Thursday, April 10, 2008

Those Crazy Ranch Days....

As promised, I thought I would tell you about the Ranch. I too will tell you about Ecuador, but I'm still collecting my thoughts on that. So for now, here's the Ranch...

When I was entering into Second Grade, my family left our family farm in Princeton and moved to a tiny little town called Goodland in Northern Minnesota. My Dad was hired by a church in the Minneapolis area to over see and take care of the farm side of the Gospel Ranch. The property was split by one highway, Hwy. 2?! So we lived on the farm side in a big old white house. It had four stories. Basement, main living, bedrooms and attic (a full sized attic with bats and all). During the Winter months it was quiet. I remember going down to the camp side and skating on the lake. My Dad would always clear a large skating area for me. I would play with the closest neighbors, Shane and Bart, as well. The neighbor boys and I is a completely different story. We got into some trouble, but had lots of fun! We were typical kids with over 1200 acres to roam. You could say that we became brothers and sister - we were that close!

During the Summer months, various groups would come up to enjoy one week of camp life. Camp life was pretty cushy though. There were dorm like rooms to stay in, so you didn't ever have to tent it. There was a huge "mess hall" where we had our dinners and enjoyed candy from the Cantine! Every night we attended chapel at the little church on the hill. It was a beautiful building - I still wonder if it is standing and what's happened to it. It had a large stained glass cross in the front of it. During family week, there was always a Rodeo. That was always a huge hit!! I always wanted to attempt riding a bull, but my Mom put the skids on that one!!

I remember one or two Summers (maybe it was more then that?), there was one family that their Dad was hired for some reason or another, so they moved up for the Summer to the farm side. We had a trailer that sat next to the house and that is where they lived. They had two daughters, Nicole and Amy. We became good friends and played together all the time. The big hit for us was "Barbies" at the time. We too had a good time.

As I got a little older, I remember that the boys would bring up their dirt bikes. I then needed to have a dirt bike of my own. I asked my Dad and he found me a Kawasaki (sP?) 100. It was a little motorcycle, but it got me around! We would hit the trails and swamps. We rode all over the 1200 acres that was available to us. It was fun! I could hold my own, in fact, I, many times got through the mud and the guys didn't! So nice me, would go back and help them and they would just rouster me with dirt! Crazy!! I was head to toe dirt many times. So badly, one time, that when I went home, my Mom didn't even recognize me!!

During the Summer, my Dad would get a crew to help him on the farm side. A lot of times the guys working would build or create a hay loft out of the hay bales that were stored in one of our barns. I would crawl up there and play in the hay tunnels.

There are several stories, but that's just a snippit of Ranch life!

2 comment(s):

Kerry Heiniemi said...

Hi Lori
So crazy this is. I was looking on google for some info on a ranch I used to go to in Goodland...the Gospel Ranch and I came across your blog! Familiar names I saw! I grew up in Goodland and my brother Brian Nelson was good friends with Bart Broderson and knew Shane and I was friends with their sister Monique. Maybe you knew my brother?..I was pretty young (1986-
ish) but went to the Country Church when the Capitola girls' (Amy and Nicole) dad was pastor there. They used to do crafts with us during church meetings. What is your dads name? I wonder if we ever met!? I do know that the Drewelow family has lived in the house that you mentioned since I was small...they must have moved in after your family moved. Small world it is! Their daughter Michelle and her husband Zach are the pastors of Goodland Community Church which is a whole other story. God is doing amazing things in that tiny town!.... My parents still live in Goodland. I just love that place. Feel free to email me. My name is Heiniemi...maiden name Nelson.

Jonny Imperial said...

Ah yes, the gospel ranch. My family would go up, often in the off season. Stay in the dorms, and go horseback riding. Must have been late 70s early 80s. My mom went to and was married at Souls Harbor in Mpls.
Looking at google maps, it looks like all the buildings on the camp side are gone now. The farm is still there. Beauty Lake.