Life on Whidbey: One lump or two with your fun?

By Eileen Brown

Look out, Coupeville! Here come those beautiful Blakely girls and their daughters.

Seems grandmother JOAN BLAKELY was holding the winning raffle ticket for “high tea” at the Compass Rose Bed and Breakfast in Coupeville on March 22. The raffle was sponsored by the Dr. Paul Bishop Guild to benefit the Whidbey General Hospital Auxiliary. The $520 raised will benefit Whidbey General Hospital through the purchase of Wish List items and scholarships for teens wishing to enter a career in health care.

The event was advertised for six people taking tea, but Joan paid for four extra tickets to include three of her daughters, four granddaughters and herself presiding over all.

It will be an historic occasion at the Compass Rose when her daughters JANET MATNEY and JULIE FULLER of Seattle, SUSAN CALLIES of Coupeville gather with Joan’s granddaughters LAUREN, 18, OLIVIA, 14, KATIE, 21 and FAITH, 10. Unable to attend because of the weather will be daughter EVIE NODER of Spokane.

Joan’s Mona Lisa smile hasn’t changed a bit since her days at Safeway. I cannot remember a day when she wasn’t smiling. “The best part was working in Oak Harbor, with the best people, best managers and best customers,” she said, looking back on her more than 20 years there.

Joan and her husband BURT also raised three sons: STEVEN, MICHAEL and PATRICK. I confided that I had memory fog about certain of my son’s teen years. She consoled me when she said, “It takes awhile to let it sink in that to become adults, they had to be responsible for their actions” — wise words from a woman who has been there.

Fort Knox for plants

I had not heard of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, sponsored by the Global Crop Diversity Trust, until last Saturday morning when I was a guest at a meeting of the Nordic Lodge in Coupeville. RICHARD JOHNSON, lodge president, said on behalf of all Scandinavians, “We are ahead of our time.”

It was the Norwegians who came up with the idea to build a deep-frozen repository for back-up supplies of seeds from hundreds of thousands of plant varieties. The ideal site was chosen for its location, 600 miles north of the Arctic Circle in Longyearbyen on the island of Spitsbergen in the Svalbard Archipelago owned by Norway.

The Norwegian government has put up more than $9.5 million for construction and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation $30 million for seed collection.

Taking care of current business, JANE BUEING, Sons of Norway, District Two Zone Director, presented the $500 matching funds from the Sons of Norway Foundation “Helping Hands to Children Grant.” The local lodge provided the initial $500 to receive the grant, which Whidbey Island Lodge has done since 2002. These funds go to the Coupeville Schools Foundation and are earmarked for the History Day projects.

“The school has done well,” said Johnson, noting these are college-level presentations being done by middle school kids.

I saw several familiar faces and some new ones, too. Thanks to BERT BJORLING, WES WESTLUND, JOY and SID IVERSON, LIZ and PETE BERG, JOAN GERTEIS and NADINE SIMPSON for your warm greeting. I promised I’d be back to observe Norwegian Constitution Day in May. Call Richard at 678-4889 for more about the NORDIC LODGE.

Not meant for children

It was a different world when no man would dare cuss in the presence of a lady, when children said “Please” and “Thank you” and didn’t speak until spoken to. I’m not saying we should return to those times, but I recently saw an example of how far we have gone in the other direction. Stopped in front of me, waiting for the light to turn green, I beheld a truck’s back window covered with outrageous bumper stickers. Some of them were so bad, I wondered how a mom might explain what they meant to her 10-year-old.

The driver has a right to display his choice of bumper stickers. If the public doesn’t like them, they should turn away. They produced the effect he wanted.

Remember the tame “Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most” bumper sticker? That and the “Mother-in-law in trunk” sticker are bound to find their way back. Values change with time. Just wait another 60 years.

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