My sister introduced me to Vashon. She wanted a place on the island, and she invited me to come along with her on her search for her perfect home. She had an unrealistic and incredibly small budget, but she was confident she could find a place. We would wait in the frustratingly long line at Fauntleroy for the ferry on Sundays to attend open houses. Once on the island, we would wait in more lines to find parking and to tour the properties. The only places she could afford were somewhat scary — small wooden structures on land with pots and pans filled with water instead of plumbing, and shacks that resembled killing sheds in a horror film. But we would still muster up the patience to stand in yet another line to talk to the realtor. There was obviously something about Vashon my sister loved and would not give up on, and at the same time, I was falling in love with it too. Aside from all the waiting, I enjoyed the Sunday trips. I started actively dreaming about living here.
We both finally accepted reality, that we could not afford to live on Vashon, so we stopped our visits. I missed the painful routine: waiting, looking, but never finding.
Several years later, I now find myself lucky to be serving as editor for The Beachcomber. Even though I didn’t get to live permanently on the island, by de facto I get to experience island life, which happens to be both fascinating and strange.
Within two weeks, I have received a crash course on the beautiful weirdness that is Vashon.
I learned there is a rumor mill that produces frequent cougar sightings; Johnny Depp also seems to have been spotted on the island several times. There are claims of a Vashon “hum,” which I am eagerly waiting to hear. I also get to experience the anxiety that revolves around the ferry schedule, a new-found fear of natural disasters, emergency evacuations and wildfires.
What is most evident, however, is how dedicated the community is to its home. It is important for The Beachcomber to chronicle the island and its community (not me — which is what this editorial seems to be doing), so I urge readers to reach out to the paper with any thoughts, suggestions and story ideas. I can’t wait to learn more about this crazy little island that I now feel part of.