After a winter to top all winters, we’ve had a spring at Long Hollow Ranch worth writing home about as well. As soon as we arrived home in early April, people started coming. A cousin whom I had never met spent several days with us and we had a wonderful time getting acquainted with him. Other guests came and went as well, even when the weather was terrible. It’s been a cold, wet, windy season. In early May we experienced the storm of a lifetime. Wind, rain and hail pelted us for at least half an hour late one evening. The following days we found damage to vehicles, roofs, trees, skylights and screens and windows. Fortunately the animals were fine. Since then it’s been business as usual, with some very nice guests and the usual maintenance and repair of things around the ranch. For Mother’s Day, my son came and prepared the greenhouse for me and now there are veggies and flowers started. We’ve had a gorgeous crop of dark purple irises gracing the greenhouse and houses, as well as a pretty good crop of lilacs that survived the storm.
One of the nicest things to happen is the arrival of three volunteers to help out with whatever needs to be donearound the ranch. Anna arrived from Verona, Italy in early April and she has become our resident “horse whisperer.” Actually she whistles to them and they do her bidding. She is also studying to be a veterinarian in Italy, so plans to enter university later this year. In her spare time she studies huge books on all sorts of topics in preparation for the entrance exams. Anna also is a great pasta cook and I am trying to learn her secrets.
The other two volunteers are Paul and Courtney, a young married couple from South Africa who have been working in London, England the last few years in order to earn money for this trip around the world. They took out two weeks from their travel time to stay here. So far they’ve been beautifying the yard, garden and driveway areas as well as helping around the house or with other projects outdoors. It’s fascinating for us to get acquainted with people like them since they come from a part of the world that is completely foreign to us. Not only that but they are lovely people who make themselves delightful to everyone. Dick is trying to talk them into staying longer.
This business of hosting guests from other parts of the country or around the world is very interesting. One thing that’s happening is that guests like Central Oregon so well that they keep coming back to visit and the more they come the more they want to stay. At this point we have two couples who have switched from guest status to neighbor status, and another who are seriously considering that possibility. I sincerely hope that does not mean we are working ourselves out of business!! But we are happy to have the nice new neighbors, and I’m sure other lovely guests will keep on coming.
So we are looking forward to an interesting summer, particularly the week in August when the sun will go into total eclipse. Just one exciting event after another!