Withering on the Grape Vine of Life in Cedar Cove

I watch Hallmark’s tv series, Cedar Cove. I download it on my Kindle after Hallmark has aired it on Saturday night. Nothing bad  happens in Cedar Cove. The worst conundrum is a love triangle, and I mean of the platonic kind. Who will love who? The characters are all gorgeous and smart, the scenery worth the hour viewing time, and the town idyllic. Right after mom died, I curled up in my bed, under her blanket, and watched 6 episodes. Soothing my brain with 6 hours of daily life in Cedar Cove where the climatic question hanging over the Pacific Coast rock outcroppings was if Grace would mess up her relationship with Cliff (it seems rather inevitable).

One thing strikes me, though, about Cedar Cove. There is always this pull toward Seattle, a ferry ride away. Job offers, girlfriends, ex-wives, children, all are a boat’s journey across the water. Often the characters must decide whether to stay put in Cedar Cove, or answer the call of money and possible fame in the big city. Making the sacrifice to stay in Cedar Cove requires they give up their sure success, their big dreams, the one thing that has always propelled them, be it career or great love. No big fish, big pond for them if they stay. In Cedar Cove all the fish are pretty much equal. And, that seems to be the charm of the series–everyone is included–and no one is regarded as less than or more than anyone else, with the exception of the few antagonists.

I have a huge desire to escape to Cedar Cove (and I mean literally, not just on my Kindle), but I am forced to consider if I haven’t already found it in my quaint life. How closely does my life resemble that of the characters of Cedar Cove? Pretty darn. My scenery is no less stunning. I am surrounded by mountains, and trees. I live in a rain forest and the county I live in is called the Land of the Waterfalls. Beautiful sunsets and sunrises accompany me on my drive to work. I walk everywhere I need to go–the grocery store, the coffee shop, the movies, restaurants, clothing stores, church. It has a wonderful sense of community and privacy. Not to mention, aside from an outrageous water bill, the cost of living is low. The downside? So far, I haven’t met the Cliffs or the Jacks of Cedar Cove, but let’s be honest, sitting at home doing jigsaw puzzles or playing rounds of SET alone, isn’t exactly trying. But, who knows? Maybe my town is overrun with good looking single guys with tortured pasts. In the words of the kid from Angels in the Outfield, “It could happen.” .

My point, in all this estrogen run-on sentence structuring is this: Perhaps my Cedar Cove is right where I am. Perhaps your’s is too. Cliche obviously, but cliches are cliches for a reason. They’re often true.

Recently, a man who is a pretty big deal in the horticulture world stumbled across my blog and contacted me. I suppose finding his name in a garden post inspired him to say hello. It was unexpected, and a nice surprise. I admire his work. He is the big fish in the big pond. To use the metaphor, he’s in Seattle. His email caused me to wonder if Seattle wasn’t the place for me too. If I am, to quote an old friend’s mother, “withering on the grape vine of life?” (She used that little cliche when we were hitting 30 and still not married.)  As for the characters of Cedar Cove, the lure of Seattle is there for me too. Am I missing something by staying put in this small place of plants and mountains?


My two years in Brevard have allowed me ample time to get to know the dog care lady, the bakery owner, the coffee shop owner, my neighbor with the hot dog truck (Aggie introduced us!), the priest of the Episcopal church and his wife, the owner of the two women’s clothing stores in town (of course), and the owner of the real estate company, and two restaurants. I know the town architect, most of my neighbors and the all the local cats and dogs. I am also well acquainted with our neighborhood pet bunny rabbit  (that I am desperately trying to get a picture of). I placed my fall mums on the porch today (Cascade orange, if you’re wondering). I am headed after the pumpkins next week. My neighbors notice when I am gone. They know Evil Kitty and Aggie (the pets). They know what time my College Son comes home (long after I’m asleep). And they know when my grandchildren are here I am unavailable. .

My boss thinks I’d be happier if I moved back to Asheville (our Seattle), a good 45 minute drive over a mountain and through a valley from me. But, he’s an extrovert, and his social calendar (of which I have happily been a part) is forever full. But, for this INFJ girl (www.16personalities.com) the solitude and the personal connections that are forming in my mountain town are compelling. Heck, my landlady is my best friend in this sleepy place, and in case you’re interested, the neighbor behind me is having a time of it with her oldest son. (We discuss this situation while I water my containers in the evenings, both of us convinced he went off to Seattle when he should have stayed in Cedar Cove. She’s a fan too. Knowing thyself is forewarned and forearmed.)

I circle back around after traveling in my mind’s eye over the mountains to the place where I’m told success lies. I find I am compelled to stay put. The connections that are forming in the shadow of mountains and waterfalls hold more interest for me than whatever it is a place like Seattle can claim.  All my life, I did think I wanted Seattle, but I have discovered I really wanted Cedar Cove. How lovely to have ended up here while on my way to the Big City/Big Lights.

Since, it’s been a post of cliches, I’ll throw out another one. Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans. Thank the Lord for traveling mercies.

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