’Tis Thanksgiving on our Rock and I am always amazed at how many things we Rock dwellers have to be thankful for. Just like those Pilgrims who set foot on Plymouth Rock in 1620, here on Whidbey Island we have found a place of freedom to escape from things that have annoyed or oppressed us.
I made a list of things I am thankful for on the Rock this year. Some are really big, some are tiny and some are in between.
1. After clouds, rain and wind, we have been blessed with gorgeous blue skies recently. And the blue in November always seems bluer than in July, doesn’t it? The sunrises have been beautiful, only to be outdone by the sunsets. And those have been earlier with daylight savings so we can enjoy them when we’re not asleep.
2. I am really enjoying the new pavement on sections of Highway 525/20. I’m not sure what it’s made of, but the minute my car hits those new sections things get much quieter. I can turn down the volume on my radio — at least until it hits the old asphalt sections and then it needs to be cranked up again.
3. I am thankful that I was able to take some fantastic trips this year, including a cruise to Antarctica, a tour of Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia, and visit with friends to beautiful Taos, New Mexico. Although all those places were fascinating and full of rich history, I’m still so glad when I get home to our Rock and see just how great a place to live this truly is.
4. I am grateful that so many of us Rock dwellers work so hard to preserve the Whidbey way of life — forests, coast line, farms, open space, trails — helped by political leaders who cherish it all as much as the rest of us do. Imagine Whidbey without those key elements and you’d probably be looking at a Seattle suburb.
5. I love living in “the closest place to far away,” as our Whidbey tourism slogan goes. I can get to the Costco in Burlington in 45 minutes, my dentist in Mount Vernon in an hour, and downtown Seattle or SeaTac Airport in 90 minutes. And I can visit my newly engaged niece and her fiancé at their home near Auburn, have lunch, catch the 5 o’clock ferry in Mukilteo and get home in time to feed our dog.
6. When I need to “get away from it all” (which usually happens when I am bugged by some annoying off-Rock events), I can stroll the ridge and bluff trails at Ebey’s Landing, view the amazing Admiralty Inlet with the Olympics in the distance and breathe the freshest air anywhere.
6. Preparing the Thanksgiving meal is a splendid task on our Rock because you can buy everything grown or prepared here — turkey, potatoes, veggies, salad, Rockwell beans, pumpkin and much more. Folks from the mainland come here to scarf up what we grow and take it home.
So, that’s the list for now; I could add a lot more. But I need to go get the stuff for our T-day dinner before mainlanders get it all.
Harry Anderson is a retired journalist who worked for the Los Angeles Times and lives on Central Whidbey.