It’s been a long time since I’ve lived in a place where I can look up and see the Milky Way. Our home in Greenville is in the heart of the city and light pollution is terribly. Up here on Samish Island I can step out the back door and have a clear view of our galaxy, weather permitting. With the recent clear skies I’ve been tempted each night to head out with a camera to do some night photography. The other night I gave into that urge.
I mentioned this in a previous post. Kayaking at Samish island can be tricky. Tide and weather have to be in agreement. Tuesday morning the tides were perfect, with high tide at 11:30 am. However, the weather wasn’t so great. A heavy fog had rolled in. I was seeing patches of blue overhead and knew that it would burn off eventually, so I loaded up the boat and headed over to Duff’s beach cabin for a foggy paddling trip.
I’ve been looking in papers and online to see if this part of Washington has the equivalent of the flea markets I like to visit in South Carolina. So far I’ve struck out. I know they are called “swap meets” on this side of the continent, but I still haven’t found a permanent market like the Anderson Jockey Lot or the Pickens Flea Market. Today I got pretty close. Laura and I visited the annual “World’s Greatest Garage Sale” at the Skagit County Fairgrounds.
We’ve been looking for groups and outlets with which to get involved while here in Washington. I’ve been looking for musicians circles, drum circles, and other groups similar to those I’ve found in Greenville. No such luck. I haven’t even found a kayaking group. Then, I came across a listing for a Bring Your Own Guitar event on Facebook. The description sounded interesting, so I decided to check them out.
Skagit Valley seems progressive compared to Greenville, but there are some areas where that’s not the case. One place switch taxation. They don’t have a state income tax, but instead, they have a very regressive, high sales tax. This shows up in the way services are provided (or not provided) to citizens.In Greenville County we … Read More “Skagit County Library Dilemma” »
Our last big sabbatical was in 1991, twenty-six years ago. Laura has had other sabbaticals since then, but these have been half-year leaves involving work and research with local companies. During those sabbaticals I was working in positions I couldn’t leave easily, so an extended trip wasn’t possible. This is the first extended sabbatical away we’ve been able to do since that first big one, and we can’t help but draw comparisons between them.
It’s been over a month since I’ve had a boat in the water and things just didn’t seem…right. On the trek across country I had two kayaks on top of the car and we crossed many bodies of water that looked ripe for paddling. However, the rest of my paddling gear was in a shipping box making its own way across country. Plus, we had two cats with us and were on a time crunch, so stopping to paddle wasn’t an option. Finally everything aligned – the paddling gear had arrived, the weather was good, tides were favorable, and we weren’t having major appliances or septic systems installed. It was time to paddle.
I think I’ve come to a crossroads with this blog. At one time I used it sort of as a personal journal, with shorter, more frequent posts. My posts still contain a good bit of day-to-day life, but now it seems to be more of a showcase for my ideas, with curated photography and considerably more research. I’d like to return to journaling, but given what this blog has become, I’m not sure this is the venue.
Life on our island is still an odd dichotomy of frenzy and relaxation. It’s incredibly peaceful, but we still have so much to do. Similar to the stages of grief, there seem to be stages of settling in. We hit the tourist stage while Glynda was here, and seem to be in the midst of the “dealing with stuff” stage. I’m ready to get to the “normal life on the island” stage, whenever that might come.
It’s harvest time in Skagit Valley. That means fresh fruits and vegetables everywhere, picked right from the fields we have to drive through to get to the island. It seems most of our visits to the area have been in August just as things are coming into season, so I’ve always been impressed with the bounty. This past week we made the most of it.