Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Millers find a home in the Pend Oreille

Pete and Dora (Eckerdt) Miller came to the United States from Russia and were married in Longmont, Colorado in 1909. They ultimately chose Whitney, Nebraska, as their home, but their children would make their homes in other locales -- ranging from Wyoming and Arizona to Washington and Texas.

We've visited most of these places and must confess that we've become especially smitten with one of them.

The beautiful Pend Oreille River Valley north of Spokane, Washington, is home to many of Pete and Dora's descendants.

In the photograph above is their grandson, "Pete" Miller and his wife, Judy, who guided us up to this overlook above Metaline Falls, Washington, which they've called home most of their lives -- and the place they chose to raise their family. Pete's brothers, Wayne and Charlie, aren't far away, and their sister Jean and family live just to the south in Spokane. Their mother, Charlotte Miller, still lives in the family home nestled on a hill above the river. Pete's cousin Albert "Mike" Miller and his wife, Cheryl, live in nearby Ione.

It's easy to see why two of Pete and Dora's sons -- Fred and Albert -- chose to settle in this region after they left military service following World War II. There's nowhere in the country any more beautiful, and it's hard to imagine a better place to raise kids.

I suspect that if Pete and Dora Miller were to peek down from above today, they'd find great joy in seeing the wonderful lives many of their descendants have found in this part of the country. It's a far cry from the wind-swept plains along the Volga River where they grew up. I think they'd be very pleased.