Rebirth of a garden

by Beth Shepherd
( April 16th, 2014 )

If you would have a lovely garden,
you should live a lovely life.
-  Shaker saying

When I first saw the Urban Cabin the garden looked like this:

Old yard 1

Old yard 2

Old yard 3

A few years later, and a couple things planted here and there, and the garden looked like this:

Backyard 2

Backyard 1

Then we remodeled, tore off the back of our house,  moved the sewer line and dug up most of the yard, and put many of the plants in temporary beds. The garden looked like this:

Plants in temporary beds

Side yard

Maggie and the remodel

Sewer line going in

Yard gone

Then, slowly, we started to re-imagine and rebuild, and put in 9 cubic yards of new soil and planter beds in the garden. It looked like this:

New planter boxes 2

New planter boxes 3

New planter boxes 4

Garden before bricks

Eventually we also added a brick patio, wood chips and more plants…but then we had to take down our two 60-foot Poplar trees, grind out the stumps and roots and removed all the plants beneath them. And it looked like this:


Poplar coming down

Bye bye poplars

Poplars cut down

Poplar stumps ground

Today, I spent most of the day in our garden. There are new trees, plants, fruit, herbs and flowers, growing everywhere. Rebirth! Our little 18 by 40 foot slice of paradise in the middle of the city. Now our garden at the Urban Cabin looks like this:

garden 1

garden 2

garden 3

And in the front of our home, the parking strip looks like this:

Front yard

Our garden, like many things in our lives, has been a long labor of love. There is a sign inside our house, given to us by a close friend: Love grows in small houses. And indeed it does. Both inside and out.

Take the road less traveled, Beth


At play in the ocean

by Beth Shepherd
( April 11th, 2014 )

I saw you in my dream
We were walking hand in hand
On a white sandy beach of Hawaii

We were playing in the sun
We were having so much fun
On a white sandy beach of Hawaii

The sound of the ocean
Soothes my restless soul
The sound of the ocean
Rocks me all night long

~Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

Family at Ke'e Beach on Kaua

Family at Ke'e Beach on Kauai

At play Ke'e Beach sunset

Coming in from Ke'e Beach sunset

Ke'e Beach sunset

Take the road less traveled, Beth

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A room of her own

by Beth Shepherd
( April 8th, 2014 )

First time in her crib

April 8, 2012

This is the first time our daughter set foot inside her crib. Her crib in a room of her own.

I’m sure it was a shock to her, arriving at this new, strange place with sounds and smells she didn’t recognize. Big Papa and I were elated to be in our home and sleep in our bed. We’d just spent 26 hours (with all of us sick) traveling from Yerevan (where we awoke at 3:00 AM to no heat and no water), through London, before landing in Seattle (where it took forever to pass first through U.S. Customs and then U.S. Immigration). But for our daughter, this was the beginning of a new chapter.

I try to imagine what it might have been like for her to spend the first year of her life in a room filled with cribs, lined up in rows, literally side-by-side, surrounded by other children, many nannies to care for her, but not one person who was hers and hers alone. No one with enough time to read her a bedtime story, a bottle propped against her chest with which to soothe herself.

Friends in her crib

April 8, 2014

Baby Bird has been in and out of her crib over a thousand times. She hosts tea parties, sings songs, and occasionally practices acrobatics inside her crib. Every nook and cranny of her room is familiar to her, and she will notice immediately if anything is amiss. The concept of “mine” is firmly set (sometimes maybe a bit too much so). Together we’ve read countless bedtime stories and have shared innumerable meals.

Two years ago she had nothing she could lay claim to and call her own. Two years ago we had an empty crib and room in our hearts.

And now we have each other. Bed. Home. Family.

Take the road less traveled, Beth

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