A Place Called Home

A place called home doesn’t have to be a place that you own, or was handed down from generation to generation. Although that can be home to many; it was to my dad. His great grandparents homesteaded in Bruneau, ID. Dad was born and raised in the house they lived in. No matter where Dad lived throughout his years, Bruneau was always home in his heart.

That was not the case with me. I was raised in Bruneau until I was age 5. From then on through my childhood, we moved every few years.

I have several places that are “home” in my heart. That is because the memories of my childhood and my married life, are attached to them. They are part of me, part of my heart that beats every day in my mind.

Bruneau, although I don’t have a lot of vivid memories of it from when I lived there, is one of those places. Even though we moved from there, we still had family who lived there and we visited throughout the years. My great (Granny & Grandpa) lived there, and my Great Aunt Effie and Uncle Al, and some of my Granddad’s siblings as well.

It will always be part of me.

Bruneau, My great-great-grandparents house, where my Granddad Ed, my Dad, Jim, and my Uncle Bob were born

My second “home” is a ranch in Fairfield, Id. We lived there for only three years, but so many wonderful memories from there are shared between my sister and I to this day. It is hard to believe all the life we shared, and the memories made could have been packed into only 3 years. We lived in two different houses on this ranch. This is affectionetly known by me as “The Little House on The Prairie.” Camas Prairie that is!

Sherry Craig Russell at “The Little House”

My third home would be on a ranch out of Healdsburg, California. It was a horse and cattle ranch. We lived on this ranch for three years also. When we moved from here, it was to a nearby ranch. Although the location was different, we went to the same school, had the same friends, and the same family all lived nearby. Great memories were formed in both places.

We lived in California for a total of 7 years. I loved it there; the way it was then. My husband and I took a trip back there several years ago, and I cried uncontrollably when we visited both of my old homes. It had changed so drastactly that I couldn’t even recognize it. In fact I never found the road we lived on at the last ranch. I felt like someone had stolen and destroyed my childhood. Of course I have learned since, that the memories live on.

From California, Mom, Dad, and I moved on to Montana. Pat was married by then and remained in California for awhile. Dad worked for the Beartooth Ranch in Columbus, Montana. Years later this ranch would be sold to Mel Gibson, who owned it for several years.

When we first moved there, the house we were to move into was still being occupied by the previous owners. They found a house out of Absarokee on a ranch for us that they rented for about six months. The new owners decided to live in the large house that we were originally meant to live in. They built us a new house on the Beartooth, and we moved into a house in town for the second half of the first year while it was being built.

Although the homes we lived in here did not fit the bill in my heart to be remembered as “home”, this community did. It was here that I met my husband, and years later we would move back to his families ranch.

Mom and Dad in the first rented house
Wally Thompson’s ranch Absarokee, MT

I graduated high school, here and went on to nursing school. A couple of years later my husband and I were married in Absarokee.

My folks had moved to the U3 Ranch in Wells, NV. Dad was managing the ranch and offered Mike a job. We ended up moving there in December of 1972 and lived there for 18 years.

All of our children were born here. For about half of those 18 years, we lived in this little house . We raised our children who were able to spend their early years next door to their grandparents. Dad and Mom eventually moved on to Idaho, and Mike took over as manager on the U3.

Mike, Sherry, and Dustin Russell
front steps of the house that made us a family
Main House on U3 Ranch, Wells, NV

This house, this ranch, means more to me than I have words to describe. This is the house that Mom and Dad lived in when we first moved to Nevada, and this is the house we lived in when Mike became manager.

This is where our children lived the biggest part of their childhood. When we left here we left a part of our hearts. But we have memories that bring us back to this wonderful place often.

From Montana to Nevada. From Nevada; back to Montana; back to where my husband was born and raised. Back to the ranch that his grandfather from Scotland came to America to homestead.

This picture was taken just in front of our house
looking out over the main headquarters to the
Russell Ranch at the bottom of the mountains

It is here we lived for the next 20 years. It was here we became grandparents. It is here where we thought we would spend the rest of our lives. But life doesn’t always work out the way we plan.

For the last 13 years we have lived in Laurel, MT. It is here where Mike will retire, at least from full time work hopefully in the coming year.

The first several years we lived here, we lived in a one bedroom apartment right next to the railroad tracks. For a couple of old country kids, that was pretty hard to get used to. This house has been a blessing to us. It has given us peace.

Our Present home Laurel, MT

Will this be our forever home? We don’t know. Only the future can tell. If it is, we will be fine because we have each other. If we move on, we will be fine, because we will have each other.. And we have our memories. God has blessed us with a good life and good memories.

“Where we love is home, home where our feet may leave, but not our hearts.”

Oliver Wendell Holms


3 thoughts on “A Place Called Home

  1. This post made me all teary-eyed. Such beauty, and such love. Both I’ve been chasing all my life. I’m grateful to know that this actually does exist in our world. My life experiences differ greatly, yet I can still appreciate God’s love. And I do. I love your stories, Sherry. ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Andi. I have been truly blessed and I know it. I don’t understand exactly why God has been so good to me, but I am beyond grateful! I am glad you like my stories and hopefully they give others hope to see God’s love in their life. I know your stories encourage many and I am one of the many

      Liked by 1 person

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