The Little House Beyond the Iron Gate

When we arrived at the abandoned dirt lot on the edge of a junk yard we thought that we made a dreadful mistake. There were no signs pointing us in the direction of the alleged “Dream Vacation” home we had booked for four nights– an adorable floating house we had happened upon online. Pictures of that little red house floating on the Willamette mesmerised us and beckoned us to plunk down our money, then imagine for the weeks leading up to our arrival about what it would be like to stay in a floating home. We looked around the lot and saw this path to an iron gate, looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders, crossed the train tracks after preaching to the children to look both ways- ALWAYS, and walked down the plank.

There is something about iron gates that promises mystery and excitement as to what lurks on the other side. I think of the “Secret Garden.” But beyond this gate we saw the lazy river twinkling in the late afternoon sun and heard the quiet lapping of the water making her music on all she rapped. Far off laughter and a motor boat’s roar followed the closer we got to the gate.

After opening the creaking gate our jittery nerves dissolved and the pictures of the little home stamped in our memories became a reality.

The Minnow welcomed us and whispered, “Relax…

hang out…



watch the planes go by…

and the trains too.”

She said, “Lie in bed a little longer, read books as the sun comes up…

feed my geese…

enjoy the view from my kitchen window…

eat supper on the deck…

cuddle up to a fire on my cool river nights…

and let the river gently rock you into silent slumber.”

The Minnow.


  1. 12th Man Training Table
    Posted August 4, 2010 at 6:51 AM | Permalink

    looks like a marvelous vacation!

  2. Mimi
    Posted August 4, 2010 at 9:08 AM | Permalink

    Fun place to spend your summer.

  3. Ingrid
    Posted August 4, 2010 at 10:16 AM | Permalink

    Lovely! Your Minnow reminds me of my parents' cabin just replace the river with mountains. Looks like you enjoyed your vacation as much as I did mine!

  4. tamilyn
    Posted August 4, 2010 at 2:51 PM | Permalink

    Looks like the PERFECT vacation! What a cute little house 🙂

  5. Anonymous
    Posted August 4, 2010 at 3:05 PM | Permalink

    Wowza, where is that if you don't mind me asking, that looks like heaven!

  6. Sabrina
    Posted August 4, 2010 at 3:17 PM | Permalink

    Beautiful. Just looking at the pictures is relaxing. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Robin Sue
    Posted August 4, 2010 at 4:12 PM | Permalink

    Beth it is in Oregon City, OR. Click the link at the bottom for more info!

  8. oneordinaryday
    Posted August 4, 2010 at 8:15 PM | Permalink

    Oh, that's so awesome! Sounds like a perfect vacation.

  9. Josh Healy
    Posted August 4, 2010 at 11:38 PM | Permalink

    Hi, hope it's OK to contact you here. We would love to include your blog on our giveaway search engine: Giveaway Scout ( Have a look and if interested, use our online form to add your blog ( ). thanks, Josh

  10. Lisa
    Posted August 5, 2010 at 12:02 PM | Permalink

    Oh how lovely! I need a respite at the Minnow! Thanks for sharing….I enjoyed visiting there for a few moments!

  11. Jackie Lee
    Posted August 5, 2010 at 12:38 PM | Permalink

    wow… absolutely beautiful. What amazing images. Hope you enjoy your vacation.

  12. Jenn@slim-shoppin
    Posted August 6, 2010 at 1:50 PM | Permalink

    That's what a vacation is all about! Wonderful, wonderful pics!

  13. Penny
    Posted August 6, 2010 at 5:07 PM | Permalink

    Wow Robin Sue, You found the best place for your family vacation. To be on the water with the views and secret garden gates will leave a lasting impression on the kids. Magic!

  14. FOODalogue
    Posted August 6, 2010 at 6:32 PM | Permalink

    Loved this post. It was like poetry with photos.

  15. Bryan
    Posted August 7, 2010 at 7:31 AM | Permalink

    Wow how great! Looks like a wonderful vacation! The imagery is great!

  16. Mary at Deep South Dish
    Posted August 8, 2010 at 12:54 AM | Permalink

    That sounds really nice right now!

  17. Karen
    Posted August 8, 2010 at 2:47 PM | Permalink

    What a beautiful little place!

  18. An Unconventional Mummy
    Posted August 8, 2010 at 11:54 PM | Permalink

    How delightful !
    Where is this little piece of heaven and will you share ?

  19. Robin Sue
    Posted August 9, 2010 at 8:41 AM | Permalink

    An Unconventional Mummy- it is in Oregon City, OR. Click the link at the bottom for more info!

  20. debzy
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 6:22 PM | Permalink

    I so want to go there…all by myself! How peaceful!

  21. maggie repp
    Posted August 20, 2012 at 11:57 AM | Permalink

    So enjoyed that wonderful little story. I remember when you guys came back from that very vacation. Was great to hear about it and see it again. Loved it – almost felt as though I had been there myself!

    • Robin Sue
      Posted August 20, 2012 at 1:37 PM | Permalink

      I wish we could go together!

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