Saturday, January 8, 2011

Whidbey Whining

Mollie writes:

Living on an island has its ups and downs. I've mentioned it in the past - I like the slower pace, quieter lifestyle, low crime, the sighting of bald eagles over my pond and great blue heron in my pond. If I had to do it over again, I would in a heartbeat.

One of the things I'm on the fence about is the weather. We chose Whidbey Island because of the mild temperature and the fact that we are in a rain shadow provided by the Olympic Range. We still get rain, and if I use a greenhouse, I even get ripe tomatoes in August! Not too shabby. Some rain, but no flooding. Some sun, but no heat waves.

Except that since we moved here in 2005, the weather took a turn for the weird. I've learned to cope with it (mostly because I have no other choice!) and have taken steps to make things easier.

When we moved here, we'd heard that it occasionally snowed. In my book, that's once every three or four years. On Whidbey Island, it snows whenever it wants. There's no real rhyme or reason, some mornings we wake up with a few inches. In our case, it's ok - our kids are grown and we're retired. No worries. When we had kids and school schedules and car pools, not so easy!

But living on an island has its drawbacks. When the power goes out on an island, it goes out. And with a small population and little industry (there is Nichols Brothers Boatyard) we are not exactly on the high-priority list for major repairs. So we've acquired a generator and a few other conviences so that we aren't out of power completely when the lines gow down.

In addition to losing power, we don't have a lot of snow plows, de-icers, etc. It just isn't cost effective. And the usual person here doesn't have a lot of experience driving in snow zones. So the wise resident stays in until things improve which is good since our fir trees are shedding limbs and our hills are completely iced over.

So every year, come heck or high water (and we do have water here), we practice a little prudence. We trim our trees, stock our pantry, and double check that we have enough propane to keep our fireplace running if need be. We tie things down or up, depending on the wind and the grammar (did you tie down the yard furniture? Did you tie up the vines? Did you secure the greenhouse?). We charge our Kindle, I-pad, cell phones, flashlights, personal DVD players and other modern necessities. We even have candles!

And we just wait things out.

So, here's hoping that things are safe and tied down where you live. We are enjoying our feather bed, sipping cocoa and watching the pond freeze over. Those great blue herons will have to wait for a thaw before they can eat my goldfish again, and those eagles (???), well the bunnies will be back come spring.


  1. Your "whining" makes me want to move there immediately. ;)


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