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Where am I? Winner Jodi Satchell

By Susan Swan

Back to Beaverton

In interviewing over 200 motorcyclists and publishing their stories in Thunder Press, it’s provided a wee window into the American motorcyclist. Through it I’ve found: (a) we all have more in common than not, (b) many of the same things rub us the wrong way, (c) in general we’re pretty nice, and (d) without exception, motorcyclists care deeply about wide-open spaces.

The delightful Jodi Satchell who lives with husband Mark on eight acres near Powell Butte in Central Oregon’s high desert is like that, only extra nice..

Fifty-four-year-old Jodi was raised in Beaverton, Oregon, both her parents with teaching credentials but not enough work nearby. Her father, an ex-Marine who served during World War II and Korea, taught PE and coached while Jodi’s mother subbed. Then mom did a brave, smart but unheard-of thing for the era (’70s). Jodi’s mom and her sister got a loan together, alone, buying an old farmhouse, barn and outbuilding that the two women then remodeled, readying then opening a daycare with an accredited kindergarten class. Employment would be a problem no more.

In the early ’90s, Jodi and the man who’d be her husband met, but both were in relationships with other people. By 1994, thanks to get-togethers with mutual friends, Jodi and Mark met again, this time unencumbered. Jodi explained, “Neither of us were looking for someone,” but both knew enough to pay attention. For over a year they grew better acquainted and then, with a dose of reality, their relationship mettle was tested.

Where am I? Winner Jodi Satchell

Jodi’s father had died earlier, not long after his 80th birthday. Now Jodi’s mom was suffering health decline and Mark, who’d been through similar straits with his elders, could help. It revealed to each of them that they’d make a good team. “It’s important to see how someone else faces real life stuff,” Jodi said. Mom must have given them both good marks before passing. The couple married in 1995.

Jodi has worked in accounting for most of her career, whether on a nearby Ponderosa-size ranch owned by longtime friends or for the Beaverton School District. A 2011 layoff and retirement looming afforded Jodi and Mark a chance to re-imagine where they might like to settle in for the longer term.

Thinking of a warmer, drier climate than Beaverton, for eight months in 2012 they tried Kawai out for size, Jodi working retail and loving it in a little dress shop in Koloa. Several months in they realized they missed their friends and family back home. And it didn’t turn out to be all that dry on Kawai. Fortunately, they’d kept their Beaverton home.

Though Jodi and Mark have no children together, Jodi’s older and younger brothers in the Portland area do. Collectively Mark and Jodi enjoy four nephews, two nieces, a goddaughter, two godsons, one great-niece and great-nephew.

Always loving the high desert, in 2013, Powell Butte was chosen for their retirement home, though neither is particularly retiring. Jodi loves working with wood, whether it’s shaping it on her band saw, painting, sanding, staining or oil rubbing, “to see what I can bring out in it.” She designs and makes home interior crafts and yard art. The family ride is a 2008 Street Glide and just behind Jodi in the photo is an example of her yard art.

Mark, 57, is the irrigation man at the large ranch owned by friends. He makes sure after winter that the water needed when cattle are turned onto new pasture is present. At times, that can take some doing before a fence is lowered.

Back at home Mark enjoys customizing motorcycles, one, maybe two a year, for himself or friends. He’s also had a book reviewed in Thunder Press (From Boy to Biker by Mark Lambdin).

Riley is a 4 ½-year-old Black Lab rescue at home with Mark and Jodi for the last 2 1/2 years. His younger buddy is Daisy, who spent the first six months of her life elsewhere. At 1 1/2 , the Black Lab/Whippet mix rescue is thriving.

Home is on one level, with Juniper trees and the Cascades in view. Whitetail deer meander through with new fawns each spring. And just 15 minutes away, in Redmond or Prineville, all the necessities and services can be found.

In spring, taking care of eight acres keeps Jodi busy, and working with wood takes up any slack. Summertime means visitors and stocking up for those family and friends. Oh, and gardening. “This year, just flowers.”

Although short bike trips will find Jodi riding with Mark, for longer excursions she’ll follow in the family pickup, “the flop truck,” bringing along all that makes for a more comfortable campout. And when they can, a 19-foot-long ’90s era Nomad trailer that Jodi just gave a makeover can be easily hauled to a nearby lakeside retreat.

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