Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It's all part of my evil plan.

Last night Greg and I were eating in the backyard on the someday-deck. I had that same feeling I think everyone gets in places where summer is very short. I grew up in California where summer basically lasts forever. It starts in March and can last well into October or November. There's no rushing to go camping or spend time outside because you can always do it next month. But in Portland summer is over almost as soon as it begins. I felt antsy and disappointed--we haven't kayaked this year! I haven't eaten a single artichoke! We haven't had a dinner party in the yard (though we had a barbecue and a birthday party). September has been swallowed up by travel plans, not that I'm complaining, but it shortens the summer even more. The only upshot to shortening days is an excuse to eat dinner by candlelight.

Then Greg admitted to me that he's been cheating. He's been looking at other houses online. "For someday, don't freak out!" he explained. Oh, for SOMEDAY! That makes me feels so much better that you've been secretly researching real estate! That doesn't make me nervous at all.

As an aside, does anyone understand that familiar plot in TV shows and movies where a dude, as a surprise to his lady love, buys a house for them? I would be livid if Greg did that, and we're not even married. You made a quarter million dollar investment (or more) and didn't bother to let me weigh in on it? I don't know if we'd ever recover from that. And how do you go through house hunting and escrow without letting anyone else know? Come on.

Anyway, our house isn't in a very walkable neighborhood. We have two grocery stores within a mile but we don't have any great bars or coffee shops or restaurants. In a city of forty thousand thai restaurants, we have none in walking distance. If you are drunk at two in the morning, however, we have the *best* taco shop. Greg lived in the NW 23rd area before I made him move into North Portland and we miss the walking options we had for eating out in that neighborhood. If I were to move I'd probably go no further than Kenton, which is a great little neighborhood about two miles away. They have a coffee shop, a library, a salvage shop, and a homebrew exchange. But Greg is plotting to get us back to his former stomping grounds, with its fancy shops and lack of street parking.

But! He admitted that every house he looked at paled in comparison to mine, mostly because they all had tiny yards. That's right, baby, you might think you can do better but no other house will love you like this one. We have room to spare and we're only five minutes from downtown. The whole thing makes me laugh because Greg always tells me how condo living is better, how he hates yard work, how he comes from a family of farmers and he's rebelled against his heritage by refusing to garden. And now he can't live without our enormous yard.

We're planning on bumping the fence out a ways toward the front of the house on the west side. Sometimes we say it's going to be a place for the compost bin. Sometimes we say it's going to be the hammock spot. Last night Greg said we should plant corn there because corn is delicious and also we could create a corn maze as an entrance to a Halloween party.

You guys, my plan to turn him into a North Portland home ownership-loving gardener is working! He wants to grow more vegetables AND he wants to create a corn maze entrance to a party! That's some Martha Stewart level awesome shit right there. I'm so proud.

We both agreed that we want to get the deck built early next summer, hopefully by May so we can spend the rest of the summer just enjoying it. And having dinner parties on it. Maybe kayaking on it. Definitely eating artichokes on it.


  1. Sorry, I phrased that poorly! He's not claiming he ever farmed; only that the Dutch side of the family all did.

  2. I agree! That whole buying-a-house-as-a-gift thing is just ridiculous. Your yard is looking awesome! I love the contrast between the gorgeous fence and the green, green grass. How could you leave that?!

  3. Anne, that photo is such a lie! It's from right after I finished the fence in July. Our lawn is SO brown right now. :)

  4. I'm so with you on the urgency brought on by our short summers. I think that's why right about now when people start talking about summer being over (it's not!!!) I want to strangle them. Oh and good job on the bringing the boy over to the homeowner/gardening side of things. We're 6 years into living in our house and my husband still doesn't seem quite convinced (also from a farming family he sees condo life as the one for him)

  5. Hee, I'll believe the lie! It's too pretty not to.

  6. Love the corn maze idea! So much fun. Way to indoctrinate! :)

  7. I just chuckled out loud at the "he comes from a family of farmers and he's rebelling!" He hasn't farmed a day in his life...not real farming anyways. He maybe had to help Dad with our veggie garden. How hard could it have been? :)