Friday, October 1, 2010

On smelling the coffee

It's as easy as just about anywhere to stay  busy in Port Gamble, busy enough that one starts to loose sight of what one values. Take this last weekend, for instance, and I'm still having trouble getting photos to come up, so please bare  with me. Last weekend was as busy a weekend as I have seen in Port Gamble, evidenced by the number of businesses (new ones especially) who claimed to have had their "best weekend ever", an admirable goal, I am sure.

What was going on? It was called "Old Mill Days" to celebrate the days when Port Gamble had a mill, I am sure, but it might have been called "four ring circus days" for what went on. For those of you who (like me) have not been here for many of these event weekends, this is the one not to miss in the future. For spectators it is the laid back weekend of being entertained and fed, and not having to think or work at what's going on.

The "four" events of the four ring circus? First was the Hotcake Breakfast which was delicious, hot, complete, and all you could eat, served early in the morning on Saturday and Sunday, to a crowd on Saturday and basically to themselves on Sunday (due to the bad weather). Don't eat at home next year, eat here. well worth it.

While I was having breakfast I was also watching the cars for the Car Show (the second ring) show up, as well  as the crowds who were arriving by hay ride. The cars, all different types, filled "The Bowl" (the name for the area behind the retail businesses), and they were  spruced up to shine like always. There must have been close to 200 cars, and for someone like me, who grew up on cars, again it was grand entertainment. Fortunately they   were there most of the day.

The third ring? THE CIRCUS.  Now I'm not sure that anyone between 12 and adult felt totally entertained, but the 10 rides or so kept our twin  grandchildren fully entertained,  as they had never been down a five story slide, been on a ferris wheel, or some of the "tamer" rides. But come  to think of it some of those teenagers  who  I said might have felt left out were probably the source of the screaming coming from the fun house and the octopus. Again, an easy way to forget your cares and just be entertained.

And finally the logging show. I grew up in a logging town but I don't recall having seen a  better show. These guys, most of them professional loggers (the ones with the faded and torn flannel shirts), were excellant, chopping through two foot thick chunks of wood in less than a minute. And the star attractions for me were the races up the standing poles  (they must have been a hundred feet tall) to get to the top, ring the bell, and get back down, and the noisy "chain saw art" which you could buy at the end. What a show, and what a way to end the four ring circus.

So what did I mean when I said that one could be so busy here last weekend that one starts to miss what he values? I mean that for me I almost missed talking with the people who came here. There were so many of them that a person could fail to see the trees for the forest. I did get to meet one woman at the breakfast on Sunday who most of her life had wanted to move to the northwest and finally, only a month or so ago, had moved her family, but not yet her husband who is overseas and will be shipped here soon. And in only the month she was here was already helping a civic group put on the breakfkast. Impressive!

But finally yesterday I had the kind of time I enjoy here the most. Kris and I went for a walk around town which she often doesn't have time to do because of the quilt store; we both had grabbed a snack at the general store, and we  were sitting at a bench by the flagpole enjoying the warm fall breeze off the water, and talking about this fun new place where we live.

There was only one other couple in sight, not far from us, and he was taking her photo with exactly the view we had been eyeing.  Now I was never one with the quick pick up lines in my formative years, but I have a  good one I use in times like this: "That picture would be a lot better if both of you were in it. Can I take one for you with both of you?" I have only been turned down once, by  a married man whose wife would not have been the woman in the photo.

And, as so often happens, we found out a lot about this couple, they had been to Buckley, he had retired from a career teaching junior high, they were here lookng for the quilt store, on and on. A unique couple as you will find, they all are fascinating with their stories to tell if you have time to smell that coffee before you gulp it down.

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