Holmes HomecomingSomeone once wrote that “you can’t go home again” but the two Holmes brothers set out to prove that wrong by having a homecoming at Long Hollow Ranch. Stewart and John Holmes, who grew up here at Long Hollow Ranch, both went their separate ways as young adults when they finished school and sought their places in the workplace. Many years later when John retired from his career he and his wife, Lois, returned to Redmond for their retirement years. Stewart and his wife, Joann, remained in the vicinity of Washington DC after retirement, where their family still live. Over the last ten years or so they had been in contact with us here though, even visiting Long Hollow Ranch a few times.

Last year the brothers decided to make it a real homecoming at Long Hollow Ranch. Stewart would round up his family, come west to join John and Lois and together they would come to the ranch for a short stay. Before they could make that happen, however, Joann became seriously ill and the trip had to be cancelled. With good medical treatment and blessings from above, Joann recovered and the travel plans were revived, and this spring the plan actually materialized. In mid-June of 2016, the Holmes boys “came home”.

Stewart and John each were able to sleep in the rooms that were theirs as young boys, and Stewart’s daughter and her family occupied the historic Homestead House. Julie and her dad walked the farmstead, taking note of the various buildings and landmarks, and reminiscing of how things were in the old days and how some things had changed. John checked out samples of old wallpaper that had been stripped from the walls of the main house, trying to remember which rooms they had come from. He was able to describe how the various rooms had been used when he was a boy, or where partitions may have been moved to allow for some remodeling, such as the installation of the first indoor bathroom.

Even though our weather was not the best, the whole family were able to go horseback riding both days. At mealtimes they reconvened at the dining table and discussed the high points of the day. Not only that, Stewart and John were very good about telling us stories and providing information about their lives on the ranch, such as the old-time cattle drives into the mountains. Our cattle drives now are pretty tame in comparison.

So the Holmes brothers did come back for a homecoming at Long Hollow Ranch, even if only for a short visit, but I’m sure they know that they are welcome to return again any time. Everyone always enjoys hearing stories of how life used to be here, how old the buildings are, how the ranch work used to be accomplished compared with today, and how much things have changed…  And yet many things are still very much the same. Welcome home!