Friday, December 25, 2015


Contemplating... our new home, a new garden, a new phase in life. We sit here in limbo in Portland, Oregon, as we endure the agonizing slowness of purchasing a house in nearby Vancouver, Washington. Thankfully, things have moved smoothly. We located a house on our third day out - the process has transpired fairly smoothly with a few hiccups but I am told that it is going remarkably well. The first few weeks was a hectic flurry of downloading and e-mailing documents, faxing them, mailing them again, signing, signing, signing...

Then a period of silence and boredom. Some inspection issues are currently being addressed. After those issues are resolved, we hope to close on the house in mid-January. 

The weather was calm and clear for the first several weeks that we were here. Then rain set in - lots of rain - more than average. In fact, a record was recently set for rainfall during December.  Lots of days though are rain-free, even though rain may fall in nearby communities. Usually periods of light rainfall are followed by breaks in the clouds, and sunshine. Temperatures stay in the 40s during the day and 30s at night. There has not been any flooding in this community although there have been issues in other parts of Portland. We hear that there are storms and tornadoes and temperatures in the 70s in Alabama but Christmas day here was sunny and cold.

We have not ventured out much. I did go through a period of cabin fever a few weeks ago and braved the rain to get out and explore a bit. Last week, I went to nearby Forest Park and took a muddy hike to take the photos you see here. These were taken with my camera phone. It was exciting to get out into the woods. The greenness, moss and crisp winter air provided a much-needed dose of adrenalin. 

I have immersed myself in books about gardening for this region. Ann Lovejoy's books have been particularly helpful. I realize that I am in for a totally new experience - a different climate, challenging issues with soils and plant choices - but it is an exciting one. I can't wait to begin planning the new garden. I try not to get ahead of myself - after all, the house is not ours yet and anything can happen - but I confess plans have been whirling about in my head. I will have to pace myself - there will not be room enough for all I want to have and do. I also have to face the fact that we are going to be on a limited budget. It is, however, a dream come true for me.

To be continued...






Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy