The Gift of Time. Sometimes it Allows Us to Really See

When we bought our Rummer last November, we didn’t know we were going to be in for a horrible winter of snow and ice. We didn’t know the winter would be the worst since we had lived in Oregon. We didn’t know the winter would change all of the plans we had for selling our other house and starting work on our new Rummer. And we didn’t know we were being given the gift of time. Time to discover the wonders of our yard.

The yard was so over grown, we decided to call an arborist for help. Our new neighbors passed along a name of Kyle Offerdahl with Bartlett Tree Services. It is always nice getting a good recommendation.

Kyle came with some incredible credentials but more importantly when we met him, he was so thoughtful about his plan for our many trees. First he identified them all for us, which was great, as we had no idea what some of them were. He showed us how he would like to thin them out and suggested which ones might be taken out and why. He had a multi year plan for getting them back into nice shape.

We got started on this immediately as a huge ice storm was predicted and we didn’t want to have damage to the trees due to limbs breaking because they were so over grown. The crew worked all day and it was instantaneous to see the transformation. We now could see how nice the trees were with so much of undergrowth now gone.

We knew the Styrax or Japanese Snow Bell tree would be a focal point from our kitchen. The paper bark cherry , red bud, and honey locust on the back fence were very mature and provided nice privacy.


When we first bought the house in the late fall we learned we had beautiful Dahlias for cut flowers. And that our Redtwig Dogwood was one of our favorite focal points in the winter afternoon light.

In the spring we were able to watch the many trees bud out to find we had a beautiful Lilac tree, and a magnificent magnolia in the back and a white star magnolia in the front. There were bulbs galore in the yard. We had tulips of every kind it seemed, as well as daffodils. The previous owners must have bought one of every kind and didn’t really have a master plan. But time allowed us to watch them bloom, take their photos, and then dig them up to categorize and save when we decide our own master plan. They also were perfect for the open houses at the house we are trying to sell.

As the summer started our roses started to bloom and we saw how beautiful they were and again the many varieties that we had. We also learned we had many Red Hot Pokers and bunches of lilies. We even had agapanthus, which reminded me of California and my back yard there.


A treat was our blueberry bushes, eight of them. Each day we pick a bunch to have for breakfast. The birds mingle about telling us where the ripest berries reside.

As the seasons went on, we spent time each day watching the light at different times of the day. We learned where the shade was as we transitioned into the warmer months. We learned where we would want to sit and relax after weeding. We learned where we would want to sit for the best view at certain times of day. All this was possible because we had time. Time because our plans didn’t work out as we had thought they would about when we would be able to start work on the house. But time brought us the ability to really see. And really seeing helped us adjust in a rather joyful way and a more zen attitude and appreciation for being given the gift of having time. It’s influenced how we are thinking about the yard and how to create the space with the remodel. We now know that we were given a gift.

Patience grasshopper.


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