Summer of 2014 tough to let go of | Harbor Highlights

Let’s all sing praises for the summer of 2014, shall we?

Let’s all sing praises for the summer of 2014, shall we? I must admit I always feel a swell of regret when September rolls around and our days on the island shorten dramatically. But my bedroom windows remain wide open and I’m still wearing flip flops, so I’m still smiling my way into fall, which officially begins at 10:29 p.m. Monday, Sept. 22

It looks like those days when we were sweating and drinking iced coffee have produced a bumper crop of berries and apples. Eating apple crisp and washing it down with hot coffee sounds like a great antidote to wind and rain, doesn’t it?

I’m not the only one looking back on summer with awe. Adventure, wonder and life-building memories have filled the lives of Whidbey Islanders this summer.

Carol Wall’s son Reid Schwartz and his family opened their dream restaurant, Hot Rock Pizza. Along with her husband Bob, Carol enjoyed caring for their adorable great grandson Daemien while his parents helped establish their dream.

Mary Pefley Reynoso and Kathy Stewart LeMieux became grandmas for the very first time, and to say they are both over the moon with joy is an understatement.

Lori Shulock and Patricia Sapp Martin each watched their daughters get married under warm, sunny skies. “Perfect and love-filled” describes both weddings, say these proud mothers.

Sarah Kirby Konopik and Carol Chaplin both thank God for fabulous island events, beautiful summer weather and friends.

Ann Abrahamse enjoyed weekly walks at Oak Harbor’s Windjammer Park, watching families picnic, fly kites, throw Frisbees, push strollers and play on the climbing structures at the park.

Some Whidbey Islanders left the Rock for a time of great adventure…

Ryan Lipstein enjoyed a wonderful family trip to Florida’s Disney World before taking a solo trip to Bozeman, Mont., with her best friend to experience their Sweet Pea Festival.

Sylvia Tozer enjoyed a Viking river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest with her daughter, son-in-law and his mother.

Pat Stengel Felger spent her 16th summer working as a medic at Tall Timber Ranch and her fifth summer with grandson Alex at camp with her. Her best memory includes hanging out with her 91-year-old friend, Harry Crosby, the camp volunteer extraordinaire. Pat says Harry can fix anything, repurpose all sorts of things and make the best pies she has ever eaten.

Ellen Christensen went to Spain and France with Oak Harbor High School students and parents.

Cathy Thayer got the call no parent is ever prepared for: “Your son was shot near the door of his home. He’s at the hospital and they’re unable to release information because the shooter is still at large.” She and her husband, Gary Thayer, learned that although evil is still very much alive and well, “there are still very active angels more capable and more prepared than we could ever be. There are also human angels and a spirit of community alive and well, and people who are ready and willing to be supportive and helpful. Sometimes that help comes from the least likely sources, and that those we traditionally think might be there for us actually are not, but instead are replaced by an army of others we least suspect.”

Sometimes we are gifted by sunshine. Sometimes those gifts come amidst a great and unwelcome storm. But for most everyone, summer 2014 has been a stand out and we move toward fall with gratitude.

Joan Bay Klope can be reached at