I wanted a challenge. I got a challenge. On Sunday I attended the monthly Irish Jam Session at the Littlefield Celtic Center in Mount Vernon. I found myself in the midst of some incredible traditional musicians and I also found myself struggling to keep up. Even so, it was a blast.
Laura and I like classic films and we especially like it when we have the opportunity to see these films on the big screen. Our first experience was back in 1991 when we were able to see Casablanca in a theater in Tucson. In just the past couple of months I’ve seen The Princess Bride and the original Blade Runner in the theater. So when we saw that the Alfred Hitchcock classic Vertigo was showing at the Lincoln Theater in Mount Vernon, we had to attend.
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.
You see those mountains out there? They aren’t just mountains, those are islands!
So said my soon-too-be father-in-law, Jim Wright, as we drove across The Flats for my first visit to Samish Island in 1988. The reclaimed farmland that connected the mainland to the island created the illusion that we weren’t close to water at all. It wasn’t until we gained a bit of elevation that I saw that we were, in fact, surrounded by it.
From that moment on, I was hooked. There was so much to see and do, and it was all so different from where I lived. Over the years, and with subsequent visits I’ve built up an ideal of life in Skagit Valley County. It’s an ideal of a slower pace of life, filled with cool weather, incredible scenery, wonderful coffee and fresh baked goods, produce from the local farms, and fantastic seafood. Each quaint little town is filled with curious characters and Victorian architecture. Travel up the Skagit River, and you enter the wilds of the Pacific Northwest, with soaring trees and volcanic mountains and lakes filled with glacial waters. Head two hours north or south, and you have the cultural vibrancy of Seattle or Vancouver. If I were to move from South Carolina, I think this would be where I’d want to settle.