When I tell people I'm from an island in the Puget Sound, they instantly assume I'm from Vashon, Bainbridge or one of the San Juans. That always seemed odd to me, because everyone seems to overlook the largest island in the state of Washington - Whidbey Island. It's the fourth largest and longest island in the contiguous United States.
I'll openly admit that I've had a long love/hate relationship with the island. My fellow Islanders understand that statement. There are two ways on and off that big rock. (Unless you are lucky enough to own your own boat.) The big tourist attraction that is the Deception Pass Bridge, was my main way off since I grew up 3 miles away from it. There's no place like it. Mother nature is commanding with the deadly currents below the industrial bridge's impressive span where you can view Mount Baker to the east and the Straight of Juan De Fuca to the west. To northenders, the south end was largely for secret fishing spots, the county fair, art galleries, loganberries at the Greenbank Farm and a ferry ride to the mainland.
I was born in the late 1970's when there were still forests in "downtown" Oak Harbor. Which in later years when I was in high school the parking lots that were once forests became a meeting/hangout spot. A grocery store parking lot. Yes, friends that is an insight to part of the hate relationship I have with the island. There wasn't a whole lot going on. I grew up in a very rural area about 7 miles north of "town". I spent a lot of my time on my bike prior to getting my license. Well, if you knew me then, I did drive a little bit before I had my license. :D In retrospect now, I feel lucky for growing up that way even though I longed for mainlander city life. I know a lot about plants, trees and animals that are native to the island. I was forced to be creative not only for entertainment but also during times the power was out due to 60+ mile hour winds. There are many things like that I share a bond with my childhood friends that no one understands or can relate to. It's kind of special and many of us joke about writing a book to recount our islander childhood. We all seems to share a love and appreciation for that rock now.
Since the inception of our business I've been asked and have created many Whidbey themed items. We all seem to want to have a piece of "home" with us in our lives. While I have a huge list of half-done projects, I've decided to share one item that we made that I love. A Whidbey Island mini chalkboard for my fellow island people.
Admittedly, this post took me sometime to write up. "Home" especially with such character is hard to condense down into a few paragraphs.
Lasers and love - "Dorothya from The Rock"