Sunday, June 27, 2010

Diane, a confident woman.

Let me begin "Part 2" of "Life is a Gamble" by briefly mentioning once again what intrigues me about Port Gamble. With only 50 people or so, it is truly a small town, like no other I've ever seen, although it is located close to others much larger, which always leaves one ready to compare lives lead in each. Are the results of living in large or small towns REALLY different? It didn't take me long to say "yes" and in telling about some of the people here, I hope to show you those differences.

This post is about a lady living five miles or so away from Port Gamble, but certainly one who qualifies as a small town girl. Diane (sorry, I don't use last names) and her husband Will spent many years moving away from Seattle, with Will fighting greater and greater commutes to be able to live in Kitsap county while working in the big city. With four children to raise, "where you live" becomes an important ingredient in that process for some, certainly for them.

In the mid to late 60's the commute lengthened to the point that the family was living in Kitsap County and Will was working in Woodenville. And those were the days when "commuters" were unheard of. At one time he and two others were the only regular commuters on the ferry. All this because of their four kids? Their commitment to "quality of life" must have been stronger than for most. They could have easily spent more time together in the crowded city with their children lost in huge schools rather than experience the time spent on the road just to be able to live a better kind of life.

Diane and I met soon after Kris and I arrived here. She was clearly a person who knew her way around, helping us learn the ins and outs of surviving in this town. About my age, she was pleasant, helpful, and experienced enough to know the people and enjoy spending time here. Even though they lived a few miles out of town, nearly every day they could be seen walking the dog here and drinking their brew at the Gamble Bay Coffee Co. Diane admits that bribing the dog to get it to walk with them is a daily routine.

One one occasion recently, I had been taking photos of one of the festivals when I saw her in a perfectly relaxed position, one that someone who enjoyed a special kind of comfort in her life would take.

Look at this photo. Isn't this a person who enjoys this world rather than fearing it? Doesn't it evoke some kind of peace, like knowing that you've done what you wanted to do and now you can relax and enjoy it?

After snapping her picture I asked her to stay at Gamble Bay Coffee 15 minutes and I would have something for her. I did. Not a 4x6, not a 5x7, not even an 8x10, but rather a 13x19 copy of the picture I had taken. She was speechless. Now I'm not going to insult her by telling you that she talks alot, but I will tell you that this was a rare occasion.

Since then she and I have joked many times about where she is keeping the photo, always, it sounds, at a place of honor in their house and always she makes me feel better that I took a good shot and that she appreciates it. Yes, "warm and fuzzy feelings" are a delight even at the ripe old age of "mid sixties", and it's always nice to feel something you have done is appreciated. It's one way of giving your kids a positive feeling about themselves, one of the tricks of raising confident children, but it works on us old guys as well, allowing us to walk away from a conversation with that day's "feel good" firmly in place. Not everyone has the ability to do that. Diane does.

And having met two of her children, both of whom have that same confident air about themselves, I am sure they will sit back, relax, and maintain that same "I'm going to enjoy this world, it's not going to conquer me" attitude their mother has.

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