Harry Anderson

Healing power of a walk on the beach | Rockin’ a Hard Place

I took a walk along the beach one afternoon last week. I hadn’t done that for ages. I did it because I had a lot on my mind. Scientists says salt air by the shoreline contains negatively charged hydrogen ions that help us absorb oxygen and balance out serotonin levels, resulting in more energy and diminished depression. Whatever the reason, a walk on the beach always helps clear the clutter in my head.

Proud self-enforcer of the speed limit | Rockin’ a Hard Place

One of the things I like most about living on the Rock is our pride in manners and proper driving habits. Indeed, our town speed limit is 25 mph, and we have only one town marshal. So, therefore, we are proud to self-enforce our speed limit. In fact, if you pull up and hug our bumper, we may just go even slower than the limit. I have to admire the brave souls who do that, thereby suffering even worse slings and arrows of outraged people in a hurry.

Fame, banner year for Whidbey’s bean | Rockin’ a Hard Place

We had a lot of rain early this spring, then a lot of sun, then a lot of cooler temperatures, then a lot more sun. Those in the know about such things on Central Whidbey can add it up. After a couple thin years, 2016 should produce a great harvest of Rockwell beans.

The Scenic Isle Byway becomes a traffic jam | Rockin’ a Hard Place

Has anyone else noticed how much traffic seems to have increased on our Rock’s two-lane main artery with a split personality that morphs from Highway 525 into Highway 20? The Fourth of July weekend was cloudy and chilly, but that didn’t deter the bumper-to-bumper line-up inching through Bayview and Freeland, or creeping through Oak Harbor.

Lettuce celebrate! School garden turns a year old | Rockin’ a Hard Place

Second graders at Coupeville Elementary School held their very first “salad celebration” in their classroom late last month. On a Thursday, they carefully arranged place settings for themselves with bowls, forks and napkins.

Another weekend, another round of fundraisers to attend | Rockin’ a Hard Place

It’s been a beautiful spring weekend on the Rock. Sun was out, flowers were in bloom, farmers’ markets were bustling, sailboats and kayaks were out, lawns were mowed. And, of course, there were at least five non-profit fundraising events to attend up and down the island. Make that at least six. There was one wine-and-cheese affair I didn’t receive an invitation to. How did that happen?

Get up the nerve to serve, preserve Ebey’s Reserve | Rockin’ a Hard Place

When you live on the Rock, it is almost impossible not to volunteer. Hardly a day goes by without some opportunity to do something good for someone around here.

Rain is something we can all agree on | Rockin’ a Hard Place

I hesitate to say that this winter’s rain has set a record here on the Rock. Somebody out there would surely arm-wrestle me over that. Until recently, weather gauges — even the good ones — were not always reliable. So I will politely avoid an argument over this being the wettest winter ever. It just feels like it.

Rock dweller’s guide to love and romance | Rockin’ a Hard Place

Valentine’s Day is around the corner. Love is in the air, chocolate fills every store shelf and lovers put on public displays of affection at every opportunity. But, although we like romance as much as anybody and we take love seriously here on the Rock, talking about such things can make us squirm.

Time of year for unsolicited thanks and best wishes | Rockin’ a Hard Place

January’s a good month to be thankful and wishful. After all, there’s not much else to do; it gets dark too early, the tides are too high for beach walking, and it’s too cold outside.

Whidbey/AIR endeavor was a valiant effort by all | Rockin’ A Hard Place

Long, long ago – about 15 years, to be exact, BFB (before Facebook), BTW (before Twitter) and BSP (before smart phones) – a few passionate people on Whidbey Island were very upset that the Rock had no local public radio station to call its own.

Raspberry farm takes a hit: Mile Post 19 looks to future after plants die

Two years ago this month, Michele Lynn and Jerry Raitzer were over the moon with anticipation. Their Whidbey Island dream had come true. Today, however, the dream has been altered dramatically — but they insist it’s not dead.

The rejuvenating effect of more kids | Rockin’ a Hard Place

I was happy to see that enrollment in Coupeville’s public schools is on the rise after steadily declining for the past decade. The town’s been feeling a bit arthritic and it needs a burst of youthful energy. We can use more kick-ball screaming and jump-rope rhyming; hopefully that will help drown out the clatter of so many canes and walkers.

No one said owning a farm would be easy | Rockin’ a Hard Place

There are many qualities to admire about us Whidbey folk. One that I notice frequently is how fiercely we battle to keep things just the way they are. We fight tooth-and-nail against big development, environmental travesties or any sign of America creeping toward our pristine shores. We’d sooner jump off the Deception Pass Bridge than permit a billboard or neon sign, for instance.

A day of peace and love on the Rock | Rockin’ a Hard Place

With the dog days of summer upon us, it’s a perfect moment for a lazy, hazy, crazy memory of my days of Rock past.

Splinters of thought for a wooden year | Rockin’ a Hard Place

Six years ago this month, my spouse, two dogs and I began our new lives on the Rock. Hallmark Cards says the correct sixth anniversary gift should be wood, but please don’t bother. We already have plenty of that on this evergreen-encrusted isle.

We salute the flag and then argue about it | Rockin’ A Hard Place

I am struck by how patriotic we Rock dwellers are. That’s not to say our brothers and sisters in America don’t love the red, white and blue as much or support our troops with equal passion or, for that matter, pay as many – or often more — taxes.

Looking forward to political season on the Rock this year | Rockin’ A Hard Place

It must be something in the air that makes it so difficult for us Rock dwellers to agree on anything. Maybe it’s another effect of pollen from evergreen trees. In addition to sinusitis.

Rock-Speak: Off, on, up and down the island | Rockin’ a Hard Place

Over the years, we Whidbey dwellers have developed our own language. Let’s call it Rockish. It usually consists of a phrase or two mingled into common America-speak, which itself is derived – some would say deteriorated – from the Queen’s English.

The mollusk that ate Coupeville and vice versa | Rockin’ a Hard Place

Hard to believe, but not too long ago some folks on the Rock didn’t care much for mussels. The creatures disfigured dock pilings and messed up boat bottoms. Their sharp-edged shells cut your bare feet. They were tough and rubbery if you ate the big ones right off the beach. And the idea that someone would create a commercial mussel farm and plop several dozen floating platforms on pristine Penn Cove waters just off Madrona Way raised more than a few Rock hackles back in the 1970s.