I have been part of a book club, “The Book Club Betties” for almost 10 years. Our club was formed before book clubs were all the rage. It is a group of 5 nurses, some retired and some of us still practicing. What a wonderful way to have an excuse to visit with good friends every month. I must say I don’t always finish the book but I try to never miss a gathering. Nothing beats good books, great friends, good food, good wine, and the camaraderie that has developed over the years.
One of the members has a daughter that attends Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon. For several years The Betties have spoken of taking a visit up north. It was perfect timing as the Shakespeare Festival had begun and the weather couldn’t have been more accommodating. It was a four and a half hour drive through some absolutely beautiful country. Viewing the snow covered Mt Shasta was an extra added attraction.
Everything was within walking distance as we stayed in a lovely refurbished home two blocks from downtown Ashland. The cuisines provided by the many restaurants made for delightful dining. There is nothing better than live entertainment as we watched Hamlet as well as the play, Ruined. This weekend vacation was a welcome break from the increasing preparation of the ranch for the upcoming season.
Each morning we would walk through Lithia Park, which surrounds part of the city of Ashland. What a beautiful way to start the day. The mornings were brisk with the ideal temperature for a walk. In addition to nursing my second love is gardening and of course farming. As we strolled the pathways in the park I was impressed with the size and absolute beauty of the Dogwoods, Rhododendrons, Hostas and Azaleas that grew seemingly without effort lining Ashland Creek as well as the grounds of the park.
As we returned to the reality of our lives, post vacation, I am reminded of the beauty we have at home. Our climate of course is a bit different than Ashland but it affords us beautiful gardens and some of the best farming around. Suisun Valley is absolutely beautiful this time of year and worth a “vacation getaway” for the outsiders. The gardens at the ranch are lush and as we sit on our porch we are at times amazed at what greets our eyes as we take the time to appreciate our surroundings.
Our hoop-house is full and the raised beds are bringing forth lovely produce for the 2010 season. Though it has rained a bit later into the season than we want Mother Nature is moving the season along nicely.
We are looking forward to the summer. The ranch will begin in late June once the Blenheim Apricots are ripe. Until then we will be filling the grounds with many varieties of vegetables, Dahlias and nurturing the trees to provide us with delicious fruit as we anticipate your visit.