Poor Max. He can’t take his parents anywhere without them taking pictures of things like the ground. Easter afternoon, Grand Island.
I’m feeling charitable this morning in spite of not having had any alcohol in six days and not sleeping much. I would like to take this moment to list the things I have actually loved about living in Yamhill County. These are the things that have actually gotten me through all the dark times here in McMinnville.
- The weather. Yes! I love the cooler wet climate here. It is my number one favorite thing about Yamhill County and all of Oregon. It’s not good for me in that it keeps me from getting outside as much as I need to for exercise (I loathe squishy wet shoes) but it’s very good for me emotionally. 4 out of 6 summers here were almost comfortable-ish. I love that it does sometimes snow and I love the frequent long string of drizzly days.
- The sound of snow tires on the road. A symbol of the possibility of snow. It also amuses me because people here apparently don’t know about tire chains. They trust in snow tires and then when it really does snow they still go sliding and crawling down the road like frightened kittens trying to get across a frozen lake. Such a happy distinctive sound they make.
- The u-pick farms. They are such a boon to canners. Sonoma County doesn’t have many/any. There are many n Yamhill County and the Willamette Valley and I’m not the only one who picks at them. I absolutely love that so many people do tons of preserving and that they use the local farms as their main resource. I also love that the u-pick prices are so affordable. Picking food at farms and canning has been one of my favorite Oregon adventures.
- The peonies. Peonies do not reliably come back every year in California. But in northern Oregon they are reliable, huge, and breathtaking! I have three favorites: Festiva Maxima, Sarah Bernhardt, and that deep fuscia one we had at our first house whose name I never discovered.
- The berries. Especially the blueberries. I’ve never had such delicious and cheap blueberries in my life! The strawberries are amazing too (yes, better than Californian ones) and I love how much easier they are to grow (for me). The blackberries! All the berries that grow in the Willamette Valley deserve exclamation points.
- The foraging. Elderberries and nettles are abundant in the woods and I don’t know where to find them in CA. That will be a fresh adventure. The Oregon woods are so beautiful and smell amazing. Foraging is one of my favorite ways to enjoy it.
- Lilacs. Lilacs don’t do as well in CA but they thrive here and are widely planted and make a huge show of themselves in early spring. It’s wonderful to smell them in the air on sunny spring days and they brighten up the landscape on grey ones. I love them all. As long as they have fragrance, I love them.
- The frogs in my yard!! I am going to miss that wonderful loud society of frogs that have settled and multiplied in my tiny creepy pond and who are so funny and charming and drown out human voices with their volume. Pacific tree frogs.
- Piontek bread. Best sandwich bread I’ve ever had in my life. Even better than I’ve ever been able to make myself. (Sandwich bread is, for me, kind of tricky) All other bread is inferior to home made but this one. No preservatives. No crap. It’s the only bread Max likes. Whole wheat. Perfect size. Perfect texture. Perfect sandwich bread.
- Cauliflowers and cabbages the size of my head.
Now that I look at the list I can see that most of what I like about Yamhill County is the weather, the flora, and the fauna.
What I keep wanting to say is that the best thing about Yamhill County is Portland.*
*Not in Yamhill County.