The Call

In the words of Marianne Williamson: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, September 26, 2003

Greetings From Yancalla, Oregon ~ September 2003

Over The Rainbow in Yancalla, Oregon

Musings from Charlotte:
Friday, September 26, 2003
Greetings from Yoncalla, Oregon ~ or rather 9 miles east of there. We have landed in paradise. This is heaven. Thank you Divine Spirit for this haven of peace and beauty. They call this place Tuckaway Farm and we will be here for 7 wonderful weeks. This is our 3rd housesit from housecarers.This is the best yet!

Location, Location, Location
We sit atop a knoll with a view of the valley. Since we are on Scott’s Valley Road we can only assume that it is Scott’s Valley. Who was Scott and what ever became of him? The valley is grassland…golden with the color of a long dry summer… waiting for the first rains of fall. Huge oak trees along with fir provide shade for the cattle grazing in the neighboring pastures below. In the distance, forested hills rise up to the east. They look rugged from here. The furthest ridge is several miles away. The house itself is surrounded by green lawn with beds of flowers and shrubs here and there. There is a tall stand of old fir atop the ridge behind the house. We understand that is where the natural spring originates. The water for the house comes from the spring. It is cool and delicious.

The House
This house is simply wonderful. Each room is bright and open with windows looking out to spectacular views. The largest downstairs bedroom serves as an office area. There is a large dining room, Bob & Sue’s bedroom (the owners), a bath and a lovely living room with built in bookcases, period furniture and a gas fireplace. I forgot to mention that this is a grand craftsman style home built in 1924 by a lumbering family. There is impressive woodwork throughout the large two story house.

Our favorite room is the kitchen, spacious and laid out in such a way as to provide work space for several cooks. An oak bar extends out into the floor surrounded by stools for spectators. There is a very large window above the sink that looks out to the northern hills, pasture, the old red barn, a perennial flowerbed and the grape arbor. I stood at the sink last evening watching bluebirds taking their evening dip in the birdbath. There are countless bluebirds here….more than we have ever seen anywhere. It helps that there are several bluebird houses around the property.

Upstairs are 3 more lovely bedrooms with 3 bathrooms and a sitting room. Sue and Bob invited us to choose whatever room suited us best, even theirs after their departure. “Sleep around and try them all”. We have decided to call the easterly upstairs bedroom home. Mostly, because it faces the first morning light and because of the wonderful firm bed with the marshmallow covers. After sleeping in countless beds over the last 7 years, we consider ourselves bed connoisseurs.

There are colorful area rugs on the hardwood floors, period furniture and beautiful artwork and photographs. Lots of books line the walls in the office and sitting room There are many large windows that look out in every direction. We have stayed in grand places where it was hard to find a “comfortable” room to be in. Here the challenge is in deciding which room to choose.

Our Animal Friends
Our charges here include Lucy. She greets us each morning with meows at about the time we open our eyes or are we opening our eyes because she has been greeting us for awhile? She is a loving little gray tiger striped kitty. Then there is Barney….not a little kitty but just as loving. He lost some of his manliness a week ago so he is confined to the laundry room for recuperation. He is black and white with a black mask. There is a 37 year old horse named Babe , yes I said 37 years old. She talks to us over the fence when we are outside. And last but not least are Kelly ( a very large Nubian goat) and Gordy and Angie (Angorra goats). The goats are very friendly. They like to be petted and beg for fruit when we go to the orchard. We have witnessed Kelly on several occasions standing on back legs with front legs on a limb of the pear tree. She shakes the limb vigorously in an attempt to get pears to fall from the tree. The goats have a fondness for pears. Babe prefers apples.
Outside Sitting Places
Where to begin? Let’s see, there is the pond but we will get to that later. Then there is the very large covered front porch that looks to the east. It is furnished with wicker….a cushioned sofa, chairs and a rocker. There is a large railing, just the right height to rest our feet and watch the rising sun or the colors of the sunset as they paint the distant hills. I can’t wait to sit out here during a rainstorm.
There is a patio area between the house and the barn with a grape arbor. There are two old vines covered in grapes. At one end are green grapes and at the other black. Larry made fresh grape juice from the green ones yesterday. Yum. There is a table and chairs under the arbor where we have eaten a breakfast, a lunch and a dinner. There are Adirondack chairs with foot rests for watching the sunrises, sunsets and stars. Oh, my, and are there ever stars. With no lights nearby, the stars are amazing. It is hard to drag ourselves indoors from the porch steps at bedtime.

There is a two lane road at the front of the property. We counted less than 25 vehicles on our first day. No rush hour traffic here. If anyone rushes, it is one car at a time.

The Harvest
Let’s start with the pears since we harvested what was left in the trees this morning. They are very good, especially with vanilla yogurt. There are some apple trees but the apples aren’t quite ripe. We located some enormous blackberries this morning where the pond drains at the fenceline. We had berries and yogurt with breakfast. Our favorite spot is the garden area… a garden complete with an old green wooden screen door for a gate. It is small but will provide a plentiful harvest for us and anyone else we can find to share with……tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, strawberries, zucchini, eggplant, beans, basil, rosemary, tarragon, beets, chard and carrots. We gathered all of the larger tomatoes, some peppers and basil and made a scrumptious tomato sauce. We cooked chicken with it last night and even had enough to freeze some. There will be another tomato harvest next week for some homemade chili. The autumn evenings are quite cool. Just right for a big pot of chili.

Ponding ~ By Larry
Friday Morning ~ September 26, 2003
We arose long before the sun crested the tree-lined ridge to the east. We did our Tibetans and padded downstairs. After donning shoes and sweats we hike down to the 2 lane road that passes by the house. We head north in the early morning light. It is a splendid time for a walk….cool and quiet. We hike north and down a hill for a mile. By the time we get back, the sun has just peeked over the ridge and birds are busy everywhere.

With coffee, binoculars, a book we are sharing*, journals, sunglasses and hats we hike a short distance into the pasture to the south of the house. Here there is a spring fed pond complete with wooden deck that reaches out over the water. There is a metal table with umbrella and chairs along with 4 large Adirondack type chairs with cushions. We choose the larger chairs. The pond is surrounded by reeds of different kinds along with some water plants and a beautiful yellow water lily. We face the ridge to the east. With coffee cup in hand, our cares seem to melt away. It is hard to be busy even in our minds. Our minds are still and present.

Swallows and enormous blue dragonflies dart here and there. There has been a large hatch of insects and the swallows sweep down barely missing the water catching bugs. The sun is warm on our bodies as we slide back into our chairs. As we close our eyes and listen, we can hear a noisy robin in the fir tree over by the house, a distant plane, the chirp chirp of the swallows as they swoop down, the gurgling of the spring as it feeds into the pond, the buzzing of dragonfly wings as they pass by, the occasional lilting call of a red winged blackbird in the reeds, crickets in the grass. Between nature's serenade there is silence….blessed silence. The delicious warmth of the sun draws us into a dreamy state. We close our eyes and drift off.