Friday, April 9, 2010

We're Going Off the Air


With the impending move of Kris' quilt store to Port Gamble, and with the opening date racing towards us (April 20, 10am, I find myself with less and less time to write about life in this small town (Port Gamble).

As much as I have enjoyed doing this, I find that I need to commit myself to the move, so I am closing this very brief chapter and going forward with the chapter which we came here to do. Thanks very much to those of you who read, and even more thanks to those who commented. It's always rewarding to know that someone is interested, and I do appreciate your interest ... both of you.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Cashier

In a perfect world, people would live in the kind of setting they want to be in ... some would live in a forest, some in a condo in a big city, some in a small town, but it seems rare indeed that you find someone who lives in the exact spot where they want to be. I told you early on that I wanted to introduce some of the people I have met in this city of 75 or so, and Renee has got to be on the top of my list of people wanting to live right where they do.

(And I must admit to harboring a feeling that finding such a person is easier in a small town, where people are living where they want to more often than big city people. Of course my wife's sisters will probably try to correct me on that.)

Her name is Renee, and currently she has a job of her choice, she is a cashier in the General Store here in Port Gamble. Having grown up in California, living in the "big cities", she was introduced to small towns early on, being most impressed with a Cal town called Anchor Bay (pop. 200) which was so small you could hear the sea lions barking. It had a cemetery smack in the middle of town, along with that "Americana" feeling one gets in such a place.

Her husband came from a similar background, although his was from living in New Zealand, but there, like in Port Gamble, the water is an ever present view.

After 30 years of marriage, they left California on a camping trip, in an updated, remodeled, 60's, camping trailer, heading north where they hoped to see something a little more rugged and uncivilised. They found it. They now live on 5 acres of farm, south of the Hood Canal bridge, with a view toward the Olympic Mountains with all the accoutrements (ahhh, I love that word) of such a place: the red and white barn, the older house in some disrepair, the flag pole that flies a flag which belonged to her father who got it in the military, and on the list goes. She's hoping by the next visit from her granddaughter, that chickens will be included, with eventually much more livestock.

I mentioned to her that Kris and I, in the early days of our life together, had said that we were either going to have to buy a bookstore in Vermont, or retire to Port Gamble to get the life style we wanted, and she laughed and said they visited Vermont and might live there now if it weren't for the winters.

But is she happy spending much of her day reminding people like me to "pull" the door when leaving (note the photo ... it says "pull" twice, but I still push)? She's overjoyed. She's glad there are "big city" people who put Seattle together so she has a place to go for a concert or a show, but she's even happier that she has her 5 acres, with her mother living in a bungalow behind her. (I might add, when she brought her mother to Washington the first time, parked under the flag at Port Gamble, and told her mother "we're home", her mother cried and cried -- tears of joy.)

Yes, there are a few people living exactly where they want, and Renee is clearly one of them. You can't miss her ... she's a cashier at the General Store, and you will rarely (if ever) catch her without a smile. How could you not smile when living the life of a dream?