—by Bill Duncan
"Real-life ranch tale serves as warning to weary urbanites.
"Everyone has a story to tell just from living. But the key is in the storytelling.
"By that paradigm, Mary Lynn Archibald is one great storyteller, and her memoir is at the same time sad and funny, but it is a story worth reading. It is the story of a couple of crazy urbanites who dream of escaping the dreary existence of the rat race, and become (sic) country squires on 120 acres of lush rural beauty called Twin Creeks Ranch...
"'When my husband, Carl signed the papers he discovered we had inherited six cows, two cats, a flock of wild turkeys and a working cattle ranch. With one stroke of the pen, our relaxation (idea) had gone out the window. It was crazy.'
"But she admits: 'It was one of the most uplifting experiences of our lives....'
"She and her husband lived that life for 12 years and discovered the simple life isn't really that simple, and 'despite my persistent romantic fantasies, I rarely managed to look like I'd just emerged from the pages of an L.L. Bean catalog. Those people never get muddy and they wear bras in town...'
"...Archibald's idyllic rural life...(on the ranch) has ended, in favor of town life, but not the memories of 'early evenings talking by the fire, the hot tea brewing on the Franklin wood-stove, the glass of wine reflecting the candles...and watching the sunset over the King Range, craning our necks skyward to marvel at the stars and the enveloping peace of the place.'"
—Bill Duncan can be reached at or at P.O. Box 812, Roseburg, OR 97470
About Mary Lynn
Causes Mary Lynn Archibald Supports
Battered Women's Shelter, SPCA, Healdsburg Animal Shelter, Nature Conservancy