it right away and began playing and singing for us. Well, you can guess what happened next. There wasn’t a dry eye amongst us while she serenaded my husband, me, our son and my mom who was also my maid of honor at our wedding. Yep, we made a memory to cherish for a lifetime that day.

We couldn’t linger long because we were on our way to visit my Aunt and Uncle at their home ” The Kriss Cross Ranch “! So we stole a quick kiss at the alter to buy us  another 22 years ( and then some godwilling ) and we were on our way to the ranch!

Can we just stop for a minute so I can take some pictures of the cows? Thank you…Okay, we can go now.

My Uncle Larry is a team roper/farmboy at heart. He runs his own insurance agency in Carson City. When he’s not working you can find him in the arena on his modest spread working with his horse or out on trail rides in the Carson Valley with his lovley bride on Saturday mornings. Just look at all that buckle bling ( below photo  ) he’s won over the years! Did I mention that he he’s 71 years young and just bought a new horse to train?  If that doesn’t put a little heat in your seat, I don’t know what will! Krisit has worked for years with the Nevada Wild Mustang organization. Mustangs are the only kind of horse she’ll keep.  It was great to step into their world for an afternoon. Nicolette and I got to give their two Nevada mustangs ( trained by the local prisoners ) Roanie and Casino treats and sneak in a few pats and rubs too! We visited well past suppertime then it was time to head back to the hotel and get ready for our flight out the next day.

On the flight home we counted 30 plus friends and relatives we saw during our week-long  stay! That’s a lot of ‘ chewin the fat ‘! Why, that’s just about enough love to carry us through until we head west again.

Well, sisters, this here’s the end of the road. Thanks so much for coming along for this little scrapbook journal of our journey home. Gosh, I hope I haven’t put you to sleep! 😉

When’s the last time you traveled home to see your kin? If it’s been a while, I hope you can get home soon. It’ll give you a LIFT like no other.
Until our next shoreline visit~ Beach Blessings and Happy Travels…

Lots of love,

Sister Deb # 1199

  1. Adrienne says:

    It sounds like you had a wonderful time and I hope you’re able to visit again soon. I lived in Reno for 13 years and finished my education there. And started my teaching there at Truckee Meadows CC. I remember learning how to ride a motorcycle with my very patient friend and how we would ride together around Tahoe to "get the carbon out."

    In June, I’ll be traveling to and from Fullerton in southern California by train to visit my sister and her family, our brother, and our cousin and his daughter from Atlanta who will be flying in that week. It should be a lot of fun reminiscing. Thank you for sharing your story!

    Hi Adrienne!

    We did! I attended TMCC in the mid 80’s for a couple of years while I was hairdressing. I know it well. 🙂 I wish you a wonderful trip with your family in California… I know you’ll soak up every minute! Xo Deb

  2. MaryJane says:

    Oh how I loved reading the details of your journey home to Nevada. The scenery is breathtaking. And your daughter serenading you in the tiny quaint church you were married in? Off the charts!!!!!! Thanks for a great start to my day.

    My pleasure MJ… Thanks for the note! xo Deb

  3. Mary Rauch, maryfrantic' says:

    Your comment,"The old friend I mentioned earlier is Lake Tahoe", grabbed me by the heartstrings. I also KNOW that feeling about a "place". When I lived in West Virginia in a little "hillside apartment"(back in my single days)I could climb a short distance uphill, through a little forested area, to a huge rock outcrop that overlooked part of the City of Charleston. On a cool Summer night the huge rock would still be warm from the sun. I don’t know if any other human knew of this place. I would sit there in the dark thrilled by the lights of the city, and dream of things to come or clear my mind to solve problems if any. I experienced a CALM that I have never known before or since. I miss that place, and loved it as though it were a long-lost friend. I think YOU understand perfectly.

    I do, I do… So glad you have an old friend in nature too! Thanks so much for your note ! xo Deb

  4. Shery says:


    Soooooo enjoyed taking a virtual trip with you! Obviously, you had a wonderful time; loved all the photos of your kinfolk. A grand getaway does a body good.

    It sure does Shery! Thanks for popping by! xo Deb

  5. Victoria says:

    Deb….. my husband and I went through the entirety of your ol’ home state a couple of weeks ago! We used to live in Southern Idaho, but moved to Southern California 24 years ago. We have a daughter, (and her family) and other "relates" still there. We’ve been up and down your state hundereds of times! We zip through Las Vegas and end up going through Twin Falls on the way to our destination, Mountain Home. It can be somewhat boring, seeing as how we know every turn and dip in the road. But this last trip was a bit more unique, since we got in some weather. It was great!!! Black clouds, wind, snow…good stuff, that we don’t get to experience being way down south!!! Nevada can be desolate and tedious, but also vast and mysterious! Thanks for a great post and the photos were sublime!!! Oh and P.S. Please tell us how to pronounce "Nevada". Everyone I knows says "Nevahda", or something weird like that. Spent alot of time in that state and the locals NEVER call it "Nevahda"…like it’s something prissy! ick!


    Howdy Victoria! You have covered some ground girl! You are so right about Nevada being desolate and tedious but also vast and mysterious especially on long drives.. Nothing but wide-open and sagebrush for hundreds of miles. It’s funny what you miss when you don’t have it 🙂 … We are socked in amongst the trees here in New England but I’ve grown to love the ‘ hug ‘ they provide throughout the seasons. The only time we can see for miles is on the shorelines… I’ll take it though! 🙂 Glad you got some weather to mix things up this time around!

    Now for the correct pronunciation of my home state…Is everyone listening?

    Good! It’s NevAda  ( short sound for a  )

    I remember attending a John Gorka concert in Nevada. The artist was from New Jersey… He stepped on stage and said hello Nevahda and the enire audience shouted back at him… It’s NevAda!!!!!!!! LOL!

    Thanks for the note! xo Deb



  6. Pam deMarrais says:

    Deb….what a beautiful place! I especially loved the gorgeous Lake Tahoe in the mountains. I can tell that you have a wonderful family; now you have even more memories to share. Ahhh, and the little church; I can almost hear your daughter playing that piano and see the tears flowing.
    Thanks for sharing the beauty of Reno and the surrounding areas. I feel like I just took a magical trip; isn’t the internet great? Great blog Deb!!


    Hi Pam… You’ll be on the shorelines in no time !Looking forward to your visit home  in June! Xo Deb

  7. Merrilyn says:

    Deb, you share your adventures so well. Makes me feel like I was right there seeing it all with you. When we lived in Sacramento we made several trips to Nevada. There is nothing better then visiting family. That was a lot of seeing for one week. You guys were really rockin. You really captured the wonderful feeling of a loving family. Can’t wait for your next adventure.
    Hugs to you.

    Hello my sister in Alaska!  Can you believe we just lived ‘over the hill’ from eachother once upon a time? Small world isn’t it? Thanks so much for the kind words and always great to hear from you! Hope all is well with you and yours…

    hugs!xo Deb

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