Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Going Home Part 1

While I was born and lived in Vermont until I was 5 I grew up in Tulsa Oklahoma where my family was from. In 1993 I set off on my own to Portland Oregon and now this will be my children's home state. That thought still startles me at times as I feel my Okie roots are so strong and do miss it. My Great Grandfather was a rancher near Pawhuska and owned a large ranch that ran cattle across the Midwest. My Granny and her siblings grew up working on the ranch but also eventually lived the city life in Tulsa. When I was little we would visit the ranch and I loved riding horses with my Mom, staying in Grandma's house, and seeing the cowboys. 
Yes that's me with the blond hair.
In the mid 80's our family made the big decision to sell the ranch to the Nature Conservancy who wanted to start a Tallgrass Prairie Preserve with plans to grow the Preserve to 50,000 acres. In 1993 right after I moved to Portland the Nature Conservancy released a herd of 300 bison onto the Preserve and there are now 2,700 bison on the land. Our family was invited back to the Ranch for the 20th Anniversary Celebration and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to share this part of my history with my children. 

Some of the family from the weekend.

The Conservancy hosted an event with tour and speeches where my Uncle read the speech my Granny wrote and read at the release which was really moving.
After the event we were able to spend two nights out at the ranch staying in what used to be the bunk house where the cowboys would sleep. A surprise for me was noticing all of the quilts on the beds. I learned that when the Jubliee Quilters' Guild from Bartlesville Oklahoma found out the quilts on the beds were made in China they took it upon themselves to make 9 quilts for the house all in traditional styles of the time, I just love our community! Here's a sneak peak at one of them and I'll share the rest in post #2.



arajane said...

what a cool story! i had no idea you had okie roots. and i'm looking forward to seeing the rest of the quilts.

barbara woods said...

Love your story Petra

Quilt n Queen said...

OMG your mom is in her bare feet...what beautiful your story!! Looking forward to 'Going Home' part 2. Happy stitching, Pauline

AnnMarie said...

Petra, what a great visit it sounds like you had with history and family! I was also born in Vermont, but moved to PA at age seven.