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Peace at Heart

An Oregon Country Life

Barbara Drake

6 × 9 inches. 192 pages.

1998. ISBN 978-0-87071-455-9. Paperback, $18.95.

  • Finalist for the Oregon Book Award, 1998

Many dream of leaving the city for a new life in the country. Few follow that dream. In 1987, Barbara Drake and her husband sold their home in Portland and moved to a farm in western Oregon's Yamhill Valley. Home was now a modest white house, an old red barn, and a small vineyard. In Peace at Heart, Barbara Drake reflects on ten years of country living and on the happiness that this rural landscape has brought her.

Weather, seasons, plants, and especially animals figure prominently in these stories. The constant company of animals-domestic and wild-on the farm inspires what Drake calls "the sacramental character of country life." In essays on birthing lambs, keeping bees, raising geese, and making wine, Drake combines gentle humor, practical advice, and deep respect for the work and the land. This rich gathering of observations and meditations-on everything from border collies and Oregon mud to picking wild apples-captures the ordinary joys and everyday blessings of country life.

Member of AAUP