Thoughts From The Beach

What I have learned about life, living at the beach.

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There are many lessons that I have learned since moving to the beach. My most recent lessons have been through watching my yard and gardens taking shape this spring. 

The last couple of years I have had miserable spring and summers as far as my gardens go. For someone who left a flourishing garden in Portland Oregon it has been disheartening. This spring as I was watching the early bulbs blooming I noticed some hyacinths blooming from under our wood pile. You may think “why did she plant bulbs under a wood pile?” The answer is, the wood pile wasn’t there when I planted them! Due to all of the work in my yard the past year or so we needed to move the pile to its current location. But back to my lessons learned…..

AsI looked at the flowers it brought two thoughts to mind, “bloom where you are planted” and that nothing ever worth having is easy. Those flowers worked their way out from a load of firewood to bloom in all their glory! This showed me that there is hope to make this house, this garden and this life of mine bloom gloriously. With a little work I can have the life I have always dreamed about. It is getting there. Closer than I have ever been and I am enjoying the journey. I think of all the “wood piles” I needed to overcome and it is amazing to me that I am at this spot at this time living a life I couldn’t even dream about!

So I want you to take some time and think about your own wood piles and then congratulate yourself in blooming even when they should have crushed you. 


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I find that I am a person who likes to have more control in her life than randomness. Even when I try to impart randomness (others may call it naturalization) in my gardens. You see to obtain this randomness in my garden I do it with a certain amount of control. Take bulb planting for example….my process to obtain randomness or naturalization is to throw all those instructions related to spacing away, who reads them anyway right? When I am planting bulbs I grab a handful and toss them in the air, where they land is where they are planted. If multiple bulbs land in one place, that is where they are planted. Though this may seem like randomness it is not in all actuality. See I have control over where I throw the bulbs in the air, how many I throw at once and what kind I am throwing. See control over my randomness.

However, the other morning when looking out at my yard I saw three hyacinth flowers coming up in a location I never tossed them, or even thought about planting them. They were there randomly. How they got there? Could it have been all of the digging and moving of dirt during last summers dust bowl of 2012, did the moles who had taken up residence in my yard last year move them? Who knows. All I know is that when I looked out at this true randomness, I began to realize that maybe having a little more randomness in my life would be ok. To try and be less controlling over how things happen around me. To go with the flow just a little bit more. I think by adopting a little bit more of this attitude I will feel less stress and less of a need for perfection in myself and those around me. It is worth a try! Anyone want to join me?


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As I sit looking at the gloomy sky on this first day of March I am dreaming of spring and all that it means to me. I love spring. I love how new life is literally bursting out all over! But the main reason I love spring is because I love to garden, and the last year or two I haven’t had much opportunity to.

Last year I started with high hopes of creating a productive vegetable garden and luscious cutting garden, but my dreams were squashed with the earth shattering sounds of bulldozers in my tiny yard. They could only mean one thing…….time to replace the septic. So my spring and summer went by with an air of frustration as I looked longingly at the torn up garden and dirt mounds that were my reality.

THIS YEAR WILL BE DIFFERENT! No bulldozers (fingers crossed as there was another one in the yard in December helping to stabilize the bank), no dirt mounds, just digging in well tilled soil that I have been painstakingly trying to create. Creating beauty and function in a yard that has been neglected for so many years.

This photo is an inspiration to me. Hydrangeas are favorites of mine and this is one from my yard that survived the dozer (as my kids at work would say) and bloomed all spring, summer and fall. It will keep me going until I can really get out in the yard and dig in!

Come on spring I am waiting!