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The Red Dirt Road Home………

January 13, 2011


Well, it has been almost a year since we moved back to our home state    of Oklahoma.

The red dirt of Oklahoma has a comforting effect on my soul and though   this road has not been without pot holes and road bumps, I’m sure glad    to be home.

I was sure glad to see that OK Sign getting closer and closer as we left    Missouri and crossed into Oklahoma!

Photo Credit

We arrived to our temporary home December 22, 2010 and my Daddy was waiting (im)patiently for me when we arrived.  The trip took almost 7 hours with two vehicles completely loaded, one horse trailer loaded and 5 dogs!

Bear and my Brother-in-Law Rob made three more trips down before the end of January and then the day before the MONSTER SNOW STORM hit, he and a good friend of mine brought down 6 of our 9 horses.


Yes, that is our Dually (Hellanore) and the snow was all the way to the rails inside the bed!!!  This big girl was going no-where!

Hard to believe that a short 24 hours before this picture, this was the scene at our barn when the horses arrived.

This is Luke, Pete, Banks, and Zeke in our pasture – I can just imagine what there were thinking to have this much room to stretch their legs, drop their heads, and graze!  This picture warms my heart, Welcome Home my Boys, Welcome Home!

 My Beloved Kit, look at that dirty leg enjoying the time to stretch!  I so missed this girl!

And last but not least was the Cookie Monster!

Bear had worked extremely hard to get the barn in shape before the first group arrived.  It would be May before the other three made it down due to weather.

Below are pictures of our place when we saw it for the first time in October, as Bear was working on it and after the Snowstorm:



Bear worked hard and here at Raging Bear Ranch, we re-use, repurpose and recycle everything – the only wood we purchased was the plywood, the 2×4’s and the rest of the lumber came from St. Louis – it was going to be thrown away so we saved it for our barn!  I have recently purchased at an auction for $14.00 each – 5 stall gates!  These normally retail for over $60.00 – I was pretty pleased with myself!

I started working from home in January and Bear started his job in February so we were still transitioning into life in OK, new schedules and the slower pace!  If we heard gun shots, it was a hunter not some person intent on killing another and sirens were few and far between.

In March we moved to our second Temporary home but this one will be home for awhile and it’s good to finally have a place to call home and our barn is not very far from our rental which makes it nice.  I go out every morning before work and get to spend time with my animals – makes for a relaxing day!

My Family started to have medical problems right after we arrived.

Bear had to have a Stent placed in October of this year and did not have to have the By-pass surgery that I feared.  He was born with an extra vein in his heart which had become significantly blocked and they were able to put the stent in and per the Dr. “it plumped up and surprised us as to bit it became after we placed the stent.  Bear has been doing much better since the surgery.  He is now going to have to see a neurosurgeon for his speech problem.  I pray that this is nothing major going on with his speech.

My Dad went into the Hospital with Stomach pains and was diagnosed with not only Diverticulitis but an abdominal Aneurysm that was at critical stage.  He spent some time in the hospital and two weeks later had abdominal surgery to repair the aneurysm.  Everything was going along fine and Daddy started having Chest pain and went back into the hospital.  They did an angiogram and found a 90 percent blockage of one of his arteries, but no stent was put in because his heart was creating what is called a Helper Channel, essentially making a new artery!  Praise the Lord, Thank you Jesus! My Mom Pat (Step-Mom) is a Saint to put up with the Crap she does from my Dad!  He is so set in his ways, bull headed, stubborn, but if it wasn’t for her…….well, wouldn’t want to go there!  I love my Daddy with all my heart but oh my can he be bull headed!

My Mom was put into the Hospital in March and started what would be a long battle with a terrible disease called Aplastic Anemia.  She was in and out of the hospital from March to November.  I will never forget the last meeting we had with the Dr. on November 11th and the look on my Mom’s face when they told her there was nothing more they could do.  It was all I could do to hold it together for Mom and my Brother.

Mom’s big holiday’s are Thanksgiving and Christmas.  We wanted Mom to have one last Christmas with her family, even if it was still November.  Gary, Sharon, Aunt Nancy, and a few friends came and cleaned and decorated the House with Mom’s Christmas on Sunday the 13th.

We made a hard decision to bring Mom home on Hospice on November 15th, 2011.  Gary (my Brother) and I stayed overnight with Mom on Monday.  We had a good time, reminiscing with each other, comforting each other and telling Mom that we loved her – she was fighting to stay alive.

Tuesday the 15th, dawned cool and cloudy as I followed the EMS personnel and my Mom to the ambulance.  I rode with Mom home where Gary was waiting for us.  As we brought Mom into the house and got her set in her bed, I knew and felt in my heart that she knew she was home.  We had Christmas that evening with the boys opening gifts and coming over, putting the presents in Mom’s hands and telling her what they got.  We got some reactions from her during this time.

Mom’s Dog, Oreo, missed her terribly and was so excited when we came in, although he would not get to close at first.  I sprayed some of Mom’s perfume (Red) on her (lightly) and myself and this seemed to help him.

Gary and I stayed up all night with Mom, making sure that she got her pain meds and was not in any pain at all.  We talked, looked at old pictures, talked to Mom, told her we loved her and it was okay to go she if she wanted to.  Mom had told the preacher earlier in the week that she was waiting on her Angel.

Gary took vigil on one side of the bed and I on the other, Oreo on my lap never moving for most of the night, sniffing and bumping Mom’s hand, and licking her hand – it tore my heart to watch this exchange between Mom and Oreo.

Oreo watching over Mom

Oreo never left my lap as he watched over Mom, every so often bumping and licking her hand.

On November 16th, 2011, at 1:40 pm, My Mom saw her Angel – she is now our guardian Angel.

This Thanksgiving was very tough for both my brother and I as it was the first Thanksgiving without our Mom.  I’m mad right now, not at anything in particular just the timing I think as this would have been my first Holiday with my both my Mom and Dad in about 13 years and now Mom is gone.  I will have to rely on my memories to comfort me through the holidays.

Christmas will be even harder, as I see a Santa Clause or something Christmas that hits me hard in the gut as I realize, I can’t share that with my Mom.  I catch myself calling Mom’s number, but no one answers……..

As you can see, this red dirt road has been rough……but, I’m so glad to be home.

Stay tuned for more Red Dirt Home Posts.


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