Giving thanks for what we leave behind us, what lies ahead

  • Tuesday, November 20, 2018 11:35am
  • Opinion

As we gather around Thanksgiving tables today — and for leftovers in the days to come — many of us have plenty to be thankful for.

First off, we are quick to say we are thankful for the many people in the community who contributed to this issue of the paper, ensuring that we could meet our early holiday press deadline. Their names are sprinkled throughout, and they all have our gratitude.

A colorful array of island birds is featured in the center spread of this paper, inspired by Vashon Audubon’s calendar, which is for sale now. It seems fitting that on this day of giving thanks, we celebrate the island’s beauty. Islander Sarah Driggs helped coordinate that effort, from our fledgling brainstorm to the spread’s completion.

Fellow bird enthusiast Kathryn True wrote a wonderful feature on island birding on page 1. It is packed with information and encourages all of us to head out and relish the nature of Vashon and Maury Islands.

Today, of all days, we are happy to include a letter to the editor from Frances “Sunny” Baldwin. An island senior who can no longer get around on her own, she took the time to write us about many people who help make her life easier. Please take the time to read her letter — and then consider volunteering for Neighbor to Neighbor, Vashon Community Care or the Vashon Senior Center to help make another island senior’s life easier.

In a flash of good news right before press time, King County is funding an affordable housing project, some four years in the making on Vashon. The project is intended to be workforce housing, and we welcome it as long overdue.

We are also also reflecting on some of the stories behind us: a surge of activism on Vashon and beyond; at home, challenges related to ferry service, health care and the health of Puget Sound — and islanders rising up to try to find answers for those challenges; the changing of the guard in some beloved island institutions, from “Sandy’s Store” to Vashon Center for the Arts, where new traditions will be made.

Amid change, we appreciate all that feels constant: the Farmers Market through much of year, now winding down for the season, walks on the beach, walks in the woods, the simple pleasures of life on an island in Puget Sound.

And, of course, we wonder what lies ahead. What will each of us be reflecting on a year from now? What twists and turns are in store?

Much of life happens in unexpected ways. Mindful of that, this year at the Thanksgiving table, we will toast to surprises, welcoming what is to come — the stories we will tell ahead — glad to be telling them in this community with each of you.

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