Sunday, January 24, 2010


February approaches leaving January in a haze of wedding memories. Leaving January.

Along with the new month comes signs of warmer weather. Spring comes early in Oregon. It is time to put out the nesting string and raffia for the birds to use in their residential construction.

Despite the cooler weather we had this winter, my peony tree has continue to bud. Now the new limbs about 3” long are sprouting numerous leaves. I know that on the farm, the plants would still be dormant. Mom’s peonies would be nestled beneath the earth’s blanket of rich soil waiting for rays of Spring sun. She would chuckle at our plants in bud eager to invite us to a new season.

It is a different place here in Oregon. The plants are different, the crops are as well. Cattle are leaner and less beef cattle raised, more dairy cows, especially around Tillamook. Here winter is not brown and stark. Our grass is green and lush. Coniferous outnumber deciduous. Yet, I miss the snap of winter that keeps Ohioans tucked in their homes watching the winter sky and warming in the comfort of winter repose. The crunch of the grass frosted white, skating across mud puddles have been away from me for over 30 years.

I have no regrets moving to this lovely place. I know that all who visit love it here. I brought my children here to raise and have never doubted that decision. The beautiful scenery, the ecological consciousness, the Pacific an hour away from my home to the west while an hour away to the north I can go to the mountains. I have seen a volcano erupt, felt the earthquake, watched whales migrate, and gasp when I see another bald eagle. I have walked in lava tube caves, dug for thundereggs, looked into a crater of a perfect blue, stood in the otter caves, walked the many capes that reach out to the ocean and have called this my home state.

Yet, home is a place down a lane on Neff Road. A house that has the smell of home. A barn the holds my childhood laughter. A corncrib that every summer became a playhouse. A strip shed that bonded family. Neighbors who were family. A place called home.

I welcome you, February.

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