Harry Anderson

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.

Grave marker’s tale of love and prejudice

In historic Sunnyside Cemetery, overlooking beautiful Ebey’s Prairie, there are hundreds of old and elaborate markers showing where the prairie’s white pioneer farmers and their families eternally rest.

Memories bring year to a close on the Rock | Rockin’ A Hard Place

Few of us bother to sing the third verse of “Deck the Halls” at Christmastime, but it’s a sweet celebration of the new year’s approach: “Fast away the old year passes / Hail the new, ye lads and lasses / Sing we joyous all together / Heedless of the wind and weather!” So, ye Whidbey lads and lasses, herewith I sing carols about some fond year-end memories here on the Rock, heedless of our wind and weather.

You can’t beat holidays on the Rock | Rockin’ A Hard Place

You know what I enjoy most about holiday season on the Rock? Wherever I go, it’s as if the last 50 years never happened.

Keep it charming, historic, genuine | Rockin’ A Hard Place

I just spent 17 days crossing something amazing off my bucket list. In September, I cruised the Danube, Main and Rhine Rivers on a luxury boat with 160 other bedazzled tourists through six countries, past countless castles, innumerable cathedrals and more cobblestones than there are stars in heaven.

When Armageddon hits, I will survive

I grew up in the 1950s in Tacoma. My mother was a modern housewife who thanked heaven every day for making her life easier with Betty Crocker cake mixes, Swanson’s TV dinners, Hamburger Helper and store-bought everything.

My unabashed crush on the Rock | Rockin’ A Hard Place

Dear Whidbey Island, This summer marks the fifth anniversary since you and I moved in together, and I am more in love with you today than ever. You have made me forget every other place I ever lived: Tacoma, Seattle, Vietnam, Japan, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Dallas.

Duck and Cover: the invaders have arrived | Rockin’ A Hard Place

The annual summer invasion of the Rock has begun. There are creepy, curious, voracious creatures everywhere, and I’m not talking about tented caterpillars littering our footsteps. Squish, squish, squish.

The friends of Bill are woven together | Rockin’ A Hard Place

My friend Bill Dyer died recently, just shy of his 88th birthday.

Rockin’ A Hard Place: The true meaning of rockin’ a potluck

What is it about life on the Rock that makes all of us so contented most of the time? Can’t be the weather — too wet. Can’t be the booming economy — it isn’t. Can’t be the scintillating night life — um, let’s not go there.