I didn’t really think through the fact that having two houses means having two yards. I’m not complaining, mind you. I know how blessed I am. That doesn’t take away the fact that I now have two VERY LARGE yards to take care of. The lot at our city house is about 10,000 square feet with a small house and the lot at the country cabin is a half an acre with an equally small house on it. Clearly, we like big yards and tiny houses. Clearly, we like yard work.

And yard work we have done. The beds at the city place are cleaned out and the garden area has been mulched with bark chips. I am also almost finished staining the back patio and shoveling decorative pea gravel between the flagstones in the front patio.

At the Powder House, it’s all weeding all the time. One of the long time owners, Clyde Smith, loved his garden and as I weed, I’m finding long hidden perennials. He also loved rocks and I am discovering a lot of those, as well. Neighbors tell us how beautiful his garden was—one of the loveliest in town—as we are trying to bring it back to its former glory. However, we will have to do it with drought resistant plants, as we won’t always make it over to water.


Hubby and I mention Clyde a lot as we work. “That old Clyde, he loved himself some rocks,” he’ll yell as the mower hits another one. Yes, he sure did. He also loved his garden and died after he had a stroke working in it. I’m mindful of this and plan on having one of his rocks engraved with Clyde’s Garden to honor him. The above outbuilding is going to be my new writing studio one day!

Speaking of engraving, the women whom we bought the house from created a dry creek bed and aspen grove in memory of her mother. I was touched by her story and had a rock engraved with Jackie’s Grove on it in memory of her mom. She cried when I sent her a picture and said she knew she had sold it to the right people.

Honestly, by honoring those who had come before, I am reminding myself that we can’t really own the land we work on. We are simply borrowing it. I plan on honoring the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla People at some point, as the land belonged to them first.

In the meantime, you’ll find me in one of two yards… weeding.