Since May 2018, I had been looking for a rental I could afford. The growing interest in Wallowa County had limited housing opportunities, meaning there were enough, and the ones available were out of my price range.
By the grace of God, I had a little motorhome, named Stella, that I had repaired during the 2017-2018 winter. She was ready to go, and the roads were clear for Petey and me to try a new, but temporary (I hoped) housing adventure. Stella would be our home.
Petey didn't like how loud she was, but I laughed in delight every time I started her. SHE ROARED! A real powerhouse.
Guys ask me, "What size motor does she have?"
All I know she is a 1975 Dodge and I love her.
We lived in her one year- I'll relate that journey in other posts. During that time I read the Chieftain diligently, put the word out among friends, looked on online for a Wallowa County rental. I expanded my search to Union County and then Baker County, wondering if my relationship with Wallowa County was over.
I did not want that at all. But living in Stella was not a long term solution.
Should I move back to the Deep South to be close to my children and grandchildren? My health had been restored while living here, yet my family missed me. That's a hard place when a person has to choose between health or your children.
My brain injury had certainly put me in a position where I needed help. Friends in Wallowa and Union counties had certainly stepped up and helped me. But that could not be a long term solution either.
I prayed, "God please show me what I'm supposed to do. Give me a sign, or something!"
Being stuck in uncertainty can be frightening.
Early in 2019, the editor of the Chieftain, Ellen Morris Bishop, had asked permission to use this photo for the cover of this year's Visitor Guide.
"Sure, if that will help the County," I agreed from the home of a friend who lives in La Grande.
Ellen had taken the picture during a photo shoot the year before for the cover of a book I am publishing. I have tremendous respect for her skill in capturing both the light and essence of her subject matter. (Check out ellenmorrisbishop.com for more of her work.)
The staff chose this, not knowing it was me. When I first saw the Visitor Guide, I was so pleased and have since had other women in Wallowa County say they do the same thing, sit at the lake for quiet time.
When I laid eyes upon this magazine during my perplexing time, I had my answer.
"It's time to go home." How I welcomed that. My heart smiled.
A 50-something woman comes home to a place she's never been before.