Over The Rainbow in Yancalla, Oregon
Musings from Charlotte:
Friday, September 26, 2003
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!
We are really realizing how much we miss living in the country and tending to the land. It is such a blessing to be in this place.
Location, Location, Location
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
Time in the country.... delicious beyond description! We won't want to leave this place!