Friday, May 4, 2018

Finish the Sentence Friday - The favorite things about my neighborhood are

The first Friday of the month begins with a finish the sentence post. Basically this time around the title sentences and posts will probably vary just a little bit, but will have something to do with what we like about our neighborhoods. I suspect what one views as a neighborhood might differ from another blogger's perspective as well, so click the link Finish the Sentence Friday - The favorite things about my neighborhood are and hop over to the neighborhoods of host, Kristi Campbell at Finding Ninee and co-host Kenya G. Johnson at Sporadically Yours. Once there you will be able click the links of other bloggers and read about their neighborhoods. Just imagine a huge block party through the net. Go  on over. It will be fun!

When one lives in the city, a neighborhood might be deemed a block or two. We prefer living where there is acreage between the homes, where outdoor conversations and activities are more muted, and where there is little sound from traffic. Hence, our neighborhood may seem larger.

Since we both had the advantage of living in what some say is the country, where we live feels like home for the most part. (Since my husband lived in a drier climate, often the rainy winters in these parts don't seem quite so much like the home where he grew up.)

We enjoy being able to take a walk or drive on the country road that leads from our home and within just a few minutes be able to see views of the mountain range off in the distance where on a clear day we can see snow-capped peaks for a good portion of the year.

Snow-capped Mt. Jefferson at sunrise

The nearest town is only five miles away, as is in another direction the capital city which has had close competition for the second largest city in the state over the years. Living where we do, we have experienced the advantages of both country life and city life.

After moving here we learned that our property taxes paid for the schools that are part of the city, so that determined which schools our children would attend. As it turned out they enjoyed many of the advantages a larger school district offers. (The options at that time were public schools, and a few church run schools. Charter schools hadn't caught on yet.)

Some of those who are our neighbors, though they may live a mile or more away, represent a community of old timers who had ancestors settle on the same piece of land here before the turn of the 20th century. In the years to come others moved to the area so they could try to make a living off the land. There are small cemeteries within a few miles where those who were pioneers came to their final resting places. 

There are many small farms where dairy cows and beef cattle, sheep, goats and horses graze in green pastures. Although there is a large dairy farm fairly close by, the cows graze on pasture lands which have not been sprayed. There are cherry orchards, Christmas tree farms, vineyards, filbert and walnut groves, organic vegetable and fruit farms, as well as farms who do not claim to be organic. In the summer, families can u-pick or buy fresh produce at roadside stands.

These sheep used to graze on the other side of our lane.

We live on a south facing hillside. A friend who happened to be a builder knew about this piece of acreage because he had contracted to build a home just up the lane from us. He knew that we had been looking for land where we might be able to have an earth-sheltered home built. We have lived here now for about half our life time.
Our neighbors on the lane have lived here many years too and have been wonderful neighbors as well as friends.

When the yellow lab wanted a high view, the roof of the earth-sheltered home was an easy option. He probably had gone clear to the top before this photo was taken of him 3/4 of the way back down to the green grass which was within hopping distance of the roof for him.

Attending church has been something that is very important to me, so I was delighted to learn that a branch of my church had recently been built just a couple of miles from where our home was being built. I was also excited to learn that two of our neighbors on the lane were also members of the same church.

I have enjoyed meeting others in the neighborhood too, and we all have mutual regard for one another.

Less than three miles from our place is a popular theme park that got its beginnings because a local resident wanted to make something to provide entertainment for his children. 

One of our grandchildren who once faced the great unknown of the dark rabbit hole at the theme park

The nearest national wildlife refuge is about five miles away, and a beautiful state park filled with numerous water falls is about 45 minutes away. The beach is about an hour away.

The South Falls, just one of many falls at this state park

A grandchild dug himself a hole in the sand at the beach to just chill. 

The abundance of city, state, and university libraries was a drawing card too, since we are a family of readers. (This was in days prior to the internet, so our children made frequent use of these libraries.)

Many flowers are grown for seeds, bulbs, and plants in this area. There are some beautiful viewing gardens to explore the many varieties of dahlias, peonies, rhododendrons, azaleas, roses, irises, tulips, camellias and others.

These tulips are representative of one of the many types of flowers  grown throughout the area.

It is wonderful that in our neighborhood, just over and down the hill, there is a large stable where children and adults can go for equine therapy.

As a crow flies, a quarter mile away from the stable just mentioned,  there is an arena where people can take their dogs for obedience and agility training. The trainer is really good and has had students compete in the first agility trial run by the Westminster Kennel Club.

I love this neighborhood and the areas that are a hop or skip away, because who doesn't love the coast.

Sunset at the Oregon coast


  1. Now I get it after reading your comment on my own post this week and definitely got me smiling as I scrolled to see what you were indeed talking about! :) That said looks to me like you have the perfect setup with your neighborhood in which you truly can do just about anything with theme parks, the falls, the beach and so much more still, too!!

    1. Yes, it seems to be the perfect place for us.

  2. What beautiful places to be hop, skips and jumps from. Wonderful day trips for the grandchildren. That sunrise is breathtaking. I've never heard of an earth sheltered home but that looks interesting. I'm curious to know more.

    1. Back in the 70's and the early 80's there were a lot of architects who were experimenting with different types of earth sheltered homes as well as underground homes. Underground homes weren't an option in our area because of it being such an rainy area. Heavy wet sod on top of a roof wouldn't be a good idea. The advantage of having the type of home that we do is that there is better insulation from the earth, so it is warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. The windows on the south side of the house allows us to have passive solar heat as well. As of the last couple of years, we do have some solar panels set on the ground back of our home that provides even lower electrical bills.

    2. Neat! Thanks for your reply back.

  3. Your neighborhood is gorgeous. I love that your'e close to tulips, mountain views, a fun adventure park, your church, and even the beach! It's funny what we get used to - you with your long strolls to neighbors and mountain views, and me right now in a townhouse community where we're a little on top of one another but it feels so great that my son has so many friends within a quick distance.

    1. We do enjoy our neighborhood.
      It is nice that your son has so many friends living nearby. There are some disadvantages to having so many neighbors so close when the neighborhood children have different bedtime than your own, and the doorbell keeps ringing, but mostly there are a lot of advantages for children to learn social skills and that not all families are the same.

  4. I would live there (Pacific Northwest(ish)) if I were to move... the Ocean seems more... primitive, wilder, newer than the Atlantic.
    The idea of mountains and oceans, very cool. I once would have said, 'yeah, except it rains all the time, I hear' Nowadays, at least on this side of the continent, there is nothing reliable or consistent in the weather anymore.
    Earth sheltered home! Very cool (and way ahead of your time).

    From what I gather, the social culture there is similar to New England, i.e. privacy is important and socializing often consisting for years on a nod from a passing car. Funny, those from other parts of the country characterize natives of the North East as cold and distant; doesn't feel that way. Seems about the right way to be social.

    Very attractive neighborhood you have there, very attractive.

    1. You are so right about the inconsistencies of the weather. It makes it kind of hard to plan from one day to the next. One just needs to be flexible.
      We were a little ahead of the majority at the time we built our home, but there were some already being built in the state.
      As for the importance of privacy in this state, it really varies a lot. Although we enjoy space between the homes, but waving to people or stopping by to visit is pretty common. Perhaps it is different in the largest city, but I don't know. I do know that in smaller towns in the central and eastern part of the state, there is a much friendlier atmosphere among residents in general, at least from my perspective.
      I suspect how one views New England might vary a lot depending on the location in New England. I have enjoyed the people and places I have been there.

  5. We had an Enchanted Forest amusement park where I grew up too! Unfortunately it is no longer standing. We visited the Pacific Northwest for the first time a few years ago, and I can't wait to go back. Your neighborhood sounds wonderful, Pat!

    1. That is interesting that there was an Enchanted Forest amusement park where you grew up too. Now I'm wondering if the creator of the one here had roots in your area, although I think all kids love the idea of there being an enchanted forest.