My History Archive

September 19, 1971

I recently came across this clipping from my childhood, from the Daily Inter Lake Newspaper in Kalispell, Montana: Family Prefers Nomad Way of Life Carefree Family Passes This Way By Warren Pettit An odd-looking vehicle, something of a covered wagon with rubber tires and a motor, drove through Kalispell the other day, and was different

All About Dandelions

Winnie lived down the river from our place at Croy Gulch. She was as wise as she was welcoming and my connection to her was strong as I was named after her daughter, Serena. She was the first teacher I ever knew, a mentor of sorts to my mom, and my first example of a

Saying Good-Bye

I went home one last time to say good-bye to my childhood home, where we settled after leaving Croy Gulch. My parents have moved into town because they’re getting older and can no longer live their primitive lifestyle. My sister and I can’t believe it finally happened. We never thought we’d see the day when

It’s What You Make Of It

My passion for cooking began when I was a little girl, living in our modest, yet homey cabin in the woods. Our cabin was built by my dad, completely by hand, and was a testament to his love of all things handmade and salvaged. Our home was filled with items found in old landfills or

The Originals

Something I have great admiration for are the originals. Those people who have original thoughts, are creative, and do what they do because it’s just who they are. I love that about my family history and know it’s why I’m not overly interested in trends or what’s popular at the time. I want to blaze

Life’s A Dance You Learn As You Go

42 years ago today I came into this world. Born in a little dirt-floored cabin in the woods where my parents had temporarily parked the gypsy wagon. Delivered by my father, with my five year old sister playing nurse. They named me Serena Melegra Ume De La Luz. Melegra meaning miracle and Ume meaning part

Happy Trails to You

The day after I graduated from high school I caught a plane to Alaska to work for the summer. Turned out that summer would turn into seven years. I needed to put my little town in the rear-view mirror. Our family had always struggled to get by and the feeling that I could never get

Taking a Drive

When I was a girl, one of my parent’s favorite things to do was to take a drive. We’d all pile into the Crummy and set out on an adventure. Inevitably, we’d end up on the steep and twisty roads of the Salmon River, where my mom would hunt for river rocks to bring home.

Croy Gulch

When I started Kindergarten, my family had temporarily settled into a tiny shack on the Klamath River in California. The house was just off the road, so there was always a lot of action going on beyond our doors. This was Croy Gulch. My parents made their bedroom in the garden, in part to enjoy

On Suffering, Kindness, and Perspective

The year our fourth boy was born threw me for a loop. The three youngest were all in diapers, one had colic, and I had mastitis. I remember the day I made it in to the Doctor’s office for the baby’s first checkup and being berated by the receptionist for being a few weeks late.