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1800's farmstead vs. Jeff and Charlene

March 7, 2017

 This first blog entry is dedicated to my sister Cori. "You will never be forgotten"

I was asked to create a blog following our journey of opening our farm animal sanctuary, from the purchase of this farmstead to current days. I am not going to apologize for my writing skills, or lack there of. I may misuse words, have run on sentences and babble a bit too much, but I do not claim to be a writer. I am writing this as if we are having a cup of coffee and talking across the table. The only difference is I can't tell if you fell asleep.

We have to flashback to 2015. Jeff and I finally found it was the right time in our lives to make our move back to the country so we could start Broken Roads Ranch.

I would love to tell you it was easy but alas, it was not. Between the stress of finding a place in our price range with acreage to buy that wasn't 100 miles away from family and finding a buyer for our house we were selling, we were exhausted. Luckily we had the right realtors, Bob and Jane Berhrendt.

I found this place on the MLS one day and called Jeff. Jeff was on the road and said," Just go drive by and look at it." If you have ever looked for a house, it is both stressful and defeating. You will see a picture on the MLS, drive to the place and say," Is this the right house????"

This house though,was worth driving by. My mom would tell me," You will know it is the right house when you see it", and she was right. I could feel that this was going to be our forever home.


On June 25th we had an unexpected, heart breaking event. My sister Cori, age 55 died suddenly at her foster home in Spicer MN. Cori was flown by Life One helicopter to the St. Cloud hospital with no hope of resuscitation. I was the first to arrive at the hospital followed by my parents. I can not tell you how I was feeling because I don't think there is a word for that deep of grief. Soon the hospital room was filled with our family. It was an end of a chapter, a day I will never forget. A dark sadness loomed over me and I wondered how I would ever handle my own grief let alone help console my parents through their grief , suddenly nothing mattered, nothing made sense. Why my gentle, innocent sister, WHY??????








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                     BOARD OF DIRECTORS

                Jeffrey Stromwall-President

                Charlene Stromwall-Admin/secretary

                 Pat Dosch - fundraise       

             Amelia Wolf - advocate   

          Emmaline Stafki - volunteer