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It’s all so familiar, but it’s not mine anymore. Driving to our next sleepover, we know the details of every turn. If I say the magic word, surely the clock will roll back, we’ll make a left turn at the next corner, drive over Judd Creek Bridge, pull up the driveway, and walk in the door of Normie’s house next to Muth’s. We lived here off and on for fifteen years and when someone asks, “Where’s home”, my answer still, is “Vashon.”
So much is unchanged from thirty years ago: there’s yet another forgettable Mexican restaurant at the North end, the long, slow climb up ferry hill is still long and slow, there is no place to park at the Vashon Thriftway, Loren Sinner is playing at Sporty’s, there are grumpy letters to the editor in the Beachcomber, summer ferry traffic is Hell, the cormorants dry their wings on the pilings at Tramp Harbor beach. And look—there’s the driveway to Betty MacDonald’s farm where we rented a beautiful, cold, studio one summer and there’s the “Klinkam’s” sign in front of the house we lived in when Mt. St. Helens erupted.
But wait—oh no, Bob’s Bakery is now the Vashon Island Baking Company, that red and white house on Monument Road is now painted beige, Seafirst Bank on the corner of Bank Road is gone, the Jesus Barn was listed last year for $999,5000, Vashon Hardware is a restaurant, Sound Food is no more, and there is not a single hitchhiker along the Vashon Island Highway. Oh look, there go two Porsches (or is it two Porschi) and a Jaguar, a new, fancier building has replaced the library, and there are mostly million dollar homes listed in the Real Estate section.
Someone will be sad about their lost sandals.
Thanks to my sister and her friends, we’re housesitting in one of the island’s most beautiful spots—down a long gravel driveway, in the woods, along the water, complete with a perfect, purring, lap-sitting cat. Hey Al, its a perfect paddle boarding spot—come on over, the water’s fine.
Thanks to the Sweetie’s brother, wife, and two sons for also sharing their life with us.