Current Location Rocky Point Oregon Sunny and 45 F with a predicted high of 75. Perfect
If the month of April at Rocky Point is mostly about winter cleanup, the month of May is definitely about gardening. Real gardening, not just all the cleanup, but the kind of gardening that rewards one with watching beloved perennials grow lush, shopping for the hundreds of annual plants required to keep some color in the yard over the summer, and planting all of them.
The house at Rocky Point is on land that isn’t really that big, even less ground than the Grants Pass winter cottage, but there is a lot more to do here it seems. Lots of nooks and crannies, lots of different planting beds, and of course, lots of pine needles to keep digging out of the rocks.
A big job this time of year is getting those pine needles off the roof. Mo does the climbing and I hold the ladder and manage the electric cord for the blower. I laughed this time as she carefully crawled back down from the steep side of the eaves and I said, “How much longer do you suppose?” We love it here, so much. But it IS a lot of work at times, and the question lingers…how long will Mo be able to climb that roof to blow off the needles.
In the mean time, after returning from the coast before Mother’s Day, we spent some extended time over at the cottage, doing some of the cleanup jobs that are on the list over there. The nice thing about the cottage is that there is really no deadline. Other than burning the debris in the springtime burning window, we have as many years as we need to get that .89 acre cleaned up and ready for us to live there. The defining moment may never come, then again it could come all too soon, maybe when Mo no longer wants to plow snow or blow needles off the roof at Rocky Point.
As luck would have it, we decided to be in Grants Pass for Mother’s Day, with a plan to do the classic Mother’s Day activity of Sunday Brunch at a beautiful restaurant. Daughter Melody and the kids drove over on Sunday morning to see the cottage and share the morning with me, Mo, and Deborah at the Taprock Grill next to the Rogue River.
I had so much fun watching all the moms and grandmas and seeing all the flowers and presents and everyone posing for family photos at the various lovely sights in the park adjacent to the restaurant. I felt like I was right in the middle of a middle America tradition that somehow remains the same in spite of a changing world.
During our time in Grants Pass, Mo split the rest of the oak from the tree we took down last year, moved a flower bed that was right in the middle of the planned new drive entry to the MoHo shed, mowed the acre and did a ton of weed eating. We cleaned up the outside corner and built a mound, bought a couple of crepe myrtle trees for color, planted the mound, and Mo burned a ton of debris.
We parked the MoHo along an old cement patio and it felt just like our own private campground. Even though Deb was gone and we could have stayed in the cottage, we chose to enjoy our own space in the MoHo, sitting on the patio watching the sun set over the hill to the west is a special pleasure of the land in Grants Pass. At home, our sunrises and sunsets are blocked by the high Cascades and the immense forest.
Our choice to be in Grants Pass that weekend was especially auspicious, since daughter Deanna and husband Keith once again were traveling south along I-5 and I got to see them twice in less than 30 days! On the Saturday before Mother’s Day, they parked at a nearby rest area for the night and met Deb and I for breakfast at Elmer’s not far off the freeway.
Sad thing about the Grants Pass cottage, even though it has more land than Rocky Point, there is no place to park the big rig there, and the roads leading to the cottage are too narrow with weight restrictions so the kids can only park downtown at WalMart to spend some visiting time with us.
With their LA arrival time scheduled for the next day, they had a few hours to do some sightseeing with us, and Deb and I drove them through the gorgeous Applegate Valley not too far south of the cottage. Deanna and Keith are saving money while trucking with a plan to buy property somewhere eventually, and of course I am hoping that will be close to me here in Oregon.
Lucky for me, the springtime beauty of the Applegate was fabulous, with blue skies dotted with puffy whites and new fresh green bursting out all over. I love the Applegate area, with farms and wineries, and for Deanna and Keith, who love being a lot farther away from town than I do, it was perfect. We spent quite a bit of time looking at some interesting properties that really caught their eye.
Nothing was decided, but I am glad that there will be sweet visual memories of the lovely Applegate area in their minds over the next few years as they make decisions about where they might want to settle down. No snow, kids! Although they also love Alaska, so I suppose snow isn’t yet much of a deterrent to them.
Deanna became a grandmother for the fifth time in May, and once again I am a great grandmother. Theron was born in Wenatchee this month, brother to Orion and Tearany. I am glad that Deanna has the opportunity to be close to these grandchildren in spite of family complexities.
I have that crazy obsessive feeling that often happens this time of year: too much to do and not enough time: too many choices: too many things I want to be doing! Obviously, writing has slipped to the back of the list and I am simply keeping track of what is going on with short notes on my Google calendar. I do love that particular application.
On another note, an application that I don’t love quite so much is HGTV’s House and Landscape program. I actually paid for the stupid thing and spent quite a bit of time trying to at least get a rudimentary replica of the cottage and grounds set up so we could get some ideas about what me might like to eventually do there.
Not so much. The learning curve is huge, and I am not completely stupid. The software is cumbersome and after a day or two of fiddling with it, I decided that a piece of graph paper and a pencil was the better option. Maybe some snowy winter day I will get back to it.
In the midst of gardening and landscaping work at two homes, I am trying to have time to quilt. Our quilt group gives away “huggie” quilts to anyone in the community who is hospitalized or has lost a loved one. They have given away 141 quilts in the last six years since they started doing it. As a fairly new member, I have yet to complete a huggie quilt, and am now working on one. I am a new enough quilter that it is extremely hard for me to give away a quilt to someone I don’t know. But I decided it is time to step up to the plate and the quilt is in the works.
Tiny living room in the cottage all painted an pretty thanks to Deborah’s hard work
Late in the month, Deborah was sent to Dallas for a work related training, and her company allowed her to fly home to Grand Junction instead of Grants Pass. When she moved home from Colorado last year, she had to leave most of her belongings in a storage facility and this was her chance to get everything back in one place. With a bit of complexity due to missed flights, she finally got everything on the truck and headed west via I-70 and Highway 50, the Loneliest Road in America, and pulled up to the Grants Pass cottage late on Sunday evening.
Mo and I were waiting with supper and hugs. The next day, with help from neighbors Glenn and Karen, we all unloaded the truck into Deb’s new storage place, just a couple of miles from home. The cottage is tiny, but at least she can go down to her storage and get things like her blender and spices, and other small things that she has missed so much in the last year while adjusting to her new life.
John Jr, Deanna, Sue, and Deborah in 1966 in Oroville California
For me, getting Deb’s stuff out of storage had another benefit. Deb was the caretaker of several boxes of very old family photos. When I think of my “bucket list”, getting all the family photos scanned, organized, named, and catalogued is huge on the list. I took back the boxes and started the scanning project. I know it is morbid, but there are many people my age leaving the planet, and the one thing I want to have completed before I do so is the photos to the kids project.
My mother who passed away in 1952, me at 3, and my grandmother who passed away in 1993.
I knit during the early news programs, quilt till it gets warm enough to get outside, garden as long as my back holds up, and then try to work on photos the rest of the time. I barely scan blogs any more, and like last month, I rarely comment. Thank goodness for Facebook, a bit quicker and I can at least let folks know I am still around and reading.
Friend Jeanne sent an email yesterday, complaining that there was no blog and wanting to know what in the world I was doing. Friend Mary Ann from Albuquerque sent an email asking if I had done something with the Mother’s Day blog she thought was up there and couldn’t find. Nope, no blog. Just a quick facebook post with photos! So, for my two most loyal friends and readers….here is the blog!